Bringing down the House



First it was a 9-0 lead in the first 90 seconds of the game.

Then it was a 20-4 lead five minutes into the game.

Then a 35-point lead before half of the first half was played.

Then a 74-13 halftime lead.

Then a 125-40 final score, your typical, standard 85-point win.

“We played really well,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “That’s why the score was what it was.”

The absurdities just kept piling up. Three individual players for UK had scored more than Morehouse at halftime.

Morehouse didn’t reach 10 points until 1:27 remained in the first half. UK hit 100 points with 11:32 left in the game. UK’s largest lead was 89 points.

“That’s a pretty crazy point margin,” said freshman forward Kyle Wiltjer, who on a night of insane scoring led all scorers with 26 points. “But coach emphasized not looking at the scoreboard, because every minute we’re out there we’re trying to get better.”

So you didn’t look?

“No,” Wiltjer said. “I noticed.”

How could he not? I’ve never even played that well in a basketball video game. And I played a lot of video games on rookie level as a kid.

“I mean, they shot 72 percent from the field. So everybody looked good tonight,” Morehouse head coach Grady Brewer said. “My sister, if she was playing in Kentucky blue tonight, would have looked good.”

Usually, after performances like this (read: Blue-White scrimmage), it’s best to remember it came in an exhibition. It counts for nothing in the standings. Temper the expectations.

But UK utterly eviscerated its opponent, and the quality of that opponent hardly matters in the kind of annihilation that happened Monday.

UK will not, of course, beat every team by greater than or equal to one billion points. But the opening minutes, when UK and Morehouse were both playing real basketball, served as a showcase for what UK can be when it’s playing perfectly.

UK attacked relentlessly on both sides of the court. The full-court press was stifling. UK jumped into passing lanes and didn’t let Morehouse get any clean looks (an astute observation, I realize, considering they scored 13 points in 20 minutes).

UK got out into the open court – unlike the opening exhibition against Transylvania, when UK settled for too many perimeter shots, the Cats’ first 10 shots were all layups or dunks.

The performance even amazed some who have seen a lot in college basketball, as former UK coach Joe B. Hall stopped by the press box after the first half saying UK should have brought in recruits to watch the game.

Maybe they weren’t there in person, but they were paying attention. Class of 2012 No. 1 recruit Shabazz Muhammad tweeted, “86-18 with 16 mins to go all I can say is wowwwww lol!!!!”

That’s pretty much all I can say about it, too, and it’s probably the most accurate depiction of what occurred out there.

Wowwwwww lol!!!!