Was extremely impressed with sophomore Daimion Collins, the 6’9 prospect from Texas. After averaging just under three points last year, this could be a breakout-type season for the sophomore. His explosiveness and bounce caught the eyes of many, finishing at the rim, but it was his overall impact in my opinion that impressed. Not only finishing at the rim but he was able to show his ability to score in other ways, use his length to his advantage, block shots and make his presence felt on the defensive end and his impact on the boards. The former 5-star prospect could be in for a big year.
Senior Oscar Tshiebwe looked to be right where he left off, finishing with 17 points in the win. He continues to be such a strong presence in the paint and will now be that veteran leader the Wildcats will need this year. He showed his bounce and ability to finish at the rim but he also showcased great touch in the paint and scoring more consistently, something he has only continued to improve since the start of his career.
The freshmen played really well in this game. Cason Wallace had more of a veteran presence than as a freshman, finding ways to score the ball, and showcasing his athleticism and his ability to make plays. But as the announcers said, he was strong on the defensive end, playing with energy and playing with awareness. Chris Livingston quietly had a strong showing as well, finishing 4-for-7 from the floor, three 3-pointers, scoring 11 points, and recording eight rebounds and four assists. If Livingston can bring this production to the table, it will help in a big way for the Wildcats, especially when it comes to depth.
Senior Antonio Reeves shoots the ball with a ton of confidence. Quick release and shot the ball with a ton of confidence from outside. He started all 33 games at Illinois State and with this group at Kentucky, he should help in stretching the floor and providing that outside threat.
I’m also interested in seeing what Jacob Toppin can do this year. He played in 29 games last year but only saw four starts. But when he stepped on the court, he quickly stood out with his 6’9 long, athletic frame. He moves well on the floor, showcased his explosiveness, and can play/operate from multiple positions. There is room and opportunities for Toppin this year and if he can take advantage, it will be a huge plus.