Kentucky’s lowest and highest moments of this wild college basketball season may have come against the same opponent. After squandering a 10-point lead with 12 minutes to go a few weeks ago at home against Tennessee, all hope appeared to be lost. It was the Cats third loss in a row, and had many Vol fans boasting that Rick Barnes had surpassed John Calipari as the Supreme Leader of the SEC. Flash forward to Saturday and the Cats played what is undoubtedly their most complete game of the season, dominating Tennessee 70-55.
With their next game already canceled due to Covid issues in the Texas A&M program, the Big Blue Nation will have an entire week to soak up this win, and to also dream about how this team could totally Bad News Bears their way to an SEC Tournament Championship. So let’s enjoy this one, and relive the high points from this huge victory.
Davion Mintz had me dreaming about roast beef sandwiches.
OK, this one might need some explaining, but while everyone else was going crazy when Mintz hit his fifth three-pointer of the first half, I couldn’t help but have flashbacks to one of the greatest deals in fast-food history. With Davion going five-for-five, my brain instinctively went back to my college days when I visited Arby’s almost daily to get five roast beef sandwiches for $5.
This was the sole cause of my Freshman 15.
Even though he never scored another point, Mintz has established himself as this team’s best shooter and is actually reaching the level of having me believe every shot he takes from behind the arc is going to go in. I also have to imagine after that last 3 went down, that Tennessee fans stomachs felt as upset as mine after a fifth roast beef sandwich. With all the clutch shots he has hit the last few weeks, this guy is really becoming fun to watch.
John Calipari ran an absolutely beautiful inbounds play to…Jacob Toppin?
Coach Cal likes to joke that he was wrong once, in 1987. I also believe that was the last time Cal actually ran a set on an inbounds play. So it came as quite a surprise to me that his first inbounds play in over 30 years was a called lob for Jacob Toppin. But then again, maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Toppin is quickly becoming one of this team’s best players, and has UK fans salivating at what he will be able to do next year. The kid can guard anybody on the floor, knock down clutch free throws, has a nice mid-range game, and can jump like this:
Speaking of dunks, how about Isaiah Jackson’s?
As great as Mintz, Toppin, Brooks (and practically everyone on the floor wearing blue) looked today, there is no doubt who the best player on this team is. Isaiah Jackson is becoming an absolute monster. The freshman went for 16 points and 7 rebounds against the Vols, and is playing himself into becoming a lottery pick. He may also become one of the biggest “what if’s” in recent memory? What if he had a full season to develop? What if Boston and Clarke had lived up to their hype and we had the biggest 3-headed monster in college basketball? What if he came back for a sophomore season? And what if he hadn’t murdered John Fulkerson on February 20, 2021?
The Incredible Fulk was no match for Jackson America
All in all, it was a great day to be a Wildcat. Especially in a year where there haven’t been a lot of great days for this program. I’m so happy right now that I’m not even going to mention that Dontaie Allen only got 2 minutes of playing time. I’ll save that for another day and another post. We’ve got a game with the Gators next Saturday, and that only means one thing…Bad news for the Gators!