It happened again.
No. 6 Kentucky put up 100 points on an overmatched opponent again. Malik Monk had 26 of them. De’Aaron Fox and Isaiah Briscoe combined for 28 of them in addition to their 13 assists. As a team, the Wildcats shot 13-for-25 from three; Briscoe, who has struggled with his shot throughout his time in Lexington, made all three of his attempts.
But the thing that is worrying about that performance – for Kentucky opponents as well as fans of the SEC in general – is that it didn’t come against some mid-major program we won’t hear from again this season.
It came against Texas A&M.
The same Texas A&M that some projected as a top two team in the Big 12 this season. The same Texas A&M that was still thought of as one of the top four teams in the league entering Tuesday night.
That’s not a good sign for the SEC that the fourth-best team in the league can lose to Kentucky 100-58, is it?
But it’s also worth noting here that this is the nightmare matchup for the Aggies.
Texas A&M doesn’t have an eligible point guard on the roster, at least one that’s good enough to deal with what Kentucky is throwing at them. Freshman J.J. Caldwell was expected to be the guy that handled the ball this season, but he was ruled academically ineligible before the year. Kentucky is not only one of the best defensive teams in the country, they have arguably the single-best on-ball defender in the sport in Fox.
And what Kentucky wants to do defensively is utilize the myriad of crazy athletes in their back court to make running offense difficult. Combine that with a team not having a natural point guard and what you get is Texas A&M turning the ball over on 40.5 percent of their possessions in the first half.
In other words, I think this game says more about the matchup itself than it does about either team.
And that’s a good thing for the SEC. This is a Power 5 Conference that sent three teams to the NCAA tournament last season. It’s not a good look that the team we all thought would be fourth-best team in the league can’t keep it as close with the Wildcats as Stephen F. Austin, Canisius, Duquesne, Cleveland State, Tennessee-Martin, Valparaiso and Hofstra could.