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Cats win 69-44

(AP Photo/James Crisp)

Kentucky picked up right where it left off in Baton Rouge, steamrolling Tennessee through the first media timeout. They forced a couple of turnovers, dished the ball to Anthony Davis who was hitting from outside, and completely controlled the tempo. Then things got chippy. Terrence Jones drew an and-one and decided to do a little stare-down into the Tennessee player’s huddle. No punches were thrown, but a double technical was assessed. Needless to say, it only got Kentucky — and the Rupp Arena crowd — more fired up. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist did his best DeAndre Liggins impersonation, not holding back on the smack talk on the way back up the court while Terrence Jones let his game speak for itself. Kentucky opened the half 11-for-11 from the floor but finished 2-for-8, while Renaldo “Swiperboy” Woolridge — who only had 11 made three’s on the season — came off the bench and connected on 5-of-5 in the first half to keep the Vols within striking distance.

But things only got worse for Tennessee in the second half, as Swiperboy couldn’t keep hitting; the Vols only managed 19 points (funny, that’s what Kentucky scored in the second half last week at Georgia) to Kentucky’s 31. Davis went on legitimate triple-double watch for the fourth time this season, while Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist couldn’t stop smiling up and down the court, presumably at the brutal beatdown they were committing on the hardwood. Plain and simple, this is some of the best basketball the Commonwealth of Kentucky has seen in a long time. Now, let’s hit the highlights of the game:

— Not that Kentucky needed any type of awakening after their recent stretch of games, but Tennessee just pissed off a proverbial sleeping giant too early in this one. The Cats completely dominated the Volunteers behind a charged-up Rupp Arena. It was the best sounding crowed I’ve heard over my television speakers in a while, and judging by the emotion on the court from the players I’d say they were feeding off it.

— Anthony Davis was your leading scorer with 18, but Terrence Jones poured in 11 to go along with a perfect 6-6 night at the free throw line. It’s been said a thousand times since last week, but I’ll say it again: This is Terrence Jones, and Kentucky will not lose with him.’

— More on Davis: Tonight was almost the night for the triple-double. He had nine minutes to block three shots and get two more rebounds… But he couldn’t get one more of either. I’m starting to wonder if we’ll see a triple-double this season. But if the Cats get No. 8 I don’t think anyone will care.

— Marquis Teague continued his solid string of “true point-guard games” dishing out four assists versus two turnovers. He made a solid five of six free throws to add to his nine points. He doesn’t post huge numbers, but Kentucky doesn’t need huge numbers from Teague. More games like that means more blowout wins. He’s doing the right things, making the right decisions, and making no mental errors. I’m beginning to think Teague is figuring this whole point guard thing out.

— An awkward moment happened just before a media timeout in the first half, and it is hilarious for several reasons:

First, Marquis Teague gets a sudden dash of excitement and pulls up for a layup at least eight feet from the rim. But then you see him use Kenny Hall’s groin as a step ladder, elevating a good three or four inches off the firm stomp. Finally, you see Hall flop as if he were punched in the face, to no avail. It was a block. I may be the only one who find this sequence of events hilarious, but I wanted to share.

— One of the prettiest plays of the game wasn’t that hulk smash, but Terrence Jones’ steal, hurdle, fast break and outlet pass to MKG for a one-handed slam. It was so effortless and fluid and both guys just smiled after the play like they had practiced it over and over. I tell you what, that’s some fun basketball to watch.

— Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played some extensive minutes guarding Jarnell Stokes, holding the infantile hoopster to a four-point, six-rebound game. Welcome to Earth, Mr. Stokes. Terrence Jones asked Calipari to put him on Woolridge after he made his first five shots from outside. After Jones guarded him he didn’t make another.

— Darius Miller cooled off a touch, only scoring four points and failing to connect on a three pointer. But he did have a big and-one on a put back off an Anthony Davis miss late in the second half, just after Coach Calipari ripped him from the sidelines for not passing. It’s not fair to expect monster shooting games from Miller every time out, but it is a little disappointing to see zero’s in the stat column after the way he has shot recently.

