UK basketball comes in at No. 18 in latest AP Poll


Kentucky freshman guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looks for a path to the basket during the game against Texas A&M on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 74-73. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Kernel Sports Staff

Behind several performances that earned him SEC Freshman of the Week, UK guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander helped lift the Cats to their No. 18 ranking in the AP Poll, which was released Monday afternoon. They move up from their previous ranking at No. 21.

Over the last week, the Cats earned a one-point home victory against conference opponent Texas A&M before traveling to Nashville to defeat Vanderbilt by seven on Saturday. While they haven’t won any conference games by double digits, the Cats are 4-1 in league play and 14-3 overall.

UK also did this without starting point guard Quade Green for the week, thrusting Gilgeous-Alexander in the spotlight. Over the week, he averaged 19 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 39 minutes each game. He scored a game-high 22 points in Nashville to help lift UK to No. 18.

The Cats will look to defend this new ranking as they travel to take on South Carolina on Tuesday.