"They iso and do things that forced us to prepare beyond where we are". "They pick up things fast".
The game featured some of college basketball's best athletes, and we got an early example of just how special some of these players are. We have good players, but that is not what wins. "It's tough to play at the Garden the third game of the season with freshmen but they played well, they performed well and we came out with the win".
Michigan State got as close as four but Kentucky lengthened the gap to 34-26 going into intermission.
The stage is set for some great action in the Garden on Tuesday night, as this will be followed up by an even more anticipated game between the Duke Blue Devils and Kansas Jayhawks. In fact, Michigan State had 20 turnovers to Kentucky's 14. The Spartans' star freshman, guard Miles Bridges, didn't fare as well as Kentucky's heralded group. Jo Lual-Acuil grabbed 14 rebounds and had seven blocked shots for Baylor. Freshman point guard Cassius Winston and forward Nick Ward had a few nice moments, however, no Spartans scored more than nine points. With 9:38 left in the game, Briscoe found himself isolated at the mid-post against MSU's Matt McQuaid, and a convincing pump-fake got the defender into the air for a foul, a banked-in jumper and a 3-point play that put United Kingdom ahead by 16.
"Well. I'm actually a little embarrassed", a disappointed Izzo said afterwards. While the young bucks did alright for the most part, there was a stretch of ten minutes that were just pretty hard to watch. "At times we looked like an AAU team". Both games have come at home, and have resulted in victories over the likes of the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, as well as the Canisius Golden Griffins. This is going to make us stronger and better. The big man managed just six points and five rebounds.
They held the Spartans to 26 points in the first half, and limited Miles Bridges and Eron Harris (Michigan State's top two offensive talents) to just eight combined points on 3-of-14 shooting. The 6'3 Monk also fought for six rebounds and had an assist in his first efficient game in college.More news: Tinder update allows gender options beyond 'man,' 'woman'
"He (Monk) had an unbelievable shoot-around today", said Kentucky coach John Calipari.
Kentucky, despite their top-five national ranking to start the season, are a young team with three freshmen in their starting lineup.
"I told my guys 'You're going to get exposed, '" Izzo said.
Freshman Malik Monk scored 23 points against the Spartans, with 21 coming from deep off of 7-11 shooting from the outside. That's great news for a United Kingdom team that lost its best shooter from a year ago in Jamal Murray. He scored nine points and had two assists.
His shooting was more efficient in the second half, and he helped make sure that the Wildcats never relinquished the lead, which they gained with 13:27 left in the first half. He was efficient and lethal for the Cats, who needed his perimeter firepower, as he was the only Wildcat to hit a 3-pointer.
All the turnovers and missed jump shots from Michigan State only fueled Kentucky's lethal transition attack. Since the 1997-98 season the Spartans have played 206 games against ranked opponents. When you've made 19 straight NCAA tournaments, like Izzo has with Michigan State, you're obviously doing something right. The Spartans won three times.