— Doron Lamb made the lone three-pointer tonight, preserving the “consecutive games with a three-point basket” streak. Lamb continues to score below his season average, but he’s giving it all on the court, and you can’t ask for more than that.

— This week marks the beginning of a huge portion of the schedule for Kentucky. On the road at South Carolina, then Florida, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are not too far off. Kentucky is just about through the “easy portion” of the SEC schedule, and has plenty of big tests of the horizon. The Cats are clicking on all cylinders right now, so it will be very interesting to see how that translates to increased competition.

— Tennessee shot an abysmal 28% from the floor. If you take away Jerome Maymon and Swiperboy Woolridge’s five three’s, The Volunteers scored 16 points. Yikes.

— Kentucky has now beaten Tennessee in football, women’s basketball, and men’s basketball twice this school year for total dominance in the border war.

— Much like the game at LSU, you really need to dig to find a negative in this one. Last time it was free throws, not so today. Kentucky made 24 out of a possible 27, good for 89%. I’m speechless.

— However, if you do want to mention something, aside from the 1-for-10 shooting from three, you can point to Calipari not getting to the bench sooner. The Cats had a sizable lead all the way in this one, but never cleared the bench for the walk-ons. What gives? It’s nothing major, but Jarrod Polson and Brian Long live for those blowout moments, and I feel their pain rising from under the scorer’s table to take a seat back on the bench, as they watch the clock whittle away.

In the end, it was Kentucky running away with the game, extending the final score to its largest lead of the game of 25. Vegas favored the Cats by 16.5, meaning they have beaten the spread for three straight games (not that it means anything). Kentucky improves to 8-0 in the SEC and will prepare for a trip to Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday. The Gamecocks lost earlier this season 79-64 in Rupp Arena.

I leave you with a stat nugget Matt dropped on the post-game show: Since the shot-clock era began, Kentucky has held its last three opponents to the fewest points in a three-game stretch EVER.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

52 Comments for Cats win 69-44



  1. Heisenberg
    11:08 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    ALL CATS EVERYTHING



  2. String Bean
    11:09 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Come on BBN we got another POLL TO WIN http://dickvitaleonline.com/



  3. cayts
    11:09 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    defense



  4. Sicknode
    11:17 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Wow. Just realized someone else had already posted a link to it..



  5. GapToothDanny
    11:21 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Arkansas held on to beat Vandy; Hogs now 16-0 at home. Jimmy Dykes declares Bud Walton arena “the toughest place in the SEC to get a win”
    C’mon man…



  6. Blueball'n
    11:21 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    They just asked who is better on espn 1 uk or 6 unc and Goblett said unc, what an a$$ pirate what’s that pricks problem



  7. Common Sense
    11:21 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    I thought Teague got up higher than usual on this play, thanks for ruining my hopes that his hops improved.



  8. Lovely
    11:23 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Doug Gottlieb is an idiot. “Well, I was going to say Florida wins the SEC because I thought UK would have road troubles but that didn’t happen, so now I’m going to say UNC is the better team, because I have to be contrary.” Whenever he is proven wrong, he has to say something else dumb until he is proven wrong there too, and then the cycle continues.



  9. Mr. Obvious
    11:25 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Ugh…Zeller is in the lead again…go to http://dickvitaleonline.com/ and vote for Davis!!! Go BBN!!



  10. Lamb
    11:27 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Did you all see D.Lamb’s tweet…”I don’t wanna talk to anybody, don’t bother me.” (something like that) but was tweeted right after the game. Seems like the former Nappy Boy is upset about not getting enough shots.



  11. Brink
    11:29 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    6 Dykes said that outside of kentucky and florida that Bud Walton arena is……..



