First off, I’d like to send my condolensces to the Calapari family for the loss of his mother and her battle with cancer. It has to be tough for Coach Cal to go through this while trying to prepare for this game, so my thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones.
The last time we chatted, we all were on a high after the Cats took down Washington in an impressive perfomance. One day later, after UCONN destroyed Kentucky, and now there are all of a sudden, a lot of kinks in the armor.
We found out, that if Brandon Knight goes to the bench with foul trouble, there is not a particulary good backup. Doron Lamb struggled mightily getting the ball up the court, and Deandre Liggins was not impressive either. The flow of the offense came to a halt and without a big guy to dump the ball into to try to get an easy basket, things just got out of hand in a hurry. Kentucky took on a different/selfish persona as each person tried to drive to the hole and ran into 2 or 3 UCONN defenders. Kentucky has played so unselfishly early on that this caught me by surprise, but that’s what young teams do, they panic. We also learned that Terrance Jones can’t go to the bench for extended minutes as well. Although he had another monster night with 24 points, a 3 point UCONN lead swelled to 21 in no time once he went out.
On a brighter note, the Cats made 15-20 free throws, and Jones made 8-9, which is very encouraging and will help as we go along in the season because i was fearing that teams would eventually start fouling Jones if he continued at his 50 clip from the line. Sometimes alot of good things come with losses, it makes you take a step back and realize that you are NOT unbeatable and that you need to bring your “A” game every night to win. We’ll see what kind of changes have occured in the Kentucky camp tonight when they face a 4-3 Boston U team. I really don’t expect much of a challenge, as in Boston U surprising UK and making them gut out a win, but it will be nice to see UK run some offense, not panic and get back to playing unselfishly. Defensively they’ll need to shut down John Holland who averages 17 per game and can knock down the 3. Up until the UCONN game, UK had done a nice job of shutting down the opponents number 1 option, but Kemba Walker will not be on the court tonight, thank gosh… UK’s defensive pressure should force bad shots which will lead to some transition buckets which Kentucky excells in.
I say Cats 88 Boston U 65
GO BIG BLUE!!