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10 Takeaways From A Game Kentucky Will Want To Forget

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

It’s late. Kentucky threw a clunker at Tennessee and lost for a third straight time in Knoxville. The game was very, very frustrating. Let’s get this over with and try to move on to a brighter day, ok?

10 takeaways…


1. Tennessee couldn’t stop P.J. Washington; unfortunately, the cramps could.

I don’t know if he would’ve been the difference in a win or a loss, but I think we were robbed of a good P.J. Washington performance. Washington had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting until the cramps set in and took him out of the game for good around the 12:00 mark in the second half. Up until that moment, he was taking the fight right to the Vols and they weren’t doing anything about it — they couldn’t do anything about it.

Coach Cal admitted after the game that he knew it was over when Washington came out because he was the best thing going for the Cats. Hopefully, Washington gained some much-needed confidence for the future in how he played before going out.

2. It would’ve been nice to have seen more Wenyen Gabriel, too.

We were also robbed of more Wenyen Gabriel due to foul trouble. He joined Washington in double-figuring scoring with 11 points and a career-high three three-pointers, but he fouled out of the game soon after Washington went out. The Cats could’ve used his hustle and shooting in those 12 minutes after he was gone.

3. Kevin Knox will want to smash this game tape with a hammer, back over it with a truck, soak it in gasoline, light it on fire, watch it burn to ashes, and then dump those ashes into the middle of the ocean.

I don’t mean to be too harsh on the kid but that’s about as kind as I can word it. Knox will never want this game to see the light of day again. He was so timid defensively and on the glass, and I don’t think he knows he’s allowed to step inside the three-point line when he has the ball on the other end. He bricked five three-balls on his way to a 1-for-9 night from the field, and he almost broke a sweat going for a rebound toward the end of the game, which led to him committing a foul and giving up a basket. If you saw the game, you know the one. It was easily his worst game of the season.

4. Hamidou Diallo is playing too much Hami-Ball.

Coach Cal recently said he has a couple of guys who are too worried about getting their own shots, and he was undoubtedly talking about Hamidou Diallo. Remember the Monmouth game when Diallo scored 23 and Cal raved about how he played better because he wasn’t trying to do too much? That Diallo didn’t make it home from New York. The Diallo we’ve seen these last few weeks is trying way too hard to get his.

5. What was that defense?

For all of the offensive inefficiencies, and there were many, the second half zone defense (if we can even call it defense) was the ugliest part of the game. Tennessee did whatever it wanted against UK’s zone to the point it looked like UK was letting them score. It was easy basket after easy basket after easy basket, often right at the rim with no challenge on the shot.

6. Calipari deserves some of the blame for the loss.


Because of that defense. Kentucky watched Tennessee score too many times before trying something different.

7. Quade Green showed some fight in the end, not that it mattered.

Only one person seemed to care in the final minutes of the game and that was Quade Green, who was doing all he could to get baskets when no one else could. It obviously wasn’t enough to fuel a comeback, but it did make him the third member of the double-figuring scoring column with a team-high 14 points.

8. The officials made themselves part of the game, per usual.

College basketball is almost unwatchable these days.

And I’ll probably get a double technical for writing that, but they’ll need 10 minutes to review it before making a decision and then they’ll still do the wrong thing.

9. Kentucky will go nowhere without Knox and Diallo playing better.

The Cats have plenty to fix moving forward, but nothing matters if Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo don’t play to their abilities. Without them, nothing else really matters because they’re the two most-talented players on the roster and (at one time) the “star NBA prospects,” and right now they’re doing absolutely nothing. Nothing.

10. Life will go on…

Kentucky is a much better team than what showed up in Knoxville. Maybe it was four games in eight days. Maybe it was a wild environment at Thompson-Boling Arena. Maybe Tennessee is just a tougher team that wanted it more. However you want to place the blame, there is still a lot of basketball to be played and this one can quickly be forgotten. And it should.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

64 responses to “10 Takeaways From A Game Kentucky Will Want To Forget”

  1. runningunnin.454

    At least we got to play a lot of zone,
    Of course, we could have saved time and just,
    told the refs “we give up” and got on the plane.

