Kentucky boys’ all-stars must ‘match their intensity’ to bounce back against Indiana
Kentucky’s boys’ all-stars were crushed, 97-64, in their home state by Indiana on Friday night.
“Indiana came out and really played aggressive on us,” Kentucky head coach James “Boo” Brewer said. “We missed a couple shots and we didn’t shoot the ball very well at all. Plus, Indiana had 26 assists to our 11.”
The game opened up with a run by Indiana, and the Kentucky team found itself down 9-2 at the first timeout. Things didn’t get easier from there as the Hoosiers continued to dominate the first half, and Indiana was up 19-4 with 11:46 remaining.
Kentucky managed to cut the lead to single digits with less than 10 minutes left in the half after a layup from Madison Central standout and Western Kentucky University signee Isaiah Cozart. And an attempt to increase the lead 11 points by Indiana was foiled by a thunderous block by Jeffersontown’s Blake Butler.
But then the lead ballooned again, as Kentucky struggled to stop Indiana’s high-powered attack.
The Hoosiers were led by Indiana Mr. Basketball Trayce Jackson-Davis, an IU signee who finished the half with nine points and two rebounds, and Ohio State State football signee Dawand Jones threw down some thunderous dunks to keep Indiana in the lead.
“There was just no team chemistry,” Kentucky’s Jackson Harlan (Clinton County) said. “They had like 26 assists ... . That speaks for itself.”
The Kentucky team was never able to get close to Indiana throughout the rest of the first half, which ended on a buzzer-beater from Indiana’s Isaiah Thompson, who’s headed to Purdue. Thompson finished the half with a team-high 14 points.
Kentucky’s scoring leader at the half was J.J. Kalakon of Waggener, who finished with seven and also added three rebounds.
The second half began with the teams trading baskets, but Kentucky continued to be unable to gain on Indiana’s lead. Xavier signee KyKy Tandy of University Heights got several buckets for Kentucky, as did Cozart.
With 11 minutes left in the game, Indiana had opened up a 30-point lead after a three-pointer by Thompson.
Indiana went to the press on defense and the Kentucky team was unable to break it, committing several turnovers in the process. Kentucky finished with 16 miscues.
Kalakon led Kentucky with nine points, with Tandy and Cozart adding eight apiece. Cozart also had 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
“We came in really sluggish,” Cozart said. “That got them to a really, really big lead and then we really couldn’t just recover from that.”