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Cats finally get it done on the road, knock off USC 67-58


Let’s put a bow on the Cats taking care of business in a must-win game in Columbia…

Brandon Knight was the leader in the win, dropping 23 points and stabilizing the team down the stretch. Although he had trouble with South Carolina’s traps and pressure and had only two assists to five turnovers, he also shot 60% from the field and led the Cats’ mission to take the ball to the rim, as evidenced by his ten free throw attempts of which he hit nine. Knight is as natural a scorer as there is, but the way he is able to run the show is underrated. After he banged his knee and left the game, South Carolina went on a mini run to close the gap to 12. Knight then re-entered and went on a personal 8-2 run to stretch it back out to a comfortable margin, showing the difference in the team when he’s out and his ability to take it on his shoulders when the team needs it.

-The other outstanding performance on the day was from Darius Miller. While his 18-points and five rebounds are numbers he’s put up before, he showed an aggression and fire that was not only welcome, but effective in keeping the team’s intensity high. Miller looked good in the post and getting him looks underneath helped the Kentucky effort to get good shots going at the basket. He was 7-of-12 from the floor and looked composed throughout, including making some big shots in the second half. One can’t be too careful thinking that Miller has taken the next step, as he can be as frustrating as anyone. However, he notched his fourth straight double-figure scoring game and seemed to have an extra level of intensity and emotion in today’s game that we haven’t seen before and hope we’ll see more of in the future.

-Terrence Jones may have only put in 14 points, but he had to have close to the best monster jam-to-point ratio in modern history. He was back in the starting lineup, and started the game out by throwing down a pair of big-time dunks including one very reminiscent of his Maui jam on UConn. More importantly, he managed to escape the day without anything happening that we’ll see on Around the Horn Monday. It wasn’t a virtuoso performance from Jones, but he almost singlehandedly did the job of making sure the crowd couldn’t get into the game by repeatedly dunking hard enough that he almost hurt himself doing it.

The Cats seemed determined not to come out as flat today as they’ve sometimes had a problem doing this season. Their pressure caused problems for Carolina, and Kentucky’s aggression got USC’s leading scorer Bruce Ellington in foul trouble and frustrated, effectively nullifying him. Kentucky was active on both ends and did a good job of challenging shots, showing the kind of focused defensive aggression that they’ve lacked in their road losses. The defense was much better, except for giving up too many offensive rebounds and letting South Carolina put together a flurry to close the gap to five late, but was primarily responsible for keying the win.

-That said, the aggression on defense was coupled with a patience on offense that was committed to getting the ball inside. The Cats made a point of getting to the rim and getting to the free throw line, making sure not to fall into the trap of shooting from outside that has troubled them away from home. Instead, they passed on some threes to get better looks going to the rack and it paid dividends in keeping the pressure on USC and taking the crowd out of it.

24 of 29 from the free throw line. Not too bad and a big factor in a game that got a little testy late.

-Coach Cal made good on his words and got Jarrod Polson some clock in the game. Polson didn’t turn it over and looked good enough to warrant letting Cal use him to steal some minutes in the future. I think the fans have to stop yelling now.

-Absolutely wonderful when the ‘Go Big Blue’ chant took over the arena at the end. I love Kentucky fans.

-And finally, screw you Ramon Galloway. I didn’t hear one note of Sandstorm until you dunked in the second half. Eat my shorts.

A big win for the Cats, who now sit at 3-2 in the SEC ahead of their week off. The rematch with Georgia looms on the other side of the bye week and that game is one that could go a long way to deciding the SEC East. For now, though, enjoy the first road victory in the conference season for Kentucky. Someone will be along to write things about basketball and stuff tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Article written by Hunter Campbell

I used to write here.

48 Comments for Cats finally get it done on the road, knock off USC 67-58

  1. GMo
    10:21 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins singlehandedly kept SC in the game by continuing to shoot contested shots.

    His D, hustle, and rebounding were big though.

  2. GMo
    10:22 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins 0-7. Lamb only 2 shot attempts. Wow.

    What a nice day, Loserville goes down, Tenn down. Only thing that would’ve topped off the day would have been Ark. beating Florida but the Hogs absolutely suck.

  3. echo 1
    10:25 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    If the guys can’t get up for the Georgia game, there is no hope for them. This is their first shot at redemption this year and they should play pissed. Like, “my best friend just shagged my girlfriend on my bed and he wasn’t even drunk at the time” pissed.