    1. Cokely53

      Seems like we played zone out of necessity and even though it clearly didn’t work we had to stick with it because of the rotation. Cal knows he can never play SKJ and Richards together yet he was forced to. Go to man we lose everyone to foul trouble. We are also just missing someone who can be “the guy” when things start falling apart. PJ tried being that guy and Knox was supposed to be it but no one really is it. This team feels a lot like the twins and Randle year where we have talent but no experience. Unfortunately that team had Randle who we could turn to and say go get us a bucket and this one doesn’t have anyone like that.

    2. timewilltell

      Tenn was tougher. Young team in the road didn’t match their intensity the second half. Actually backed down to the challenge. Can’t dwell on this game as TA&M comes to Lex.

  2. 4everUKblue

    All good points Drew.

    1. unbridled

      How dare you! Drew franklin was critical of U.K. in this article. You can’t just simply “agree.” That’s very hypocritical. You need to defend Cal, Knox, and diallo because drew gave his negative analysis. Why aren’t you challenging drew to apply for a coaching position?

    2. 4everUKblue

      again unbridled…you’re a Jagoff as Cal would say. Because Drew makes valid points in a professional manner unlike you who criticizes everything. Never see you say anything positive.

    3. unbridled

      Hey doof, you are a hypocrite and a sycophant. Look those terms up. I’ll wait.

  3. henderblue

    Well said Drew

  4. runningunnin.454

    Yeah, next time that want to take a basket from us, just take it, and don’t stop the game for ten minutes.

    1. callitlikeiseeit

      may have took to long but it was the right call but it was close, they did not just want to take a basket away. You must be one of the ones that always blame the refs when we lose. Go away

    2. 4everUKblue

      And you must be one of the ones who only shows up when we lose Callit. Get lost

    3. runningunnin.454

      Callit, how about your taking a long sabbatical, and learning basic English and punctuation. Trying to read your poorly written tripe gives me a migraine.

    4. Cokely53

      He’s a Louisville turd. He’s on every post saying the same thing just trying to get under people’s skin. Except they actually came out and publicly blamed the refs not us.

  5. blueandwhite9

    It was sickening to continue watching them score on our zone with no changes from Cal at all. So disappointing.

  6. katmandue2you

    Point on with everything Drew per usual. My biggest concern is Knox and Richards, as Knox has in my mind been showing a complete softness and lack of intensity. Richards seems to not be getting it as well. That’s the thing with these one and dones…you just never know when the light is gonna come on or if it will at all. Most usually it does…with Skal it never did. Hopefully Richards will be different. One things for sure…PJ Washington’s light is on. I see he and Alexander and Green as our leaders. Knox needs to step it up bigtime. He needs to learn the essence of the ole Cal adage….”your not making shots tonight so now what you gonna do to help us win?”. Knox answer so far this season is…”very damn little”. Dittos for Hami. Currrently he excels at stupid fouling after missing a shot. With all that said…in the big picture “I like my team!”

  7. RealCatsFan

    I was curious, so I looked up our season results from 2010-2011. We were a young team that lost almost all of its scoring from the previous year,and we did not have the services of what should have been a key player. Our freshmen were erratic most of the first half of the season, and we lost nearly every SEC road game. Sound familiar? We made the Final Four that year, and lost by a point to the eventual national champion. Never. Give. Up. On. The. Cats.

  8. CombatMedic_98

    Again, to beat the refs and the team on the court…? IMMPOSSIBLE

  9. CopenhagenCat

    Diallo plays no defense. He just runs around and wants the ball and then when he does it get he tries to force his way to the basket. As big as Richards is the guy should be a monster under the basket. But he plays like a sissy. Knox should be better than what he is. But he rushes his shots when he doesn’t need to.Gabriel can hit three’s but can’t pass at all. And does he even know how to rebound? The refs were awful. They let UT get back into the game and then UK just quit playing.I have no clue what defense Cal wants to play and I don’t think he does himself.There’s one thing of being young, but they are just being lazy. They should have won this game. Alexander should have took over the game. I trust him more than anyone on the floor.I’m hoping Vanderbilt comes back soon. They could use him.Love my CATS but they should have won this game. They just gave up.

    1. DelrayCat

      As stream of consciousness as this post is….you are dead on the money.

