3 things we learned: UK 87, Portland 63

Three things we learned from UK’s 87-63 win over Portland:

1. UK had better ball distribution. In the first half, its first 10 made field goals were all assisted, and at the end of the half, UK had 11 assists to one turnover. UK didn’t shoot the ball especially well in that half (48.3 percent) but it shared it well. Prior to this game, UK had assisted on 78 of its 155 field goals. (UK ended the game with 20 assists and four turnovers.)

2. UK has to find a way to rebound better — against a team that had outrebounded its opponents by less than one per game, UK was outrebounded 21-16 in the first half. On the important side of the court, it allowed Portland to grab 8 offensive rebounds while getting only 13 defensive rebounds. (The flip side wasn’t much better, as UK got three offensive rebounds and Portland got 13 defensive boards.) I liked Anthony Davis’ efforts on the glass. But moving forward — especially against North Carolina and in the SEC — UK will need more rebounding. I remember that being one of Calipari’s preaching points early in SEC play last year, as he urged his team to “gang rebound.” This team might have to adopt that same mentality. (UK ended the game getting outrebounded 39 to 38.)

3. UK has more Oregonians on its roster (two — Terrence Jones and Kyle Wiltjer) than Portland (one). Just a little geography factoid for you.

4 (BONUS!). This game had nothing on the football game.

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