3,2,1 is my post game wrap up. It is pretty simple; 3 numbers, 2 quotes and 1 take away from the game.

Lexington, Kentucky – Kentucky defeated Texas A&M  in front of a crowd of 22,643  in Rupp Arena.

Numbers

39 – Minutes played by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played in the game. He admitted his legs felt like “noodles” after the game.

65% – That is was UK’s shooting percentage in the 2nd half. Kentucky had defensive struggles but the offense was clicking.

10 – Hamidou Diallo scored 10 straight at one point in the 2nd half. After battling illness he was fully health for the 1st time in a few games and it showed.

Quotes

Jarred Vanderbilt is back practicing with the team.

Calipari on Jarred Vanderbilt, “Yesterday and even today, I loved him in the shootaround. He’s just not mentally ready to go on the court. I basically told him, Listen, when you go in, you’re going to play seven or eight minutes a half, limited minutes for a while. I’m going to put you out there, let you run around, let you feel good about yourself and you’re out. But he’s going to have to make that decision. It’s more mental. I mean, he can play. He couldn’t play 40 minutes or anything like that, but he can play. What he does, I never remembered him being as physically strong as he is. He changed up practice. It was physical.”

Hamidou Diallo on Vanderbilt, “He’s been doing what he does best; play making, being able to guard multiple positions, being able to play multiple positions, being able to score”

Take away 

Toughness had been an issue for this Kentucky team but they show great grit against an A&M team that came in with their backs against the wall at 0-3 in SEC play. It wasn’t perfect. There were a few missed free throws and turnovers late in the game that gave the Aggies a few chances to tie or take the lead, but with only seven healthy scholarship players this win was impressive.

John Calipari defined toughness in his postgame presser, “Toughness doesn’t mean roughness. Toughness means that you’re engaged, that you’re playing people before they catch the ball, that you’re meeting people before the ball hits the rim when you rebound, that you’re sprinting the floor every time and bouncing, and you’re talking. We got closer.”

Calipari also spoke about how Jarred Vanderbilt is bringing physicality to practice. That can only help to improve toughness. If this team can get healthy and  get tough they could exceed some people’s expectations.

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