    2. RealCatsFan

      I agree with some of your points, but Wenyen doesn’t rebound? Go back and look at the LSU game and tell me that. And SGA was forcing things, as evidenced by 5 turnovers. Also, UT figured out his favorite left handed drive to the hoop. Time to figure out something else. Also, how many people have been crying for this team to play zone this year? Cal stayed with it out of necessity due to foul trouble abd PJ being out. Problem was it was very soft in the middle, probably again partially due to fatigue and foul trouble. Let’s just throw this one on the scrap heap and move on. If our boys don’t circle the rematch in Rupp on their calendars and come out with a fire to stomp these guys, then there is something wrong with them. They will lose some more games like this before the end of the season. They are teenage knuckleheads after all.

  10. DelrayCat

    After a couple of hours and a few drinks to think about it…..
    No matter what happen this season….
    This can still be a Top 5 team.
    The Talent is there.
    Just keep getting better, and once tourney time comes…a good draw.
    They got the pieces…just ain’t been there.

    1. DelrayCat

      They got as good a shot as anyone

    2. Luether

      After a couple of hours and a few drinks to think about it…..
      No matter what happen this season….
      This can still be a Top 100 team.
      The Talent is there.
      Just continue to take 1 step forward and 2 back…
      They got the pieces…just ain’t been there…

  11. jduty

    Knox is trash, he doesn’t get it and never will.

    1. BBNDan7

      Yeah let’s says “never will” after 15 games of his career. Good call

    2. RealCatsFan

      Go to bed – you’re drunk. I recommend coffee abd aspirin and lors of water for your hangover in the morning.

    3. 4everUKblue

      ^^^^ That and jump on another bandwagon.

  12. Angelo

    Rumors have been for two years that 2018 was going to be a bust…They are worth recording (DVR) but that is about it…Fast Forward is our salvation. Zion and Wilson are the future…

    1. RealCatsFan

      Unfortunately, Zion apparently wants to play at a football school where his step daddy played rather than win a National Championship at UK.

    2. Kat4Life

      Zion is not coming……no way.

    3. 4everUKblue

      Why would he want to come here and be criticized after every game because he didn’t live up to some people’s expectations?

  13. wyatts1

    Having trouble with the bigs on your ball team… Does it seem like the lack of 💓 and defense has taken your team outta the game?? Then boy do I have some news for you!! Let me introduce you to a gem on the bench who goes by the name of JARED VANDERBILT!! So say KABOOM to your energy needs, and 💓 issues, KABOOM to the defense issue, and …. Whatever you see where I’m going with this, give the kid a chance!!

  14. Truman Claytor

    For the first time in the Cal era, I don’t see a single guy I expect to see in an NBA uniform next year. Not saying some won’t enter the draft, or get there eventually…

    1. BBNDan7

      Yeah cause the NBA loves to pass up on 6’9” guys like Knox who can shoot

    2. Kat4Life

      I think you are right…….and Knox is softer than cotton balls. He ain’t going anywhere, except to UK’s bench if he doesn’t start playing.


    Remember our new year regression last season? The February 14th Game at Rupp against UT is when we turned the corner. Give them time…

  16. KayutsBy90

    I’m not saying that having Wynyard available wins us the game but I will make the argument that not having definitely accelerated our foul trouble, especially when PJ went out.

  17. Kat4Life

    I’m with you Drew……on every point, but most assuredly on Knox. I’m afraid we have another Poythress on our hands. Not nearly aggressive and tough enough for big time hoops……not saying he can’t grow a pair and become an SEC caliber forward, but he ain’t there yet……not even close. He should be embarrassed of himself for last night, he showed the world he’s a soft and timid player…..not a lot of those in the NBA…..hell, there’s not a lot of those on a typical high school team.

  18. 4everUKblue

    For those of you who think we are the only team struggling, read this article. Duke has a ton of talent, hands down the best talent in the country again this year.

    1. catsarerunnin

      If the KSR bandwagon fans were dUKe fans they would be screaming it’s over after every Blue Devil loss. But all that jumping on and off the bandwagon makes for great exercise.

    2. 4everUKblue

      Those bandwagon fans would have had to be institutionalized after dUKe’s loss to South Carolina last year.

  19. Kat4Life

    If you think that mediocre Tennessee team made us look like a team full of Sheldon Cooper’s…..just wait until we get Bob Huggin’s group in Morgantown in a couple of weeks…….West Virginia will punk us unmercifully if we don’t grow up. Knox and Diallo in particular.

    1. catsarerunnin

      Let’s please name you coach since you’re a completely qualified armchair expert.

