Full disclosure: I didn’t get to see the first 8 minutes of the second half. I kid you not — Mrs. Fake Gimel had some “Fake Kids Locked Inside Their Own Rooms” problems, which required me to travel home and assist. I’ll give the door credit; it played some good defense on the boys and Mama.
Once I got back to watching the game, I noticed that the Wildcats were still having problems with screens. In the first half and in the early part of the second half our guys weren’t fighting above the screens. That caused our defense to over-adjust and leave shooters open. Auburn’s guards were content to jump-shoot 15-footers immediately after the screen was set, and they were falling. They were screening and then rotating the ball around to find the open perimeter jumper, which fell at a reasonable clip (10-28 3FG, 38.5%).
With 9 minutes to go in the second half, Billy made a great adjustment — he ordered our guys to switch off the screens. For a little over 5 minutes, Kentucky held Auburn without scoring. The Auburn guys would roll off the screen and still be covered. They’d throw the ball around, set up another screen, and still be covered. It was the death knell for Auburn, as they could only score 14 points for the rest of the game, and couldn’t keep Kentucky from making easy baskets and getting free throws.
(By my admittedly limited approximation, Auburn was illegally screening on at least 1 of 5 screens. I think there were at least 3 illegal screen calls, but there should have been many more. And the refs were really iffy about hand-checking throughout the day. Overall, not a great night for the refs.)
By not fighting through the screens, Kentucky fights back from a very game Auburn team (and 22 frickin’ turnovers!) and wins 73-64. Meeks was superhuman again, scoring 32 points (7-13 FG, 5-8 3FG, 13-14 FT) despite having 5 turnovers and zero assists. Meeks had a crucial 6-point Flurry at the beginning of the second half.
Dwight Perry Patrick Patterson had another ho-hum day, just scoring a double-double in the first half and ending with 21 points (7-13 FG, 0-1 3FG, 7-9 FT), 18 rebounds (4 Off., 14 Def.), 3 assists and 4 turnovers. Perry Stevenson became our mythical Third Scorer ™ tonight, getting 12 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 turnovers on 4 traveling calls.
Use the comments to complain about how if we played a zone, Auburn would have lost by 20. You can also discuss about how the Green Man still dances in Auburn player’s heads.
I don’t normally steal from CatsPause.com, but this post by BlueBloodBob was the first Green Man reference I saw today. Well played, BlueBloodBob!
I’m sure Mister Jones will be along with his notes later tonight.