Sidelines with John Clay

Big Blue Links: Kentucky beats Duke edition

Big Blue Links for Wednesday after Kentucky’s 74-63 win over Duke on Tuesday night in Chicago:

Guard trio leads Cats to win over Blue Devils, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “I admired his presence throughout the game,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Tyler Ulis, “and his face throughout the game. It was a face of a winner and a really good leader.”

When it comes to reloading, Kentucky ahead of Duke for now, writes Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports. “Both coaches loaded up recruiting classes with a few more one-and-done types, and both entered this season ranked in the top five. They are alone in their ability to reinvent on the fly, reconfiguring how top programs are built in the modern era. So the curiosity coming in here was which team had the most effective pit stop to change tires, get gas and plug in fresh five-star talent.”

Tuesday showed that Calipari is loaded yet again, says my column. “If you’re Kentucky and it’s 2015-16, then you are quick and fast and athletic and you have maybe the best point guard in the country (Tyler Ulis) and maybe the best backcourt in the country (Ulis, Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe) and a pair of outrageously athletic pieces (Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress) and at least one skilled big man (Skal Labissiere) who didn’t play all that well Tuesday night but is going to be really good. Really good.”

Duke can’t solve the Cats, writes Laura Keeley of the Raleigh News and Observer. It was a rough night for Duke guard Grayson Allen, who had scored 54 points in the Blue Devils’ first two games. Allen missed all nine of his first-half shots and finished just two-of-11 from the floor.

Tyler Ulis took charge, writes Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated. “Ulis, Murray and Briscoe combined for 48 points and 12 assists overall.”

Kentucky impresses in first big test, reports Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal. The Cats return home to play Wright State on Friday at Rupp Arena.

Kentucky shows its still Kentucky, reports Myron Medcalf of “Call a team "great" and the social media trolls will attack, unless you're referencing their team. Ask a coach if his squad should panic after an unexpected loss and he'll tell you that it's a long, long season. Ask a coach if his team should celebrate after a big win and he'll unveil a list of concerns.”