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Morning Rapid Fire: Quick Hitters About Last Night’s Loss


Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The KSR office is running on fumes today after the world’s longest basketball game kept us up way past our bedtime and the post-game obligations kept us up way later than that. But the coffee’s hot and the takes are hotter, so let’s get right to them in this speed round of morning takeaways from the game.

 

Jarred Vanderbilt: Finally, the speculation is over! Vanderbilt entered the game with more energy and excitement than Ryan Lemond at a t-shirt giveaway, but once he settled down and got those nerves under control, dude looked good. He’s going to need some time before he’s caught up, but we got a little taste of what he can become when he’s ready, and he is just what the team needs.

Officiating: No comment, per company policy.

Hamidou Diallo: The hell is he doing? Between that idiotic foul and forgetting he has teammates whenever he has the ball, Diallo was South Carolina’s second best player last night. It’s too bad Kentucky doesn’t have another guard right now because Diallo needs to take a seat until he can get himself under control. Archie Goodwin thinks he’s too selfish.

Diallo’s Foul: South Carolina outscored Kentucky by 22 points after Diallo committed the foul, which he then denied to Calipari on the bench, like we didn’t all see it.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Worst game since the haircut.

Quade Green: Come back soon.

20 years: It has been 20 years since Kentucky committed that many fouls (32) in a non-overtime game. Three Wildcats fouled out and three others had four.

Chris Silva: South Carolina’s sophomore forward was as good as advertised and more. He should really consider the NBA this spring because I don’t have any interest in seeing him in a UK-South Carolina game again. What he did to poor Wenyen was just wrong.

What the f*** are you doingCal seemed to be mad at someone when the TV camera went in for a close-up in the second half.

Nick Richards: Richards had his second best game in the scoring column; unfortunately, his missed dunk overshadows his five made baskets.

Free throws: No team deserves to win when it hits only 23 of 36 at the stripe. To make matters worse, South Carolina’s big guy with the funny hair hit four in a row when he hasn’t hit four in a row in his entire life.

Three-point shooting: I can’t remember sweating out the streak so far into a game. Luckily, Knox hit a three-pointer to keep it alive; on the contrary, Knox was the only player to hit a three-pointer and he went 1-for-8 from beyond the arc. This team is in desperate need of a steady outside shot.

Florida: Saturday is a must-win game now. It was a need-to-win game until last night; now a Kentucky victory is a must. UK can’t drop any home games from here on out and it’ll need to steal a couple of road wins, too.

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

38 responses to “Morning Rapid Fire: Quick Hitters About Last Night’s Loss”

  1. secrick

    The only must win games are when the NCAA trnt. starts.

  2. schymad

    “Archie Goodwin thinks he’s selfish.” Funny…I was thinking the same thing last night. Goodwin WAS my least favorite Cal recruit……Welcome to that spot Diallo!!

  3. ClutchCargo

    Thanks for encouraging the idiot portion of our fanbase, Drew.

    1. Kat4Life

      As a card-carrying member of the idiot portion of our fanbase I take offense to that ! But seriously…..Drew hit many nails on the head. Get those rose-colored glasses off and take a hard look at this team.

    2. Cat68

      BOOM! Nailed it, Kat4Life!

    3. ClutchCargo

      I actually don’t disagree with what he said. But maybe step back from the ledge and not freak out over a regular season college basketball game. Of course it was a bad loss, but this team will get it going in the next few weeks.

    4. kjd

      What, specifically, points to this team turning it around?

    5. Kat4Life

      Peace……lot’s of frustration, and for good reason. When you get a team down 14 points on its home court you have to close it, SEC road wins will be very tough for this team. Particularly if Hami continues to get starter mins…….he is a liability to the team in my opinion. Ball hog who doesn’t play defense and cannot shoot…..not much of a market for that in the NBA. This guy will be playing pro ball in another country…..if he’s lucky.

  4. Cat68

    Talk about not very smart, Hami grabs the dude’s shorts with the ref not more than a foot away and still wants to deny he fouled him. Hopefully Cal doesn’t go all Harrison twins and leave him in the rotation out of loyalty.

