Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky basketball’s ridiculous offensive run -- and more from win over Georgia

Kentucky Wildcats guard Jamal Murray (23) dunked the ball during the first half as UK defeated Georgia 93-80 in the semi finals of the SEC tournament on Saturday March 12, 2016 in Nashville, Tn.
Kentucky Wildcats guard Jamal Murray (23) dunked the ball during the first half as UK defeated Georgia 93-80 in the semi finals of the SEC tournament on Saturday March 12, 2016 in Nashville, Tn. Lexington Herald-Leader

Three more quick things from UK’s 93-80 win over Georgia.

1. Kentucky is on a ridiculous offensive roll right now. After averaging 1.451 points per possession in the 83-59 romp over Alabama on Friday night, the Cats came right back and averaged 1.447 points per possession in the victory over Georgia in Saturday’s semifinal.

Kentucky shot 50 percent for the game, the fourth straight game in which the Cats have shot 50 percent or better. They shot 52.7 in the win at Florida, 52.8 in the home win over LSU and 54.5 in taking down the Tide in Friday’s quarterfinal.

Kentucky also made 26 of 30 free throws Saturday for 86.7 percent. That’s the highest percentage for a game in which UK took at least 20 free throws since the Cats made 21-of-22 at Florida last season for 95.5 percent. It’s the highest in a game in which UK took at least 30 free throws since UK went 27-of-30 for 90 percent at Ole Miss on Feb. 18, 2014.

2. Mark Fox coached a great game. The Georgia coach had his Bulldogs ready and determined. It wasn’t just that Georgia made 10 of its first 14 shots on Saturday on the way to an early 23-14 lead. The Bulldogs played tough, aggressive basketball that gave the Cats fits for 35 of the 40 minutes.

“I said to my staff, the dude’s coaching his butt off today,” said John Calipari in the post-game press conference.

Wouldn’t you like to see what Fox (or Calipari) could do with LSU’s talent?

You wounder if things might have been different had Georgia’s best player, J.J. Frazier, not tweaked his ankle with 15:43 remaining. Frazier returned to the game but ended up playing just 26 minutes. He did scored 19 points and dish five assists.

“The break we had was when J.J. hurt his ankle,” Calipari said. “That was a big break for us because we couldn’t guard them.”

3. Here comes the Texas A&M rematch. The conference co-champions meet in Sunday’s SEC Tournament final. It’s a 1 p.m. ET tipoff -- don’t forget to set your clocks ahead for daylight savings time -- at Bridgestone Arena. Brad Nessler, Dick Vitale and Shannon Spake will be on the case for ESPN.

As we all know, Texas A&M won the regular-season meeting between the two teams, 79-77 in overtime Feb. 20 at College Station. As we all know, UK’s Isaac Humphries received a technical foul for slamming down the basketball that ended up costing the Cats a chance to put the game away.

What we know now is that the Aggies are on a roll, having won eight straight games, including a 71-38 whipping over what should be an embarrassed LSU. Texas A&M has plenty of weapons with Jalen Jones, Danuel House, Alex Caruso, Anthony Collins and the emerging Tyler Davis in the post.

It should be a terrific final.

Kentucky vs. Texas A&M in SEC Final

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville

TV: ESPN with Brad Nessler, Dick Vitale and Shannon Spake

Radio: UK Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt

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