Cats use fouls to stop UL shot blocking


Freshman guard Hamidou Diallo is fouled during the game against Louisville on Friday, December 29, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the game 90-61. Photo by Hunter Mitchell.

Heading into one of the biggest games of the season and following a loss to unranked UCLA, Coach John Calipari knew his young team needed to come out more aggressive against the Louisville Cardinals on Friday, and that’s exactly what they did.

Driving to the basket and scoring in the lane seemed to be UK’s primary goal in Friday’s game against the Louisville Cardinals, as they scored 42 of their points in the paint.

In doing so, the Cats drew 25 total fouls and shot 24-30, or 80 percent, from the free throw line.

Louisville senior Anas Mahmoud fouled out in the second half with over eight minutes left to play in the game. Mahmoud is second in the nation for blocked shots, averaging 4.3 blocks per game. Today, that number was reduced to one.

“He was just trying to be aggressive and do what he does and block shots,” Louisville interim head coach David Padgett said of Mahmoud. “You know, this was the day where we just couldn’t do anything right it seemed like. So, when it rains it pours I guess.”

Louisville’s team as a whole is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to blocked shots, as they are ranked second in the nation with 8.4 per game. Against the Cats, they had five.

Calipari thought freshman forward PJ Washington played his best game of the year, and thinks he could play a similar game to Golden State Warrior Draymond Green.

“I’m just telling PJ, be that guy. I’m telling him to shoot balls… I’m telling him to drive, but you’ve got to get by them and you’re not trying to bully, you’re trying to have a spirit about you,” said Coach Cal.

Washington, who totaled 16 points for the Cats, says his aggressiveness contributed to the game.

“I was just trying to be aggressive, just playing my role, just defend and rebound, run the floor, and make easy baskets,” said Washington.

The Cats, now 10-2, will be looking for another victory in their next game against Georgia this Sunday, Dec. 31.