  12. FlySoup
    11:31 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    i don’t think jones did a stare down towards tennessee’s on the court huddle, he just accidently found himself in the middle of it when he was walking towards the free throw line, and the tennessee players didn’t like it… jones’s attitude was the best i’ve ever seen tonight



  13. Matt Jones
    11:33 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Kentuckys 3 game streak earlier in the season held teams to only one more point than the current three game streak? Did they break their own record?



  14. Bushrod
    11:34 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    How bout the football team? This years recruiting class is ranked last in the SEC. It’s gonna be a long season coming. Is Joker viable? Does the administration even care? So sad.



  15. I'll hang up and listen...
    11:34 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    It’s 810 consecutive games with a 3-pointer for those keeping score at home.



  16. SouthPointCat
    11:37 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Jones had 11 points, not 16. MKG had 16.



  17. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    11:38 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    11..how do you know what he’s upset about?



  18. BigBlueJim
    11:38 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    First of all gottlieb, we already beat unc and secondly, we haven’t lost by 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  19. Bbn
    11:40 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    OMG stuart hammer at it again. Have you watched a uk game this year? He likes to play the starters to the end, get over it sissy. Sorry you didnt get to see your boy polson out there lookin cute. Smh, ur terrible.



  20. Stuart Hammer
    11:41 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    17 – You’re right, typo. I’ve corrected it.



  21. common sense
    11:44 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    So, I was crossing the street in front of Rupp before the game and a cop literally pushed me into oncoming traffic while yelling, “get back,” because I was jaywalking!



  22. Jackson. Tyson. Jordan. Game 6
    11:45 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    18 because common sense told me. He didnt get many shots, mad after game=mad he didnt get shots during said game



  23. HoorayForCake
    11:46 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    15, did you understand what you just wrote? When is the last time that ever saw a UK recruiting class ranked high in the SEC?? We could have a great recruiting class coming in, and I believe we do, but in the SEC its most likely going to be bottom of the barrel. I understand people aren’t hot for Joker, but Jesus, it feels like people will use anything to complain about him.



  24. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    11:50 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    23…not common sense, a complete guess.



  25. theSkinny81
    11:53 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    25 – WhatSheOrder?FishFilet? : +1



  26. Carlos (It Is Not A) Toomer
    11:59 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Quit talking about football and recruiting. Coach Curci knows what he is doing.



  27. GreenupRox
    12:12 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    15. Yeah, the only thing I saw all day was about how UK got a BIGTIME commitment from a guy who decommitted from Arkansas STATE. So we are recruiting against mid majors now. Pathetic.



  28. ?????????????????
    12:13 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Ballin……………………………………………………………………………………



  29. Swat Team
    12:49 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    So…what name we shall bestow to this remarkable squad? How about – The Swat Team –



  30. guest
    2:36 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Gottlieb also said right now Kentucky is better than UNC, but said he liked UNC if they meet in the tournament partly due to their experience. So here’s his reasoning: UNC is more experienced AND they have more room to grow and get better. How’s that?



  31. DRog
    4:26 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    GIVE ME A BREAK WITH ALL THE NEGATIVITY!!!! Matt says on the radio show he hates all this negativity from the fan base and then I see something like this on the site????
    (— However, if you do want to mention something, aside from the 1-for-10 shooting from three, you can point to Calipari not getting to the bench sooner. The Cats had a sizable lead all the way in this one, but never cleared the bench for the walk-ons. What gives? It’s nothing major, but Jarrod Polson and Brian Long live for those blowout moments, and I feel their pain rising from under the scorer’s table to take a seat back on the bench, as they watch the clock whittle away.)



  32. Vinny Hardy
    5:10 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Gradual progression. Things are really starting to come together now. The timing is right too. This is how you want to see the guys playing as they enter the tough portion of the schedule. It’s February now, the perfect time to start the process of peaking at the right time.

    Just glad they called a block on Kenny Hall this time. Every time Teague even thought about getting in the lane in Knoxville it was a charge.