    1. Han

      The problem with Hami is the same as the problem with Archie. We don’t have enough guards. Green is injured. Baker’s injured and hasn’t played. That leaves SGA, Hami, Brad, and them walk-ons. Once Vando gets into the flow maybe he can basically play guard for us, but if SGA’s out of a game for a breather or fouls, who’s running the point/handling the ball? Hami, Brad, or Knox at this point. Cal can’t afford to sit Hami til he starts playing more selflessly and under control. If he does, we drop even more games, and we’ve seen how Kentucky fans feel about losses.

  5. kycats13

    Right now this team reminds me of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” Too, how can players this tall continue to miss dunks?

    1. Han

      The same way they miss easy rebounds and block outs. Lack of focus and effort.

  6. secrick

    Kat4Life, I am right there with you . Some people think only their opinion matters.

  7. TJY

    Lose a game on the road in a tough atmosphere and this site loses it’s mind. Do you want to know what I saw last night? I saw a lot of players connect the dots last night. What dots? The “if I don’t play better Vando will take my minutes” dots. I’m hoping his pass first mentality will spread through the team like wildfire. If we passed more, we would dunk more. It would also free up our shooters. Am I the only one who noticed we had a team that was 6’6′, 6’9″, 6’9″, 6’9″,6’11”? How exciting is that? I mean we could legitimately play Vando, PJ, Knox, Wenyen and Nick/Sasha together.

    Did we lose the game? Sure. Watch how a healthy Vanderbilt will change the team mindset. They will either listen to Cal, or sit the bench. I’m excited, I’ll take the L in exchange.

    1. secrick

      I like the way your thinking.

    2. ClutchCargo

      Exactly the point that I tried, and failed, to make clear.

    3. mj7juice

      Preach. My only concern is defensive fundamentals & defensive effort.

    4. Aar

      Take us to church! Full agreement.

    5. CatsfaninFL

      Fully agree. I would also add, see 2011 and 2014 teams for how bad you can look in January (and even February) before making stellar turn arounds. Enjoy the process.

    6. kjd

      There was NO enjoyment in last night’s process.

    7. Han

      Plus SGA, Hami and Knox are all looking to get to the rim/create their own shot before they look for the pass. While SGA is the more dynamic player, Green was the better “floor general” so if we get him back, that change of pace for SGA will help.

    8. Catsby80

      While I appreciate your optimism, there’s still nothing wrong with being upset that a team as talented as this one blew a 14 point lead with 12 minutes to play. I agree that Vanderbilt brings a piece to this team that is incredibly needed, but there’s nothing wrong with fans being sick and tired of watching Diallo play like he’s back on the blacktops in New York. I am extremely hopeful that Vanderbilt’s pass-first mentality seeps into some others on this team, but consider me skeptical. Diallo is very much out there to get his own right now.

      I was talking to my friend about Diallo the other day and he made a good point when I compared him to Archie. He said that Archie was selfish almost out of necessity because the talent was not there (especially after Nerlens’ injury), but Diallo is selfish on a team loaded with talent. That’s what make his circumstances incredibly infuriating.

    9. kjd

      Free up our shooters……who might they be.

    10. TJY

      KJD – they all shoot better when they are wide open but specifically talking about going inside out to Quade, Knox or Wenyen.

      Catsby80 – I agree it is ok to be upset after a loss. I just don’t see this as the sky is falling as some seem to. IMO we are playing zone more because we are trying to preserve Shai’s legs. When Quade is back, I’m betting we go back to mostly man to man. Sure we still allow a lot of straight line drives, but I do think we will get better defensively.

      With Vando, and the length we already have, if we buy in (including Hami) we can hang our hats on defense. If Hami doesn’t buy in, he will get lost and find fewer and fewer minutes to play. I really think he sees the end of the season coming quickly and is trying to push too hard. If he passed more, he would find some passes back to him and he would get back on sporstscenter.

  8. CatsfaninFL

    We had a game in 05 or 06 against those stellar UF teams where we were getting the doors blown off us and we hit our first (and only) 3 with right around a minute to go. Also, wasn’t the UK/WVU game in 2010 tourney also super late when we hit or one and only 3?

