De’Aaron Fox is back.
It seemed like it yesterday, when Kentucky knocked off Georgia to get to the semifinals of the SEC tournament, and it’s official this afternoon, as Kentucky’s star point guard scored 19 of his 28 points in the second half of a hard-fought, 79-74 win over No. 5 seed Alabama to get to the finals of the SEC tournament.
The critical stretch came midway late in the half, when Fox scored nine straight points as Alabama’s defense was able to bog down Kentucky offensively. It finally created some separation for the Wildcats, who had been unable to pull away from the Tide all afternoon.
It’s also worth noting that Kentucky’s Malik Monk shook off his struggles as well. Monk, who has scored more than 20 points in a half six times this season and went for 47 points in a game in December, had scored all of eight points in his last two games. He had two points on 1-for-7 shooting on Friday, but Saturday saw Monk drop 20, shoot 6-for-14 from three and knock down a pair of threes.
This isn’t exactly breaking news here, but Kentucky’s back court is as good as any back court in the country … when they play well.
Those are the two guys that are going to give them a chance to make a run this month.
And regardless of whether or not the Wildcats bring home the SEC tournament trophy tomorrow afternoon, it looks like those two are back to being a dominant force.
For a program that bases the success of a season on whether or not they get to the Final Four and win a national title, that’s a very, very good sign.