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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

10 Sunday Leftovers

Hopefully everyone else is feeling much better on this Sunday morning than you were just a week ago. My how the times have changed, huh? We’ve talked about the game in detail a lot here on KSR, but let’s go over 10 quick leftovers from last night’s game…

1. Kentucky gained much-needed momentum toward the tournament in front of a huge audience

The crowd was big in Rupp Arena last night, but more eyes than those of Big Blue Nation were watching carefully to see how the post-Nerlens Wildcats would fare against a top-50 Missouri team at home on the biggest stage. The Cats passed the test with flying colors. The Cats not only won the game, but they passed the “eye-test” as well. For various spurts during that game last night, Kentucky looked like a team that could catch fire and pose a threat to anyone in their path in the month of March. For a stretch in the beginning of the second half, Kentucky was hitting on all cylinders offensively, and looked as good as they have all season. Kentucky scored 16 points in the first 4:25 of the half to erase Missouri’s lead heading into the first TV timeout. The point is, Kentucky looked good and on a weekend when a few teams on the bubble took major steps back…Kentucky plunged forward. And like I said, everyone was watching.

2. Julius Mays is 1st Team All-Glue, perhaps All-American All-Glue

Kentucky doesn’t win that game last night without Julius Mays. In fact, you could probably say that about a lot of Kentucky’s wins this season. Mays, the eldest statesman on the team, affectionately known as “Uncle Julius,” has quite simply put this team on his back. Mays shined no brighter last night than in the most crucial moments when his team needed him the most. Every time Missouri was about to completely pull the rug out from under Kentucky and  steal the momentum, Mays answered with a big play–usually in the form of a 3-pointer. No play was perhaps bigger than when Missouri had just re-taken a 2-point lead. Kentucky came down the court and appeared to be in trouble late in the shot clock. Had Kentucky not come away with points in that moment, Missouri might have been able to turn the tables for good. Instead, Mays did something only a savvy veteran would think to do. Mays stepped into his man and drew a foul on a three point shot. Mays connected on 2 of the 3 free throws to keep Kentucky at serve with the Tigers.

Julius Mays’ post-game comments, and his teammates’ post-game comments only further add to the legend of Uncle Julius, this team’s “glue guy.”  After a strong first half performance, point guard Ryan Harrow began to show signs of being fragile again– making a few questionable decisions. Calipari was ready to let his point guard know when Mays stepped in, feeling that it might be better coming from him. Mays was able to reach Harrow and keep him on board to finish the game when it was in the most intense moments. Mays not only spoke like a true leader, but like a leader who knows his teammates– who has a finger on the pulse of what this young team needs…

“We didn’t need to lose Ryan. We needed Ryan. So I stopped Coach and I told him, “I got him.’ So I got on Ryan and he accepted the coaching from me. ” How much do you think Calipari appreciates the presence of a guy like Julius Mays?

Archie Goodwin went on to describe his teammate Julius Mays as not only his brother, but also his best friend.

3. Julius Mays provides the quote of the night

I’m almost ready to stop gushing about Mays, but not quite yet. Julius Mays provided one of the best quotes of the night, maybe even the season. For a guy who will only spend one year of his life at Kentucky (how sad does that make you?), he sure does seem to appreciate the enormity of it all. Whoever says that these guys only show up for one year and never connect to the program– you’re crazy.

“Each game I put that uniform on, I take pride. And I love every minute of it.”- Julius Mays

4. That game was not made for Kyle Wiltjer

Every time Calipari inserted Wiltjer into the line-up in the second half, I winced. Kyle Wiltjer is a great player, and he will win games for Kentucky between now and whenever the season comes to an end. But last night was simply a match-up nightmare for Wiltjer. Wiltjer was hesitant to shoot last night, and that might be partially due to the defense that was being played on him. Against an extremely athletic Missouri team, Wiltjer was a liability on defense and seemed to be in the game each and every time Missouri started to mount a run. Wiltjer only played 18 minutes, tallying 4 points– all on free throws. That game simply wasn’t made for Kyle Wiltjer. And there will be other games that will be the same way. With that said, there’s no cause for panic. There will probably be a game or two where Wiltjer can find a more friendly defensive assignment and potentially go for 20+ points.

5. That game was also not made for Jarrod Polson

In a similar fashion to Wiltjer, Jarrod Polson dealt with many of the same difficulties. Polson has provided huge minutes for this Kentucky team in a number of games this season. And again, much like Wiltjer– he probably will again. The one type of match-up that will not be favorable for Polson contributing much is when Kentucky plays a team with extremely quick guards…aka Missouri. The SEC isn’t filled with a ton of excellent guards, but a few teams will pose a problem for Polson. Polson only played 9 minutes last night and was not a major factor in the stat column.