  4. tracy jordan
    10:30 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    is this ryan lemond any relation to liz lemon?

  5. i'm with stupid
    10:31 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    who needs sullinger when u got vargas?! viva la puerto rico

  6. brandon knights dentist
    10:33 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    come to my office cats fans, brandon will be here bright and early for a root canal, then an autograph session

  7. twat shot
    10:36 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    the only thing that could stop jones tonite was that basketball under his foot. damn u ball. go to ur home. don’t u have a home

  8. matt jones' jock
    10:38 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    ryan lemond cant carry me

  9. WildRockett6
    10:41 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    Anyone know where to watch a replay of the game online?

  10. TBone
    10:43 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    Great to see Darius play like that. I’d take less points 4 more rebs and 4 assists from him on a continuous basis and never say another word about his lack of intensity. I just wish he’d play to his size and athleticism, but that mid range floater is a killer for other teams D. Remember Miles Simon?

  11. charlie murphy
    10:45 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    demarcus cousins just fed-exed a spare tooth to wildcat lodge. just plugged it in there in the morn brandon

  12. Sean
    10:46 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    Another poorly officiated game. TJ got fouled on half his dunks. They CONSTANTLY shoved and grabbed Brandon when he was bringing the ball up the court.

    My only complaint for the game was the coaching late. With about 8 minutes to go, Calipari had them go into stall mode on offense, and sure enough, we stopped scoring, and they started scoring. Plus, when a team stops scoring, and is only playing D, then the D suffers as no one likes playing basically defense the last eight minutes of the game. Our D seems to be more energized when we are scoring.

  13. coldspringmike
    10:46 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    Anyone else see Rick Barnes from Texas chewing out one of his players near the end of the Kansas game ? they had to be seperated got so heated. Think we’ll see that on Sports Center ?

  14. noooo
    10:47 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    how dare u bring up the name miles simon tbone. its taken me years to suppress the memories of him and that game…and my days as an altar boy

  15. Sean
    10:48 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    #9, try

  16. Acula534
    10:50 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    13 – We definitely won’t see it on ATH and PTI. No chance.

  17. Gman
    11:21 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    What up with Josh, only 7 points, last 3 games. only 2 for tonight on a dunk

  18. Jerimy
    11:21 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    galloway getting a dunk and running up the court and saying “pussies” made my night. That guy is a thug piece of shit, and he got it handed to him.

  19. WildRockett6
    11:25 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    Nope, my service provider is not on the list. Anyone else know where to watch a replay of the game?

  20. WildRockett6
    11:26 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    Thanks tho Sean

  21. TheGuyPitinoForgotToPayToGetFreshFishAtPorchinis
    11:48 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

    #18 GMan… Since Jorts toasted the Cardinals other teams are actually guarding him now. That means less immediate double teams to Jones.

  22. Wildcobb Salad
    11:55 pm January 22, 2011 Permalink

  23. manu1433
    12:14 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    why is it that every time darius has a good game people are like, “he has taken the next step”…there is no next step for darius…he is what he is, which is a pretty good role player most of the time who is capable of having a game like he had tonight every once in a while

    10) LOL who wouldn’t want that from a guy…that would make Miller one of the most complete players in the nation if he were doing that on a nightly basis…which he is not…you people constantly want Darius to be someone he isn’t…ever think all the pressure fans put on him is what leads to his inconsistencies?

  24. Old man sleeping in lower arena
    12:19 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    Terrance Jones wallet is the one that says “bad mother ****er” it..

  25. CATS NYC
    12:33 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    doron BAAA lamb

  26. liuser
    12:39 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    The effectiveness of tonight’s ‘sandstorm’

  27. bigbill992001
    12:45 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    If Polson gets other than garbage mins., the crowd will stop shouting SHOOOOOOOT!

  28. JCH
    1:38 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    What a ridiculous game. I’m getting tired of being upset with a UK win.

    1. It is amazing how, game after game, we build a 10+/- point lead and then completely abandon the offense that got us the lead.

    2. We then proceed to launch ill-advised 3’s in the assumed hope we will run our opponent out of the gym. Unfortunately, we just aren’t a good enough shooting team to do this. We probably could if our best shooters are taking these shots – Lamb and Miller – not Liggins, Jones or Knight. If this is what the coaches want then these are the guys – Lamb & Miller – who need to be taking the shots.

