It was the first true road game of the season for the Cats and it started out shaky. Kentucky fell behind by eight points early in the first half and allowed Indiana to shoot three pointers like they were from Sam Houston State over the first 20 minutes. But then the light turned on, the defense turned up and the Cats showcased their extreme talent in defeating Indiana 90-73. It was probably the most balanced performance UK has had this season and the second half may have been the best it has looked offensively all year. Everyone got into the scoring act and the team looked scary efficient on the offensive end. There are certainly weaknesses on this team, but when Wall is running the point, Patterson is hitting the baseline jumper, Cousins is staying calm down low, Bledsoe is making the three and Harris/Miller/Dodson are providing support…this team can be scary good.
— The star of the game, especially early, was the great shooting performance by Eric Bledsoe. In the first half, when the Cats needed buckets, Bledsoe came through and exploited the various mismatches he saw all game. What impresses me the most about Bledsoe in these big games is just how confident he is when his shot is going. It is clear that Eric’s offensive game totally feeds on how he plays in the first five minutes, so my guess is that Calipari will continue to make it a point to get him the ball early.
— With all the hype we get (and deservedly so) about John Wall, it is easy to forget what consistently great performances UK gets from Patrick Patterson. Today was another example. 19 points, another double-double, consistent play thoughout the game. While at times I want to see him down low more, I cant deny the fact that his mid-range jumper and the consistency with which he knocks it down, makes this team almost impossible to defend. Patrick still is the rock on the team and once again showed today why he makes everyone around him better.
— I loved the second half UK got from Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins. He did what Boogie can do…dominate the interior, cut off driving lanes, score on the offensive glass and provide old-school Jamaal Magloire-like intensity. When he picked the IU player up with the ball, all we needed was a Billy Packer over-reaction to channel the energy of the 1998 Duke game. At the end of the game, Cal grabbed him by the head and gave him the “Boogie Noogie”…a moment that joins the Tubby-Stockton chest bump and the Brooks-Seiber flying chest bump as great moments of coach-player interaction.
— If an announcer likes UK more than Don Criqui, then I dont think I have seen him. Huge praise all game and called the Cats a “powerhouse” team that he thinks can win it all. Everytime he speaks, I think I am listening to a 1980s Cleveland Browns or Denver Broncos game. I love it.
— Please tell Daniel Orton he doesnt have to leave his feet on every pump fake. Its ok, you are tall.
— Another good performance by Ramon Harris, who continues to provide solid perimeter defense and tonight even scored a few points. He is a glue guy that continues to provide important effort and defense for his team.
— Did anyone but me think that Cal and Orlando Antigua might do a little “UCONN-UK fans” type jawing? Quite a funny moment.
— I still love Assembly Hall and the students there. The fatheads in the crowd were hilarious and I think I eyeballed a Billy Clyde one, which if true, was brilliant.
Another great win by the Cats and they are now 10-0, after the three game stretch Calipari would “tell us where we are.” So where are we? Well we arent perfect…and I still think Kansas is right there as the favorite. But man this team is very good much quicker than I thought they would be…and they are only getting better. This is the most fun team in the country and it improves on a daily basis. And oh yeah Calipari….dont say we are 4-6. We are 10-0 and it feels VERY good.