Coming into the game I was surprised that #20 Kentucky was only 6.5 point favorites. I figured that Vegas knew something. I’m not sure if they knew that Tech’s early season struggles were an anomaly or that Kentucky just isn’t that good (at least yet).
Tech dominated this game. They forced Kentucky into 21 turnovers which lead to 33 points. All of Kentucky’s starters had at least 2 turnovers. Kentucky only got 6 points off of Tech’s 6 turnovers. Despite the fact that almost all of Kentucky’s players are tall and rangy the Wildcats only managed a single to Tech’s 5 (3 of them by Moses Wright). This wasn’t a huge win because Kentucky couldn’t hit three pointers (they shot 42.1% from deep) and Tech was draining them (Tech shot 38%). Tech spread the love with 5 players in double digit scoring. It was just a total domination from Josh Pastner’s squad.
Once again the Yellow Jackets were lead by Moses Wright. He was a dominant force inside on both sides of the ball. He finished with 21 points on 9-14 shooting and 9 rebounds (3 offensive) and 3 blocks. He had good plays on the post, driving, getting the fed the ball, and hitting a jump shot. Just an all-around performance. He got in foul trouble early and I liked Pastner’s decision to keep him in the game, but to move him to the wing in the zone to help him avoid fouls.
Bubba Parham also deserves serious kudos. He scored 17 points on 7-10 shooting with 4 assists and no turnovers. He was fantastic with the ball today and made mostly very good decisions. He’s a Kentucky killer.
Kyle Sturdivant came off the bench and got his first serious minutes of the season and showed that he deserved it. In his 21 minutes he scored 15 points on 5-6 shooting (4-4 from the free throw line). He didn’t look 100% comfortable in the zone yet, but he was playing well enough to get crunch time minutes. He’ll get used to the zone and should be a fixture for the rest of the season if he plays like that.
The only Tech player who really struggled was Michael Devoe who ended up with no points. They really focused on him so he focused more on distribution with 5 assists. I expect to see him bounce back in the near future.
Kentucky looked not good at all. They didn’t play a single player from last year’s team and it showed. They looked confused and made a ton of passes to phantom teammates. Pretty much the only positive was freshman Terrence Clarke who finished with 22 points on 9-14 shooting. He kept Kentucky in the game early, but didn’t have much help. Heralded Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr finished with only 6 points on 1-4 shooting and 3 rebounds. Wright truly outclassed him.
This win has salvaged hope for the rest of Georgia Tech’s season. They next head to Lincoln, Nebraska on Wednesday evening for a must win against the Cornhuskers in the Big 10-ACC Challenge. Then they head to play Florida State in what would be a huge resume-booster. This has been a big boost to Georgia Tech. The team played very well and hopefully the new energy helps propel them forward.