Kentucky looked to have its hands full at half time when NJIT was unleashing everything they had on the Wildcats. Kentucky found the style of ball they needed to play and coasted toward the finish.
The Highlanders came out firing on all cylinders, hitting their first 6-7 shots and held a lead halfway through the first half. After a timeout Kentucky regained the lead and never looked back.
Isaiah Briscoe made his career debut for the Wildcats after being out with a bruised knee. The freshmen guard showed out on the boards grabbing 12 rebounds to go with 11 points.
John Calipari played a lineup of four freshmen multiple times in the game. Calipari is back to his old tactics after a year of looking more experienced.
The Wildcats won the rebounding battle 54-23. The 31+ margin marks the highest rebounding margin in the Calipari era. The hustle from Kentucky players on the glass makes them look impossible to box out.
Perimeter shooting was a problem for both of the squads. NJIT got off to a hot start nailing their first two threes but cooled off and finished 5-19 from behind the arc. Kentucky similarly finished 5-21 for a poor shooting night from deep.
This Kentucky team showed it won't rely only on its shooting. The 'Cats had 38 points in the paint after figuring out their shooting woes. Kentucky shows they can beat teams inside and out on offense.
Even with Kentucky still figuring things out, a momentous win helps these young 'Cats going into their blue-blood showdown with Duke in Chicago.
Kentucky learned that any team will come out ready to beat them, how they handle that kind of pressure will make or break the entire season.
Skal Labissiere- Labissiere easily was the best player on the floor for either team. Scoring 18 of his 26 points in the first half and looked virtually unstoppable. He added five rebounds to his 10-12 performance.
Damon Lynn- Lynn looked ready to sink these Wildcats and pull off a bigger upset than he did a year ago when NJIT downed Michigan in Ann Arbor. Lynn hit deep threes to begin the game for the Highlanders and finished with 19 points on 4-9 shooting from the perimeter.
Ky Howard- Howard was the only Highlander without blemishes on his stat sheet. The guard had 13 points on 4-8 shooting and hit his only 3-point attempt.
Derek Willis- Willis put up all 11 of his points in the second half after his first career start. The junior showed out for the second game hitting 3-4 from downtown.
Isaiah Briscoe- The guard didn't get his normal starting spot, but still showed out regardless. Briscoe had 11 points and 12 rebounds on 5-11 shooting. Even Kentucky guards can rebound the ball.
#2 Kentucky - #4 Duke, Champions Classic 11/17/15
NJIT at South Florida 11/16/15