According to Tom Hammond and Larry Conley at the beginning of the last Raycom broadcast of a University of Kentucky game, Billy Gillispie threw jerseys at Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson in the locker room after yesterday’s victory. Billy challenged Jodie and Patrick to lead Kentucky to victory.
LSU knew Meeks and Patterson were the super powers to stop. And with a tremendous defensive effort, LSU threw Kentucky out the plate-glass window with a 67-58 victory. LSU forced Kentucky to turn the ball over 15 times, grabbed 17 offensive rebounds (including 14 in the first half) and limited the Wildcat supermen.
From what little I could tell from the Yahoo internet stream, Jodie Meeks was completely hindered by the long Tiger guards. He finished with 8 points (3-9 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-2 FT), 2 rebounds, 0 steals, 3 assists and 5 turnovers. Patrick Patterson was hammered all game long. He ended with 15 points (4-9 FG, 7-9 FT), 10 rebounds (2 off.), 3 blocks, 3 assists and 2 turnovers. Together, Meeks and and Patterson combined for just 7-18 FG shooting. 18 FG attempts by the duo was the lowest total the entire season. (Meeks and Patterson had 19 FGA against Indiana and against WVU.)
With Meeks and Patterson limited, Ramon Harris, Darius Miller and Michael Porter played admirably. Harris had 11 points (5-8 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 block, 2 assists and 1 turnover. Harris probably played the best defense on Marcus Thornton (who scored 21 points). Darius had 8 points (3-7 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assists and 0 turnovers. Porter — despite being his normal defensive liability with big athletic guards — had 9 points (3-6 FG/3FG), 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist and 0 turnovers.
Yesterday, Perry Stevenson was one of the necessary components of our victory. Today it seemed he took away more than he contributed with 5 points (1-3 FG, 3-4 FT), 2 rebounds (!), 2 blocks, 1 steal, 1 assist and 4 turnovers. Outside of Patterson, it seemed that nobody on the team could grab a rebound. Overall, the Wildcats was out rebounded 37-32 despite winning the defensive rebound battle 24-20.
The difference in this game was each team’s defense. LSU’s defense was relentless and active all game long. They allowed Kentucky to shoot 44% FG, but also forced 15 turnovers and scored 15 points off of turnovers. Kentucky’s defense was not too shabby, holding LSU to 39% FG but allowing 38% 3FG (8-19). It was the three 3-pointers from 7:12 until 5:55 in the second half that pulled LSU away from the Wildcats. Combined with LSU getting significantly more shot attempts than Kentucky (LSU 61, UK 45), LSU’s defense prevented Kentucky from sparking a similar run.
Starting with the death of Mr. Wildcat, this season has been one big joke; a joke with a punchline we can’t find. Maybe one day somebody will explain it to me. Normally I keep things in proportion an’ try to find the funny side. Normally I kinda like it when things get weird, y’know? Like it when all the cards are on the table.
I mean, what’s so funny? What’s so funny? I don’t get it. Somebody explain…
Somebody explain it to me!