6. Phil Pressey is excellent 

Missouri’s point guard Phil Pressey went for 27 points and 10 assists in last night’s game, and was virtually unstoppable. Kentucky did all they could to try so stay in front of him, but he consistently found his way into the paint, hitting pull-up jumpers as well as dishing to his teammates for easy lay-ups. Phil Pressey is fast. Really fast. Phil Pressey is what you might hope a someday polished Archie Goodwin could be like–using his speed but remaining under control. When Pressey picked up his 3rd foul and had to head to the bench for a stretch of time, Kentucky was able to go on a bit of a run. When Pressey came back into the game, that’s when Missouri really began to make its late game run. Pressey is the kind of player who, if your team didn’t have to play, you’d have fun watching. You might even cheer for him in a meaningless NCAA tournament game between 2 teams other than Kentucky.

For Kentucky’s part, they didn’t back down from Pressey. Even though he was able to have his way offensively, Kentucky’s guard combo of Archie Goodwin and Ryan Harrow each had big games as well. Goodwin even made a pre-game comment about Harrow being the best point guard in the country when he’s playing well, and Pressey apparently let him hear about it during the game. That ounce of “swagger” (I still hate that word, but it feels right) shown from Goodwin and the pounds of it shown by Ryan Harrow in the first half, were huge for Kentucky and will be down the stretch as well.

7. Kentucky may not match up well, but they can still win…with great offense and a few key stops

Kentucky beat Missouri, but make no mistake– Missouri is not a good match-up for Kentucky. Kentucky struggled to stay in front of Missouri’s guards the entire game, allowing penetration (is there ever really a good time to use that word?) from start to finish. Missouri was also a load for Kentucky on the boards, especially in the first half. To Kentucky’s credit, they actually out-rebounded the Tigers in the second half. Both Missouri and Florida pose perhaps the two worst match-ups for Kentucky, with strong/fast guard play and strength down low. With that said, Kentucky proved last night that they can still beat those types of teams.

How? With great offense. Kentucky was great on offense almost all night, especially during the first part of the 2nd half. Kentucky was efficient, and managed to avoid many huge scoring droughts (other than the one toward the middle/end of the 1st half) like they have during some points during the season. Kentucky may not have been able to consistently stop Missouri, but they kept pace with the Tigers offensively to put up 75 points in regulation. Kentucky was able to come up with a few key stops down the stretch. Will they be able to hold teams to below 70 points night in and night out? Probably not. But if they can match that offensively, and come up with a few key stops like they did last night– Kentucky can beat teams even if they are a bad match-up.

8. Had Julius Mays made that shot at the end of regulation, would it have been the biggest in Rupp Arena history?

Remember, we are talking about Rupp Arena only– not Memorial Coliseum as well. I know it’s very hypothetical, and he probably should have passed the ball to Archie anyway, but if Julius Mays had hit that last second shot, from around midcourt, would it have been the biggest shot in Rupp Arena history for Kentucky? Consider the stakes (Kentucky’s NCAA tournament hopes). Consider the atmosphere (College GameDay, huge/electric crowd). Consider where he was on the court (would have been almost a half-court shot). Help me out here folks…can you remember a bigger one?

9. This team is growing up and it’s showing on the court and off…

You can see the changes on the court. This team is growing up and finding roles, while also playing together. The off the court commentary from the players just sounds different as well. (h/t Scott Anderson)

10. The players both needed and appreciated the environment in Rupp Arena last night…

 

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

34 Comments for 10 Sunday Leftovers



  1. Travis
    2:48 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I would have gave my left leg to see the reaction from that crowd last night if Mays sunk that. The roof would have came down.



  2. Mark
    2:51 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    The only shot I can think of in comparison was Meeks’ shot against Florida and that crowd went absolutely nuts, but I’d say the best game-winning play might still be the Davis block vs UNC



  3. Correct me if I'm wrong but
    2:56 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Didn’t Julius draw the 3 shots when the game was tied and gave us a 2 point lead?



  4. dave
    2:57 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    what are you talking about? why does gameday make it a “bigger” or more important shot? and, ya know, he missed the shot & we still won. so many more things ca happen which can allow us to make or miss the dance regardless of this game. just because matt says something doesnt make him right….



  5. remy
    3:02 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I’m sure you are a nice girl Ally but you have a BAD case of diarrhea of the keyboard. Try being a bit more succint in your writing…unless Jones has just told you all to write as much as you can to fill up space.



  6. Jus Sayin
    3:03 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Julius Mays is quickly becoming my favorite wildcats of all time.



  7. leedee
    3:09 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I know you limited the greatest shot to Rupp, but my most memorable was in Memorial when Vern Hatton hit a half court set shot in 1957 to force a third overtime in an eventual win over Temple. Sorry for not following the rules, but if I remember that shot from 1957, obviously I am old and claiming special previleges.