    1. Han

      We’ve had a few “last 2 minutes” type 3s in the last decade, for sure.

      (Before anyone says a decade is a long ass time, Cal’s been here almost 10 years.)

  9. BallDontLie

    This team needed to be reminded that they haven’t accomplished anything. They seem to think that the end result is more important than how it looked getting there. And yes, you take the wins no matter how ugly. But you can’t fool everyone, You can beat vandy and a&m and lsu and Georgia, but everyone else beats those teams too. But nothing humbles athletes more than losing. We have seen this team try to choke away their last two wins in the last minutes, and last night it caught up with them. Good, winning while being sloppy also creates bad habits, never want too many but Cal can use this and it may be the perfect time for the loss with a player getting healthy who will now challenge for minutes and another who will be getting his normal minutes as soon as he is healthy. Cal will be able to use the bench as a teaching tool and certain guys will be able to operate under the assumption that if they don’t change they won’t play as much.

  10. rainman

    Jared came in and solidified himself as the best passer on the team!
    Whatever being the best passer on a terrible pa team gets you?

  11. Booby Petrino

    Laughing at all the ‘sky is falling’ commenters. A healthy Quade and more experience for JV and this team will be a force. In Cal I trust.

    1. kjd

      I’m laughing because you stated we’re going to be a force.

    2. Alex90

      Agreed. That was Vanderbilts first game action in almost a year and impressed. Add in a healthy Qyluade and maybe even a shooter in Baker in a few weeks and all the pieces are there. This is a team of freshman and they still haven’t played a game with all pieces available and have shown flashes of what it “could be”.

    3. kjd

      Baker is not playing this year.
      “Flashes” don’t get you to the Final Four or #9, maybe Sweet 16…….

    4. Alex90

      Again they still haven’t played 1 game with a full roster so flashes show what they can be come March. The best teams don’t always reach the final 4 look at South Carolina last year or UK in past seasons. Just watch the games and cheer on your team

  12. kjd

    Drew: there is no steady, outside shot showing up this season.

    1. trumpetguy

      Season about half way over, many issues for our team obviously, but here is one that coaches can correct. Of the core guys who play most minutes, and taken the most 3s, Knox has attempted almost 2X as many 3s as anyone else on the team, but now at a paltry 30%, he is the WORST. Even us guys who don’t know s*** understand we had much rather have a 35-45% shooter take more shots than a 30% shooter?!?! Long shots often result in long rebounds and easy transition baskets on the other end. Granted, the more one shoots, greater chance for % to drop, but this disparity is not conducive to win 4-5-6 games in a row in March.

  13. Alex90

    Even if you don’t think they’re good right now just sit back and cheer on your team to get better because they will only continue to improve. If you say you’re done with this team you aren’t a UK fan you’re just a fan of winning.

  14. RC

    Been fortunate to see this team play live twice in a week (TXAM & USC). Lower level seats with good view of the action. Biggest concern for me is this team- as a whole- is lazy and just doesn’t play hard. Cal is 100% correct about the “toughness” issue. They don’t know how to play smart, tough basketball and I’m not sold they’ll figure it out.

    That being said- Vanderbilt was tremendous last night and if he continues to play with same energy he’ll make a big difference on this team.

  15. CATastrophic

    Young Mr. Diallo is currently a severe hindrance to this team’s improvement. How he can watch game film and see otherwise is a total mystery to me. Is it necessary to look any further than to ask: When was the last time (…errrrr…first time…) anyone has observed Diallo give the ball up on a fast break, contested or otherwise? Even if only for the simple purpose of demonstrating his willingness to involve his teammates? He may not be the “worst” player on this team, but his is far and away the worst “team player” on this team. Until he recognizes this…and I continue to believe that he ultimately will although it did somehow continued to elude Goodwin’s attention during his stint here…these current Cats will continue to struggle more often than not, when he is on the floor. C’mon Hamidou, watch some freakin’ tape and IMPROVE YOUR GAME. Btw, the NBA is watching, so is China, Turkey, Spain, Bulgaria and the local YMCA.