So an Alabama student snuck in a white board, and had the following written:
Kentucky - Meeks ------------ TRASH
I can see why he’d think that. Patrick Patterson left with four fouls with 16:24 left in the second half. Jodie Meeks had been held to a mortal 11 points at the first half. Every other SEC columnist keeps talking about how Kentucky NEEDS a third scorer, and obviously this young scholar felt there was no one on Kentucky’s bench to answer the call.
His formula broke under his assumptions. Josh Harrellson did not completely replace Patterson, but he did provide enough defensive effort to play 12 crucial minutes in the second half. The other part of Patterson was filled by Perry Stevenson, who played his most complete game to date. Perry had 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 turnovers, 1 block and 16 points (3-9 FG, 10-13 FT). Perry drove in the lane, called for the ball in the post and otherwise helped Kentucky keep its inside threat against the Crimson Tide.
With Ramon Harris out of the second half — no word yet about his condition — Freshman Darius Miller put together a stellar defensive game (2 steals, 3 blocks, 7 rebounds). The defensive intensity was also ratcheted up by DeAndre Liggins, who hampered ‘bama’s point guard effectively and contributed 3 assists to 4 turnovers and 11 “wow, he really got 11” points (3-6 FG, 1-2 3FG, 4-5 FT).
Thanks to the great efforts by his teammates, Alabama could no longer just focus on stopping Jodie. And then Jodie scored 16 more points in the second half to finish with 27 points (10-18 FG, 3-5 3FG, 4-6 FT), 9 rebounds (!), 1 assist, 3 turnovers and 3 steals. No steal bigger than his diving on the floor slap-a-way to stop an Alabama fast break. Just an incredible effort by an incredible player.
Thanks to Jodie and his teammates, it didn’t matter that Kentucky turned the ball over 23 times. Or the team only shot 39% FG. Or the team didn’t have more than 10 free throw attempts midway through the second half. Or Patrick Patterson was severely limited due to foul trouble and the fact the refs were not going to let Patterson shoot a free throw today. Or the team was clearly rattled at the beginning of the second half due to Ramon’s condition.
Kentucky — the whole team — guts out a win against Alabama 61-51. Given the evidence, I suggest the aforementioned Alabama scholar adjust his formula:
Alabama + Defensive Game Plan Against Meeks + Patterson in Foul Trouble ------------------------------ LOSS
Matt will probably be along soon with more info about Ramon and the win.