Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Wildcats Are Still Work in Progress ; UK Bounces Boise in Performance to Build On

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Wildcats Are Still Work in Progress ; UK Bounces Boise in Performance to Build On

Article excerpt

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The happiness expressed by Kentucky players after their victory over Boise State wasn't just because they played the type of game indicative of their abilities. For once, the 11thranked Wildcats had a performance to build from.

That's a big issue for Kentucky (8-2), which faces another measuring stick Saturday at No. 18 North Carolina. The game will mark the young Wildcats' first on-campus road test after going 1-2 in neutral-site games.

They showed signs of growth Tuesday night in a 70-55 victory over Boise State. Though the Wildcats' highly touted freshmen remain a project with plenty of lessons to learn in a challenging month before Southeastern Conference play begins, they took a step forward and look forward to what's next against the Tar Heels (6- 2).

"We're all thinking about the North Carolina game," guard/ forward James Young said after leading the Wildcats with 21 points. "This (Boise State) game is now in the past, and we're thinking about the next game, trying to do as good against them as we did (Tuesday night)."

Soul-searching followed Friday night's 67-62 loss to No. 14 Baylor that dropped Kentucky out of the top 10. What bothered the Wildcats more than losing a nine-point lead over the final 13 minutes was how they lost it - being outrebounded for the first time all season along with the Bears outworking them in other ways.

Other than a brief early lull that allowed the Broncos to take their only lead at 14-13, the Wildcats imposed their notable size advantage and will on them throughout. Kentucky outrebounded Boise State 43-27, shot 53 percent from the field and outscored the Broncos 44-24 in the paint.

Seven-foot sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein had nine of the Wildcats' 10 blocks, which made Boise State players think twice about taking subsequent attempts inside. …

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