    3. Jones just isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Not yet anyway. He shows flashes, but the flashes are far outweighed by his poor defense, turnovers, bad shots and reluctance to pass. He has shown he can take over a game but, he only does so in spurts and when he’s not “on” he is very decidedly “off” – borderline bad. I think everyone will agree his best game was Louisville where he not only scored but also racked up assists. If he’d just watch what he dead in the chicken dome and realize what made him effective, he’d be amazing. It’s coming, and when it does he will be amazing. I have no doubt about his ability, I’m just frustrated with how he’s trying to use it.

    4. Harrelson needs to stick to being the “garbage man” and a rebounding/defensive specialist. shooting anything outside of a couple of feet he looks bad – unless its a 3 (which I would love to see a few sets designed for him).

    5. Does anyone else feel more comfortable with Lamb bringing the ball up than Knight than me? I’d like to see Lamb at the 1 and Knight at the 2 and see how we do.

    If this team ever realizes how powerful, borderline unstoppable, they are if they simply “run their offense” their potential is limitless. When they run the offense consistently, and play defense as we know they can, I don’t see a team in the country they can’t beat. However, if, when they get a bit of a lead, they continue to abandon the offense in the hope of blowing someone out of the gym they’re going to find too many outcomes like “Alabama” to allow them to achieve their full potential.

  29. GoCats2010
    1:55 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    29. tldr, but I hope you feel better

  30. Gary Busey
    2:31 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    1. Does anyone remember the letter that was sent to UK last year from the USC student body claiming they owned UK in collegiate athletics? I think we owe them a rebuttal. Not only did we beat their prized SEC East Champion football team, but we beat their @sses in hoops as well. Boom! Roasted!

    2. What happened to the offensive promise we saw from Liggins earlier in the year?!

    3. Think TJ played a lot better tonight, but still saw glimpses of the selfishness (no attached expletive). Case in point, late in the game he drove to the hole and the defense collapsed on him leaving Jorts wide open, but he failed to make the pass.

    4. Really happy to see Darius take over the game when we needed it. He drove to the hoop at will, and no one could stop him.

    5. Vargas wide open – do you throw him the ball?

    6. If Knight stays, does he move to shooting guard and let Teague play the point next year?

  31. danny bentley
    7:27 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    I for one am glad to see Darius have a strong game, Terrence needs to hit the boards when someonelse is shooting instead of standing there,Terrence could be a force when he decides that the paint area is his dance floor. Jon could apply if only coach would take some tape and put X’s on the floor for him. I LOVE KY BASKETBALL even though you guys are young, we expect you to mature quick. GO BIG BLUE !!

  32. Hambone
    7:28 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t know why everyone is acting like Knight was the player of the game. He most certainly wasn’t. It was Miller who played the best game. Knight turned the ball over a bunch and nearly did it on multiple other occasions. Until he handles the pressure better I will not say he was the player of the game.

  33. Williamsburg
    7:32 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    Shoutout to University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, KY) #1 play on SportsCenter tonight!!!

  34. Better than Average
    7:46 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    this team loses the SEC tournament, becomes a 5 seed, than makes it to the Sweet 16. Season ends. Jones only player to go to the league, IMO.

  35. NBA league pass
    8:06 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    Good FT shooting saved our butts in this one…hopefully that keeps up (would be nice to see Knight at the line this much in the future!)

  36. HackRichards
    8:28 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    We’ll beat down Georgia by 25.

  37. Bert
    8:31 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    #29, pretty sure that Knight is one of the better shooters on the team. How you would not want him shooting 3’s is beyond my comprehension and I am nowhere near as confident when Lamb is running the point and bringing the ball up. It seems like he will get it ripped at any moment. I wish that Cal would tell Deandre to not shoot the ball, only drive the lane and pray for a foul because he rarely even makes his layups. Terrence was posterized himself late in the second half when he didn’t box out and allowed Muldrow to have the monster putback over him. Miller was a Man out there and was glad to see Vargas only enter the game for about 30 seconds. I thought Polson looked tentative and was a turnover waking to happen, but glad he didn’t make any mistakes. He just seemed over matched against much taller, quicker, athletic players. About had a heart attack when Knight and Lamb both went down within a minute of each other. Thank the basketball gods that they are okay. The season would be officially over if those two were both out.

