Love can be expressed in many different ways. On this Valentine’s Day, Jodie Meeks shows his love to the Big Blue Nation by serving up some of the finest sausage this side of Simpsonville, KY.
Matt (and others) said that Arkansas had nobody to guard Jodie, and they were right. Jodie performed another road performance of the ages with 45 points (17-24 FG, 7-12 3FG, 4-7 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 turnovers and 3 steals. Jodie scored with screens, while on fast breaks and driving to the hole (when the refs actually started calling fouls on his drives in the second half). He was roughly 3 for 6 on his breakaway steals today. In fact, probably his only fault today was attempting those breakaway steals in the middle in the 2nd half when Kentucky was up roughly 14 points. But when he is single-handedly cooking the Hogs, I guess he gets the ability to gamble.
Of course, it takes a little longer to cook frozen sausage patties — even if you just let them thaw in the pan. Arkansas’s gameplan of rolling drives to the basket didn’t cause Kentucky too much harm. Arkansas shot just 41.2% FG, and a “left in the bottom of the deep freeze for months” frozen 18.3% (4-22) 3FG. The Hogs had several good looks at the 3-point shots, but just couldn’t get their open shots to fall. It also didn’t help that Kentucky forced 13 Arkansas turnovers (8 in the second half) and outrebounded the Hogs 35-30.
Darius Miller (8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 block, 3 steals) had probably his best game as a Wildcat. He didn’t score as much as he did against Delaware St. on November 22nd (13 points). However, today was the first time that Darius really fit smoothly in the offense and defense. Darius made several great defensive plays, including forcing a jump-ball turnover early in the second half. Darius also made 2 free throws with 4 1/2 minutes left in the second half — the second game in a row the freshman has showed some clutch FT shooting. Seeing Darius start working around the free-throw line and not afraid to try 3-pointers is something Kentucky desperately needs for days when Jodie Meeks can’t shake himself free.
A few weeks ago I remember a commenter stating that Michael Porter needed to study DeAndre Liggins’ gametape and vice versa, since it seemed that one’s weaknesses were the other’s strengths. Today, it looked like Michael decided to emulate DeAndre’s “The Professor” passing style in the first half, leading to 4 really nasty looking turnover. Outside of that, Porter played his role well with 8 points (3-5 FG, 2-3 FG), 3 assists, and 5 turnovers.
DeAndre really didn’t pay any attention to Porter’s tape, as the offense really struggled during DeAndre’s time in the second half. When DeAndre drove inside, he was able to get Arkansas to collapse. But DeAndre just isn’t for sure what to do when he doesn’t drive. DeAndre played only 7 minutes today and did gather 2 assists and no turnovers.
A special announcement to UK Sports Columnists: Billy Gillispie does not believe Kevin Galloway is the answer to Kentucky’s woes. Kevin saw only 3 minutes of action today. He made a great drive to the hole for his 2 points, and picked up 2 sloppy fouls. He hit the bench and never came back. Time to start running the scout team again, Kevin.
But you don’t need to worry about turnovers or who handles the ball when you have Jodie Meeks is powering the stove by himself.
Kentucky wins today 79-63. C’mon, say it with me.