UK Hoops lost to UGA 56-42 today, making this their eighth consecutive loss in a row. Nope, that’s not a typo, they have lost eight games in a row. And no, we haven’t been just playing UCONN continuously, we’ve been losing to the likes of Florida Gulf Coast and Middle Tennessee. So what exactly is the problem with this team? After today’s loss, I’ve got some ideas.
After coming off an almost win against Texas A&M I expected better today. Maci Morris had a season best 22 points against the Aggies and Cann hit four threes. It seemed like things were going in the right direction. They were not. Today, Morris barely showed up scoring only nine points and going 0-3 on three point shooting. Morris didn’t even play in the fourth, she sat out with ice on her knee due to a knee contusion. Mitchell said they are waiting to see if this is going to be a long term injury or not.
Mackenzie Cann had a whopping 10 points – which makes her the leading scorer.Taylor Murray didn’t show up at all. She only got on the board with 4 rebounds. Yikes.
“We were just missing simple baskets,” said Jaida Roper. “If we make them, that’s game.”
But they haven’t been making them, for eight games in a row now.
“We gotta regroup and try to march forward, it’s not good right now,” said Matthew Mitchell. “We gotta persevere here, and get things turned around.”
Overall, the Cats finished shooting 20%. T-W-E-N-T-Y! TWO ZERO! How? It’s not like UGA was shutting them down, either. They played awful, too. The Dawgs finished shooting 28%, they didn’t win the game, they were just less bad than we were. It was terrible on both sides, which makes this loss even more embarrassing. When your opponent is shooting that bad, and you’re fighting to not lose your eighth game in a row, you should be shooting better than 20%. End of story. It’s as if this team has no fight, no strength or aggression. There’s been a lapse somewhere between the beginning of December and now. Where’s the team that gave Murray and Maci their best scoring games? Where’s the team that killed Evansville on the defensive boards?
The Cats have been notorious during this losing stretch for falling apart in the third quarter. Today, going into the half it was 26-24 UGA. At the end of the third, it was 35-29. Kentucky only scored five points in this quarter. There was point where we were one of 18 and shooting 9%. Against Texas A&M, we got outscored in third 9-4. During the Tennessee game, we came into the third down 31-20, the Vols annihilated us – extending the lead to 20 points just in the third. In the MTSU game, Kentucky only hit five of 17 shots in the third. Why is this team falling apart in the third? When asked about this horrible pattern, Matthew Mitchell didn’t have an answer.
“I will keep searching and trying to figure that out,” said Mitchell “I don’t know what’s happening there but it’s not good.”
Matthew Mitchell is in his 11th season at Kentucky and is the winningest coach in the program. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy and his love for Kelly Clarkson and fine shoes, but it’s time to stop saying “I don’t know.” If he hasn’t fixed this team yet, when will he? How many losses in a row is it going to take? UK Hoops is now 0-3 in SEC play and with teams like South Carolina and Mississippi State on the schedule twice, it doesn’t look like things are going to look up.