  8. Ally Tucker
    3:09 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Sorry. I’ll try to post more videos next time, 5



  9. Logan
    3:10 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    #5-Remy: If you are going to try to impress us with your vocabulary and your writing skills, perhaps you should brush up on your spelling first. It’s succinct, not succint.



  10. Still the best
    3:13 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Wow this list seems to be the same things Matt said in the radio last night! I usually like your writing, but you are now becoming a clone



  11. Mike Ranney
    3:15 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    The biggest shot would be Kyle Macy making the technical foul shot to beat Kansas after coming from way behind in the last few seconds.



  12. Ap
    3:23 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    For me it’s the Meeks shot against Florida. It was rated one of the loudest games ever for a reason. I will never forget how loud it was. The crowd won that game when Calathes choked at the line.



  13. sunnycat
    3:26 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer is no worse a defender than ANYONE else on this team especially the guards Harrow, Goodwin and Mays. And Wiltjer is the focal point for the other team on D.



  14. The Real Pioneer
    3:35 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    12/4/1984
    Against SMU
    Troy McKinley hits a key jumper.

    Biggest shot in Rupp Arena history.



  15. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    3:37 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    John Wall’s first college game (Miami, OH) is still one of my favorites.



  16. goodstuff
    3:39 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Great game from Julius. Although it’s not that he “probably” should have passed the ball to Archie at the end. He “without a doubt, definitely” should have…



  17. If I Recall Correctly
    3:40 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    IIRC, Paul Andrews hit a last second mid court shot. But that was to win the HS State Championship back in the early 80s. Not UK related but it happened in Rupp.



  18. Jdn1016
    3:48 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Shot potentially “biggest in Rupp history? Stop it. Are you guys 10? That is silly.



  19. CPACAT
    3:49 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    -Cedric Jenkins tip-in to win against “little brother” on December 12, 1987.

    -Re: loudest games in Rupp that I have experienced…the Dec 12, 1987 game mentioned above; the 89-1990 game vs. LSU was insanely loud; the 90-91 game vs. Tennessee, Cats were down and came storming back..pressing and shooting 3s, that was crazy loud as well.



  20. youngins
    3:50 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Even it wasn’t really a “shot” per se, Jenkins tip in against UofL easily biggest bucket in Rupp history.



  21. youngins
    3:51 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    grrr 19!



  22. miniscule
    3:54 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    @9-Logan, just run,run,run away. March is looming and we have no time for minutiae. You are so boring.



  23. demid
    4:02 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    hats off to the cats.wow what a game. they played with grit. to all the uk fans that were in the building to support the guys, thanks to you. the best fans of all. good luck to the cats from here on out. i sure have to wonder why would wright state let mays go.



  24. Big O
    4:36 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s petition the NCAA to have a trade deadline before post season play. We could trade Harrow, Goodwin and the 2013 rights to Willis to the Mizz Tigers for Pressey.



  25. lil c
    4:42 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with #19



  26. Ridge Runner
    5:09 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Ally….VERY good article. Every one of the listed points were spot on.



  27. mudcreekmark
    5:09 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    13) I agree totally. Wiltjer gets a bad rep and sometimes it is well earned, but our guards cannot guard a trash can. Everyone is getting all excited because we beat a good but not great Missouri team in OT. We barely won despite almost every player we have playing their best game of the year on the same night.I love the Cats and if we had lost the game I think we were out of NCAA tourney, I’m still not going to crown Goodwin and Poythress as new kings of the court after one good game. To me, it doesn’t cancel about 20 bad ones that each have had this year. Rhodrick Rhodes won a couple of games for us when he was here, but he also lost about 20 for us and we would have never won the 96 championship if he had still been on the team.



  28. Tony
    6:07 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    If playing hypotheticals, had Missou won it’d have been one of the worst shots in Uk history. Have to know the clock there



  29. Kyle
    6:09 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Any news on who all was in for their visit(visit)



  30. Kyle
    6:09 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Football*



  31. Sam
    6:17 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    You can use that word anytime you want!

    But on topic, Julius’ shot was the worst decision of the game because if he passes it, the game ends on a dunk with 0.5 seconds left. And that dunk would have brought down the house with eardrum-“penetrating” screams of joy!



  32. Steady
    6:59 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I would go with Jenkins tip ss well. This Uncle Julius nickname is just stupid BTW.



  33. GladMaysMissed
    10:06 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Regarding your point #8 Mays passing ahead to Goodwin. Me and hundreds (possibly thousands) others are very very glad that he didn’t make that pass——-a little something to do with winning by at least 2.5!!!



  34. Reggie Bushes
    7:58 am February 25, 2013 Permalink

    Your reference to Polson is ridiculous. I imagine he could have done better than repeatedly getting burned by Missouri’s point guard as other UK guards did Alley.
    Did you miss the Tennessee game Alley. He outscored everyone. Geez, slam beers, not the Cats!