Sunday, March 6, 2011

Growing Up is Hard to Do: Weekend Wrap Up

I couldn't find a picture of Knight abusing a Volunteer player so I found the next best thing.

Coach John Calipari said that his team grew up today against Tennessee. I agree. If you would have told me that Kentucky would be down 7, had only 22 points with Brandon Knight only scoring 3 of those points, and would be shooting under 30%, all at the half, and would win I would have laughed. Glad I'm not laughing.

My thoughts:

  • DeAndre Liggins was the only player to show up in the first half with any fire or desire. Calipari told his team at half time that they better play with some heart and they responded for the first time all during SEC play on the road. Thank goodness Liggins wanted to play.

  • Brandon Knight scorched the Vols in the second half, scoring 16 of his 19 points. He was on fire from the three. I can't imagine how good he will be for us if he stays for next year.

  • What can I say about Darius? Miller had another solid game with 15 points and hit a major 3 point shot near the end of the game to create some space between them and Tennessee. His 15 points on the road shows that he has his confidence back. That's five straight games that he has scored in double digits.

  • Eloy Vargas had 3 points, 1 rebound and a solid block. By far his best game of the season. Eloy actually has looked like somewhat of a basketball player the past two games!

  • Harrellson was craptastic until the last 4 or so minutes. He had key offensive and defensive rebounds. That scrappy guy that all the fans love came to play at the right time.

  • Terrence Jones got another double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds but a lot of it was ugly. Jones is about as frustrating of a player as the Cats have. His shot is inconsistent and he makes dumb plays. But when he was on, and he was in the second half, he is fun to watch and impossible to stop.

  • When Liggins fouled out I thought it was curtains. But the Cats persisted and out hustled Tennessee.

  • The Cats ended their conference play by beating the best three teams in the SEC back-to-back-to-back. Talk about going into the tournament with a boost. The bye is a HUGE deal. Resting our 6 stars before a possible three game in a row stretch is crucial.

  • This could have been the last game for Bruce Pearl against the Cats in Knoxville. Good riddance.

UK will play the winner of Ole Miss and South Carolina in their first SEC tournament game. Part of me wants to play the Rebs again for a little bit of revenge but either one will be fine. The Cats are 3-1 on a nuetral floor this season. They defeated Notre Dame, Washington and Oklahoma but lost to UConn when Kemba Walker was unstoppable. I like our chances in Catlanta.

Quick thoughts on the Louisville loss: not a big deal. They still have a double bye. The Cards got screwed for the second year in a row on a phantom out of bounds call in Morgantown. That being said, the Cards ran some poor offensive plays near the end and the Preston Knowles foul was a foul. And it was a dumb foul. Rick Pitino declined to talk to the media and let Ralph Willard do it because Ricky Three Stacks is a snivelling, whining, punk baby. Yes, he is a punk baby. Talk to the media, it's part of your job.

The tough part for Louisville is that they may have to face West Virginia again in New York for their first Big East tournament game. Their first could be their last.

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