College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Kentucky is loaded with talented freshmen. Getting them to play together as a cohesive unit is the goal of coach John Calipari, whose task becomes much easier when freshman guard, James Young, steps up and scores 26 points, snatches 10 rebounds, dishes five assists and makes a couple of steals, as he did Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.
Young's efforts propelled the Wildcats to a 85-63 blowout of visiting Mississippi State in their initial SEC game of the season.
Not particularly shapr from beyond the arc, Young hit just three of 10 three-pointers, but was 5-for-8 on two-point shots and dumped in seven of nine from the foul line, matching his career high and notching his second straight double-double.
Mississippi State led at the half, 40-37, but the Wildcats went on a 17-7 out of the break to take over the game and run away for the win. The Bulldogs dropped to 10-4; Kentucky improved to 11-3 overall.
The Wildcats embark on a two game road trip next, heading to Vanderbilt on the 11th and Arkansas on the 14th. Both the Commodores and Razorbacks are 0-1 in SEC play.
Around the Top 25, #4 Wisconsin used a first half, 20-point run to bury #23 Illinois, 95-70; #6 Wichita State matched the Badgers at 16-0 with a 66-47 win over Illinois State; #11 Oklahoma State topped Texas, 87-74; and, #8 Villanova cruised past Seton Hall, 83-67, the Wildcats improving to 14-1, their only loss to Syracuse.
#13 San Diego State held on for a 69-66 win over Boise State, but #21 Missouri was not as fortunate, losing to Georgia, 70-64, in overtime.