When we last saw the Cats, they were getting a lesson on what the road is going to be like in the S.E.C. A normally half packed arena was full and created a lot of energy, a team that normally shoots 64% from the line makes 30 of 34, shots that usually don’t fall for Georgia, fell. Shots that UK normally make, rim in and bounce out. Get the picture??… All of these things added up to a Georgia victory 77-70, in the first SEC tilt for both teams.
You could tell from the beginning that Georgia was on its A game and things were going to be difficult for the Cats. Georgia’s offense ran smoothly as UK struggled to get off or around the picks that were being set by the Bulldogs, which led to either easy lay ups or wide open shots. Trey Thompkins led the Bulldogs with 25 points and 7 rebounds and was a terror both offensively and defensively. Thompkins frustrated Miller, Harrellson and early on frustrated Jones down in the post.
Offensively for the Cats, they reverted back to panicking a little when they got down, there were a lot of one on one forced shots and they consistently forgot to kick the ball out to the open man, therefore only 9 assists. Through all the things that were going right for Georgia and going wrong for the Cats, Kentucky still battled and battled to their credit and stayed right with the Dawgs. Terrence Jones, frustrated early by Thompkins and foul trouble, led the Cats with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Mr. reliable, Doron Lamb came off the bench to tally 18 of his own points.
Another good lesson from the Cats as they can once again learn from their defeat, we have to keep in mind the youthfulness of Kentucky and the lack of interior game that will rear its ugly head every now and then, especially when taking on an experienced big man like Thompkins. The Cats will get revenge though in a few weeks when the Dawgs come to Rupp though.
Tonight the Cats take on the 7-8 Auburn Tigers, who have to be tired after watching their football team bring home the national championship last night well beyond midnight. Coach Cal is set to take on his former player Tony Barbee for the 1st time in SEC play, so it’ll be interesting to see how they match wits. Auburn is (as usual) rebuilding a bit and are a hot and cold team, witnessed by them knocking off a decent Florida State team then losing a couple of days later to a down LSU team. I expect Kentucky rebound from their loss this weekend with an Impressive game tonight. Usually when the Cats take one on the chin, they bounce right back up! I look for the Cats to take out the Tigers 82-65.
GO BIG BLUE!!!!!