    2. Kat4Life

      Not sure what you disagree with ?? Ya think WVU is a weak and timid team ? You think Morgantown is an easy place to play ? You think we are playing tough enough to win there ?? You think Diallo and Knox are playing to their capabilities ? Enlighten me please….what exactly do you disagree with ??

    3. catsarerunnin

      That it’s a forgone conclusion they will lose at WV. It’s certainly possible but not a sure thing. You can’t predict another game based on the results of one game. Get off the cliff.

    4. Luether

      WV will beat Ky like a red headed step child. In the 1st half, they’ll take the soft, young Cats apart limb by limb and then beat them to death with them in the 2nd half…

  20. kjd

    There’s hope for Knox because he actually has some basketball skills. Diallo is just an athlete that chose basketball to try to make millions.
    Some are saying Knox to the bench. Who on the bench is going to replace him?
    Want to talk about soft? Nick Richards.

  21. tippytoe

    If college basketball is unwatchable is because of Cal.
    The one and done has ruined the sport and the NBA is only thriving because there is actual talent to watch.
    Go to your local high school gym and you will see the same level of play as these Cats, with the exception of desire.

    1. jim tom


  22. makeitstop

    Can’t improve on that Drew… lot of blame to go around but more importantly a lot of work to do to fix it and no more camp cal to do do that, it’s got to be game to game. TAMU better get everything we got bc AT Vandy is always fun, no matter how ragged they are, AT USC we could see Cal set an ejection record if they play like this (and that WOULD be impressive) and then I’m sure the Gators would like to come shoot 3’s and ball hawk us on the point all night long. Bottom line, all games we should win, but playing without Knox and Diallo (and maybe Richards) we won’t. Those two need to need to roll down to Chevy Chase for a hangover omelet and pull it together fast. Silver lining: if they DO, the “role players” have gotten so good they have carried us to some wins, so the rest of the cast is ready to perform if the firm of Diallo, Knox and Richards decides to enter an appearance sometime this season.

  23. CatesDuncan

    Why are y’all so negative?!?! They’re human and they make mistakes

  24. classof68

    The UK trainer has obviously never heard of Pickle Juice shots, made by the Pickle Juice Co. They can get it at a lot of sporting goods stores. A little of that and P.J. would have been back in the game in 5 min. If they drank a couple shots before the game they wouldn’t get cramps during the game. Instead, they they sit on the bench and guzzle down stupid Gatorade which obviously doesn’t help much.

    1. kjd

      The football team needs the pickle juice too.

  25. 4everUKblue

    Name a coach you want to replace Cal.

    1. jim tom

      I’d take greg Marshall or Sean Mack when cal decides to retire

    2. 4everUKblue

      Marshall brings his alcoholic wife and do you think he could handle he criticism here? Who is Sean Mack? Why would anyone want to come here and face all these armchair coaches who are much smarter than them?

    3. jim tom


    4. 4everUKblue

      There is a Chris Mack at Xavier and a Sean Miller at AZ but I don’t know a Sean Mack.

  26. jim tom

    Reality is this is a bridge year. It is what is is. 2nd round loss in tourney. Sweet 16 at best

    1. 4everUKblue

      Thanks for your optimism Billy Ray Bob Tom

    2. jim tom

      Your welcome.

    3. 502CodeRed

      Bridge year? Bridge to what? One of the nations best recruiting classes to another top recruiting class? When are the results of this one and done recruiting going to pay off? That’s the real question. So far..not so good.

    4. catsarerunnin

      Well how bout your boy Ricky P?

  27. trumpetguy

    LOT off accurate statements,also many of BBN want to wish weren’t true. Poor shooting team, plain and simple. This will be a sore point the rest of the season. Teams know they can sag and play off Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander. Their points will come off drives to the hoop pretty much exclusively. Big issue last night was UT’s ability to simply pass the ball to FT line between G-A/Green in 2-3 zone. Cal wants them both wide, and out above 3 pt line defensively, leaving gaping hole between them. UT consistently passed directly in there, forcing middle defender up, and with back two defenders also spread wide, bounce passes to cutters on the blocks were the result. Really need some jump shooters bad, aka, Murray, Delk, Booker, Lamb types. Cal’s apparent insistence to driving the ball isn’t going to be very effective with defenders already waiting there. Frankly, I’m confused why most teams just don’t play a tight, constricted shell zone and force UK to make perimeter shots. Fully expect difficulty scoring in half-court to continue.