3 things we learned: UK 87, Loyola 63



Three things we learned in UK’s 87-63 win over Loyola:

1. Kyle Wiltjer played an efficient offensive game, scoring a career-high 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting to lead UK. He made all three of UK’s 3-pointers and took what he got — which was mostly open jumpers. That’s what he can give UK: a player who can knock down the open looks his teammates create for him. Now, his defense still has to improve, but games like this are auditions for conference play for Wiltjer.

2. UK played sluggish in the first half, as players looked like they were playing in a game three days before Christmas (oh wait, it is). UK came out with much better energy in the second half, using a 22-4 run to pull away. The run was keyed by its defense, which forced Loyola (who had shot over 44 percent in the first half, a rate that would have been a season-best against UK if it had continued) into six straight missed shots at one point.

3. I didn’t think I could see anyone ever out-energy John Calipari on the sidelines, but Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos proved otherwise. He was a combustible machine of energy throughout the game, stomping, yelling, pleading and slamming clipboards during timeouts. (That being said, it was Calipari who got a technical foul for protesting foul calls.) It was a a great matchup of coaches, for nothing else other than watching them go for 40 minutes.

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