  38. Bert
    8:38 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    Damn that was a fairly negative post. My bad. I thought we played a pretty damn good game and I’m glad that we have a week off to practice and get ready for the Dawgs. I think we get some payback and Terrence Jones has a big game. Also think that Its about time for Lamb to have another big game and it will come next Saturday.
    We will get to see how much Darius has improved since the last meeting with Georgia where he played somewhat aggressively, but couldn’t get his shots to fall. I see the team as a whole Stepping up and beating Georgia by 7-9 points.

  39. Bert
    8:46 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    The Ellington technical seemed kind of weak. Didn’t really seem to warrant a technical by lazily toosing the ball to Liggens but I still loved it. Very stupid thing to do. You could tell that Deandre was in his head and I loved seeing him clap and talk trash to Ellington leading up to the time out and technical. It was great to watch. There has to be a long list of opposing players that would love to punch Liggens in the face due to the way he shuts them down and screws up their pace of play.

  40. stevied
    8:50 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    #17, wtf was that all about.

  41. KYFAN
    9:27 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    #33 if my memory serves me correctly, Miller had 4 turnovers!! Knight had 5 and he has the ball in his hands 95% of the time (2 turnovers were terrible offensive of foul calls) SC was fouling Knight up the floor with their pressure. What game were you watching? Turnovers are apart of the game when you play as fast as we play. Knight and Miller were co-players of the game.

  42. Burly
    9:29 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    Love the win…Darius was fantastic…Lamb needed more looks and Knight saves are can on offense making key shots and free throws.

    Liggins and Jones shot 0-15 from the field combined on everything outside two feet. Liggins should be rewarded by Cal for his great defense by allowing him one shot per half.

    Jones has no touch at all and gets that weak goofy left hand from the side crap tossed every game. He can either dunk or clunk. Kid can’t make a four footer.

    Bottom line the right people need to be taking the shots. Those two will allow teams to get back in games real quick if they are taking shots.

  43. KY#1FAN
    9:39 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    #29, Knight had 23 pts, was 6-10 overall, 2-5 from 3 (non were ill advised) and 9-10 from the charity stripe… you wouldnt want him to shoot the ball??? Are you even a Wildcat fan? IDK why everyone wants to bash BK, he is the best player we have, He is the only “point” guard in on a High major college team that is being asked to score and pass. This team is so different from last year, no post presence whatsoever, no PPat leadership, but they are doing the best with what they have. Ask yourself this if Brandon doesnt score do we win??? Even the Great John Wall and Eric Bledsoe (neither of whom could shoot a lick and averaged more turnovers never received so much criticism).. we will miss his shooting stroke and work ethic next year when he is gone….

  44. JCH
    10:36 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    #44 – Knight can shoot but he has to be WIDE open; as in no one near him because he shoots from his chest. Miller and Lamb both have a more fundamental release in front of or above their head. I don’t mind Knight shooting, of course, he can certainly knock them down. But, I’d prefer to see Miller and Lamb shooting instead and Knight driving to the bucket – as he did last night.

    The overall point of my previous post is I would like to see them run their offense which leads to more layups, dunks and floaters than 3’s. When we build a lead we seem to forget what got us the lead and start playing AAU ball.

    The only way Knight had so many points is because he was fouled driving to the basket and hit is free throws – NOT shooting a 3. I’d love to watch him do this all night long. As I said, if he’s wide open he knocks it down and you can’t get much more wide open that at the free throw line!

    FYI – Knight’s 3pt % is 40.6; Miller 45.6; Lamb 48.1 (from

    So, your turn, who would you like to shoot?

    And, yes, I am a UK fan.

  45. JCH
    10:40 am January 23, 2011 Permalink

    #38 Bert – see my post #45 re: Knight and shooting. That may explain my opinion of him a bit better.

    11:55 am January 23, 2011 Permalink


  47. Lou eaton
    12:45 pm January 23, 2011 Permalink

    Knight does have a low release on his shot BUT he does shoot over 40% from three point range which makes any coach reluctant to screw around with teaching a better technique. I thought last night was just what Coach Cal should be wanting this team to do…DRIVE to the goal, shoot Fts, kick out for threes and play lights out defense. IMO, it may have been their best yet effort.

  48. T Condo
    3:20 pm January 23, 2011 Permalink

    Darius the Great!!