How De'Aaron Fox Manipulated UCLA's Defense

Fox dropped a new NCAA freshman record of 39 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the floor, along with making 13-of-15 from the free throw line and led the 'Cats to their sixth Elite Eight in the last eight seasons.

"It didn't matter if it was Aaron Holiday (the defender who gets screened by Bam up above) or Lonzo Ball himself, UCLA couldn't defend the pick-and-roll at all on Friday night and when you have a 6'10", 260-pound screener, it makes life hard for big men when their guards are getting wiped out of plays.

Although history between the two college powerhouses is well-documented, the showdown centered on point guards Fox (Kentucky) and UCLA freshmen phenom Lonza Ball, both projected first-round National Basketball Association lottery picks.

Headlines from Hazard to Hollywood will celebrate the dazzling play of De'Aaron Fox, the freshman point guard who scored 39 for the Wildcats.

Kentucky's freshman duo of De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 60 of the Wildcats' 86 points. He was 1-of-6 from behind the arc.

Kentucky will now take on the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels in the South Regional final Sunday.

Playing top-seeded North Carolina in the regional final Sunday. He didn't score in the first 12 minutes and then finished with 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting. "I mean, I just attribute that to all my teammates".

"Today, we really picked it up defensively", he said.

The teams have already met this season, with UCLA pulling off the road win at Rupp Arena 97-92 back in December.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Star UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball says he's one and done at UCLA and headed to the next level. UCLA entered the game leading Division I in five offensive categories, including assists, as it averaged a whopping 21.6 per game.

Against a UCLA team that has run teams out of the gym all season long, Fox maintained a pace that led Kentucky to good looks on offense, and more importantly, kept the Bruins out of transition.

On a night when Adebayo was surprisingly unproductive (just two points and four boards), Fox and Monk carried Kentucky with 60.

Ball enjoyed a great season at UCLA. Bruins C Thomas Welsh played just 18 minutes before fouling out with 5:58 remaining, finishing with nine points and seven rebounds.

If Lonzo Ball is the next Magic Johnson, what does that make De'Aaron Fox?

Maybe it was nerves or so many freshmen, but Kentucky led 36-33 at halftime after a first half that wasn't close to the fast-paced pace expected. The losing side made 63 percent of its second-half shots and somehow was outscored 50-42.

But this Kentucky victory was more than simply a case of Fox turning Ball upside/down as well as over and out. Second thing is he goes to the rim, and I know if he gets hit, he can still make it.

He made 13 of 20 field goal attempts, including 6 of 8 in the second half. Two younger sons are also talented, up-and-coming players.

T.J. Leaf, who could also follow Ball as a one-and-done, and Isaac Hamilton each tallied 17 points for the Bruins. It wasn't a great game from Ball in the first meeting either.

This is just the beginning of the accolades for Ball, who is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy and one of 15 finalists for the Wooden Award, college basketball's top two individual awards. "We learned that we had to do a better job of coaching defense, and we had to get them to understand transition defense better, playing elbows and blocks better, taking more pride in defense", Calipari said.

  • Julie Sanders