Vaught's Views: Other than shooting, there was a lot to like in UK's win at Georgia
Darius Miller (1) hit a season-high four 3-points shots and scored a game-high 19 points for No. 1 Kentucky in a 57-44 win at Georgia Tuesday. Miller now has 1,068 career points, 51st on UK¿s all-time scoring list. (Victoria Graff)
Despite the 6-for-22 shooting from four of UK’s best players, there was still plenty to like about a double-digit road win (remember UK was 2-6 in SEC road games last season) after the Cats had to rally to win at Auburn and Tennessee earlier this season.
Start with senior Darius Miller, who was on fire. He had 19 points — one-third of UK’s season-low offensive total — and obviously was not bothered by having Lamb replace him in the starting lineup. He hit his first six shots and finished 7-for-8 from the field, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range. He seemed to want the ball more on offense and didn’t hesitate when he had open looks.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was, well, MKG again.¿He had a relatively obscure double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He was 6-for-14 from the field and 2-for-2 at the foul line. He also had three assists.
Jones didn’t get to double figures (five points), but he had seven rebounds and he played like he truly cared. He dove all-out on the floor once for a loose ball and accidentally clobbered Teague going for another ball that ended with Jones crashing into the Georgia bench. Kentucky fans don’t expect perfection from Jones, just effort like that.
Davis didn’t get to double figures for the second straight game, but how can he when he takes only two shots. He had four points, but he also had 12 rebounds and five blocks (he’s had at least three in 20 of UK’s 21 games).
“Who has been a bigger force on D than @AntDavis23 in the last decade.? Brings joy to BBN fans! # Mr ENFORCER,” tweeted ESPN analyst Dick Vitale after the game.
Analsyst Jimmy Dykes did work the game for ESPN. He was just as impressed with Davis during the game.
“He is the national defensive player of the year and is making a push for national player of the year. I¿know he is not putting up great offensive numbers, but if he was getting the same number of shots some players take he would,” Dykes said. “He just needs to demand the ball more.”
Then Dykes turned into a NBA forecaster.
“No one in college basketball has a bigger upside. In three years, he will be a Kevin Garnett guy. He will be a jump shooter, an all-NBA defensive guy. He will be a franchise guy. That is what Anthony Davis is going to end up being,” Dykes said.
Teague did everything well but hit shots. He had zero turnovers in a SEC road game, something coach John Calipari had to love. He also had seven assists on a night when it was hard to get an assist with the way the Cats were missing shots along with five rebounds.
“Teague just continues to not only run the offense, but run the team,” Dykes said. “The truest test of a point guard is how you play on the road and this kid continues to get it done.”
Don’t forget Kyle Wiltjer. He hit two more 3-pointers and also had a rebound, blocked shot and an assist.¿Every game he gets better.
Now it’s on to LSU for the No. 1 Cats.
"Enjoy the win," Calipari said after the game. "It's hard to win on the road. It's just near impossible to win on the road. Everybody is getting beat on the road."
But so far in the SEC, not Kentucky.