Apart from the Tigers being an average team and still getting slaughtered by the Jayhawks, the scariest part of the win is that it nearly felt as if Kansas was not even playing at full potential. Then I was like, 'who scheduled this game? Trailing 72-69, Vermont missed two 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds. They earned a 10-point win over Utah Valley Friday and edged Vermont by 4-points on Sunday.
Vermont would take a 16-15 lead when Hamidou Diallo scored a couple of buckets to give United Kingdom a 19-16 advantage with 7:34 to go in the first half.
P.J. Washington led Kentucky with a career-high 16 points.
The Cats opened the new season with a bucket on their first possession, but the Wildcats reeled off a 13-2 run in a six-and-a-half-minute span.
"They started making shots", Washington said. "We have enough shot blocking unless they're shooting straight layups". Atrocious", Calipari said. "We're just getting beat on the dribble by everybody.
"We need to not let teams get comfortable and be in a total rhythm the whole time", Self said. "Everybody is a victor".
Vermont, which finished 29-6 last season and hadn't lost a regular-season game since an 81-69 setback to Butler last December, was led by Trae Bell-Haynes with 16 points. "And how about this, I knew they wouldn't give up and I told my team at halftime, 'These guys know how to win, man, they won 29 games previous year'". If you make them go wide of you, we can help. You're going to learn against an NCAA Tournament team that is going to beat a lot of people this year and I thought in the first half we were really good.
West Virginia shot just 34.3 percent and made 12 three-pointers, but those came on 40 attempts.
Calipari also is anxious for his team's matchup against Kansas Tuesday. When the National Basketball Association season started recently, 27 former Kentucky players were on opening-day rosters, most of all colleges. He's got a really good team. ". If our guards can't stay in front of them, we'll get beat by 30 up there".
While things are always a bit of a work in progress early for John Calipari's freshmen-dominated lineups, these Wildcats appear vulnerable. Fellow point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was a steals machine during a short stretch of zone defense against Utah Valley, took his turn whiffing on perimeter defense. Lagerald Vick is averaging 23 points and three assists while Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is averaging 15 points and five rebounds. Overall, the Catamounts are 0-3 against Florida, 0-2 against Georgia and Vanderbilt. The Kentucky Wildcats have won nine of their last 10 neutral site games.
No matter what combination Calipari chooses against fourth-ranked Kansas on Tuesday night, fifth-ranked Kentucky will start an all-freshman backcourt in the Champions Classic.
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