That was one of the worst second halves of basketball I have ever seen a Kentucky team play. Leading by 14 with ten minutes to go, the Cats found a way to completely collapse and lose in overtime, 78-69. Missed free throws, missed box outs on free throws, silly freshman mistakes, a center with no seeming interest in calling for the ball, a complete inability to play basic defense on the pick and roll and an overall lack of mental toughness caused a collapse down the stretch that may ultimately be the defining point for this team. While many will focus on the fact that Kentucky lost a huge lead in a relatively short time span, I will focus on a game in which the Cats were tied with two minutes to go once again…..and still found a way to lose. Just as in the Vanderbilt game, their last three possessions of regulation yielded no points, and in this case, no shots.
Kentucky teams under Tubby Smith have usually been intelligent and tough, above all else. As Ravi Moss said on the show tonight, this team is mentally weak. Randolph Morris does not demand the ball down the stretch, Joe Crawford too often disappears, Ramel Bradley has games where it doesnt seem he is on the court and the freshmen make Freshmen mistakes. All in all, a bad loss, made even worse by the way it was lost. Hard to say what happens now, but it will be a long flight home from Athens.