  33. BigPerm
    5:19 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t wait until we play a good team for a change. We have not played a ranked team since the Tard game. Glad we are winning, but it’s tough to tell how good we are when we keep beating up on JV teams. Looks like we have another toughy on Saturday.



  34. Info
    5:27 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Ace Whales is going to sign with WKU. He committed to uofl. But they only offered a greyshirt. So, he decided on WKU. They are putting together a nice class.



  35. Bledsoe's Biceps
    6:20 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    32) +1 This particular blogger has an obsessive compulsion to always look for something negative. ie. “you really need to dig to find a negative in this one”. Why dig for negativity at all?



  36. BravoBigBlue
    6:44 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Whatever happened to that Vol fan that used to post on here. You know, the one that said Tennessee had Cal’s number? Wherefore art thou now, Macon?



  37. Happy
    6:48 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Hats off to all of them. You can tell they are figuring it out and having fun too.



  38. playersfan
    7:16 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Davis for player of the year! Is there any player this year you would trade him for? NO.



  39. Hoss
    7:32 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    28- hey, dumbass… do you know why that kid was committed to Arky St? Gus Malzahn is their coach. Gus can coach circles around the Joke… He just didn’t have a moron AD to name him HCIW as his first effing head job in a major conference.

    If you don’t know what you’re talking about, just stfu and save us all the trouble.



  40. Al B. Sure
    7:42 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Great game. Only thing I am worried about is foul trouble. Jones had four and Miller had three, I think. Hate to see any of those guys have to watch from the bench during important minutes… especially Davis, but I’m very happy with the beat-down of the snitches!



  41. REAL BLY
    7:59 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    41 – Injuries! Everytime Davis falls down ( which takes 5 seconds ) it scares me to death!



  42. Jenny Craig Pitino
    8:08 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    If UK is up by 20 pts that is considered such a big lead that everybody at the end of the bench should go in and play? 6 of UK’s top 7 players are freshmen & soph. so they need all of the playing time they can get together. If the guys at the end of the bench get a championship ring at the end of the season it will be because the top 7 players developed and won it.



  43. Megan
    8:38 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    That was fun. I think we looked even better than we did against LSU. But we had another skirmish! This is a problem. Who do we think we are, Georgetown (of old)? Cincinnati? I’ll say it again, our guys don’t know how to behave when something flares up. They pour gasoline onto the fire. And this time one of our guys got a technical. I blame Doron for pushing Golden, but mostly I blame Cal. This is the fourth time this year and two games in a row. When is he going to teach them how to act?



  44. landonsloan
    8:38 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Some of you guys are pretty annoying. Hammer just made a statement about going to the bench a little early and you guys are getting all ticked. Being a fan doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything Coach does. You are entitled to your own opinion.



  45. Mr Obvious
    8:54 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Come on BBN!! Zeller is pulling ahead of Anthony Davis in the Best Freshman in College Basketball poll..get out there and vote!! http://dickvitaleonline.com/



  46. BK
    9:00 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Im my mind Polson and some other guys should have gotten in. This game was over early. I’m always one that’s against leaving your starters in too long. It’s just dangerous in my opinion. And with Polson and Long putting in serious work in practice I think they should get clock the last few minutes of the game.

  47. Hey, take heart on that Vitale poll. Notice that the UK vote is split between Davis & MKG, kinda like the conservative vote being split between Gingrich & Santorum.



  48. John Y.
    10:12 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Watched the clip — it was the first time I’ve seen the new uniforms in action and well, we look like UNC.



  49. SteveM
    10:22 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    COME ON BBN!! VOTE ON THE VITALE POLL AND MAKE DAVIS THE BEST FRESHMAN! WERE ONLY 100 OR SO VOTES BEHIND.



  50. Random
    11:45 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    What that video clip really shows is Teague blatantly traveling before making that move to the hoop. Oh well.



  51. Charles
    11:50 am February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Another Tubby Smith MYTH buried! The Myth being that tubby was some kind of great defensive coach is and was always stupid! Cal’s team defense is crazy good!