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Closing The Book On Georgia…

AP Photo

It’s not often that you can go on the road and get 32 points from your starting five and still walk a way with a win, but Kentucky managed to do just that Tuesday night in Athens.  The Cats were able to win despite their starting five out-scoring their two-man bench by only seven points in part because Georgia sucks and in part because Darius Miller doesn’t.  But a win is a win is a win and now we can all move on to finally watching Justified.  And that’s what Tuesday night is all about, right?

A few notes…

 – Darius went down to Georgia…and he set the nets on fire.  The senior from Maysville matched his season-high for points with 19 after returning to his sixth man role and again pushed the Cats ahead by a comfortable margin, but didn’t wait until the end of the game to do it.  With the Cats up 30-25, Darius went on a one-man 7-0 run and helped Kentucky enter the break with a twelve point lead.  What was even more impressive was that Darius did not simply benefit from his teammates getting him good looks (though that was part of it).  He played the role of aggressor and gave the Cats a lethal offensive weapon, commanding the ball and connecting on nearly every shot.  He finished 7-8 from the field and 4-4 from downtown.  No rebounds and no assists?  No big deal.  Great game by Darius and hopefully the start of a continued role as a consistent go-to player for UK.  Side note:  How much is he going to be missed next season?

 – When you look at the final score, you wouldn’t think that it was a remarkably efficient evening on the offensive end, but the Cats were clicking in the first half behind impressive ball movement and crisp passing.  UK finished with thirteen assists on their 21 baskets and knocked down eight of eighteen threes.  But the biggest takeaway again I think is their effectiveness against the zone.  The two-three zone has become essentially the only hope for teams to stop Kentucky from scoring the ball and the Cats looked confident against it yet again.  They’ve found a way to get penetration to the middle by using a screener at the top of the key, usually Anthony Davis, and it allwed the ball-handler to get into the paint for a runner or a dish for a jump shot.  The Cats got a couple of great looks out of that set and were set up several more baskets by flashing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to the high post and letting him break down the defense from there.  When that is clicking like it was tonight, they are virtually unstoppable.

 – Despite what was a relatively easy win, John Calipari seemed to be in rare form on the sideline as he, umm, enthusiastically communicated with his team.  Cal shared his passionate discussion with pretty much everyone on his roster and all of the guys in the black and white shirts, most notably giving it to Terrence Jones in the second half, which was caught by ESPN’s cameras.  If you ever had concerns that this team could get complacent with a hot start to the season and a relatively weak conference schedule, watch Calipari on the sideline and then erase any concerns.  He’s not letting up.  Not even a little bit.  After the game, he said he’s going to stay after this team until they figure out how to step on a team when they have the chance.  Yes, he’s playing for blood.

 – The most visible victim of Calipari’s constructive criticisms was Terrence Jones, who played a pretty good game despite only scoring five points.  There was a time that Terrence Jones needed to score buckets in order to be involved in the game, but he’s made major strides in the last few games and that was on display again against Georgia.  Jones added seven rebounds and thre blocks to his pedestrian point total, but it was the manner in which he did it that was impressive.  He doesn’t just grab the rebounds that come to him anymore.  He goes and snatches them up.  At one point, he went up and grabbed one over Anthony Davis.  He’s quietly on pace to enter the top-ten of UK’s career blocked shots list.  And against Georgia, with the team up fourteen points with eight minutes left, Jones went fish-out-of-water and dove for a loose ball, giving the Cats another offensive possession.  He’s been criticized for sometimes looking disinterested and being unable to impact the game when he’s not getting his points.  Those days appear to be far behind him now.

 – The Cats had an outstanding night on the defensive end against a team that Calipari said afterward worried him quite a bit.  Cal said he was concerned with Georgia’s guards and their ability to hit the three-point shot, so he inserted Doron Lamb into the starting lineup in place of Darius Miller.  The Cats again closed down the middle, blocking 10 shots and out-rebounding the Dawgs by 21, while also holding Georgia to 34% from the field.  Because of Kentucky’s length, it’s going to be hard for anyone to score on them and no matter who you play, giving up only 44 points is an impressive feat.

 – “Michael Jordan isn’t walking through that door, but Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is.” – Jimmer Dykes

 – Darius Miller was the star of the team coming off the bench, but the Cats also got some good minutes from Kyle Wiltjer in the first half.  Wiltjer gave his usual offensive spark, scoring six points in only eight minutes, but he looked far more comfortable inside, grabbing rebounds and battling for position with Georgia’s big men.  He still has a long way to go in terms of defensive performance, but his eight minutes were quality and, like his teammates, showcased strides he’s made as an individual throughout the course of the season.

 – On an unrelated note, we received an email from a KSR reader asking for everyone to keep two Muhlenberg County teenagers, Sadie Smith and Colton Fields, in their prayers.  Both kids were in car accidents and are fighting for their lives.  Please keep both them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

 – Finally, if you missed it Tuesday, the premiere of cn|2 Sports, hosted by our good friend Chip Cosby, debuted Tuesday night.  Chip’s show will be on every night at 6:30 and  10:30 and will talk a little about UK, but focus more on what’s going on at Louisvile, Western, Eastern, Murray, Morehead, Bellarmine and at the high school level.  Here is a behind-the-scenes video put together about the show’s debut:

 – I’m going to watch Justified now.  You can find my thoughts on KSRCollege.com tomorrow.

Article written by Thomas Beisner

52 Comments for Closing The Book On Georgia…



  1. Tommy
    12:49 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I understand the analysis is valid, but I feel like I speak for a lot of people when i say that the whole “It’s not often when blah blah blah we play like shit, and blah blah blah a win is a win.” shtick is annoying as hell. Seeing it happen and the writing that follows it every game gets very old.



  2. rocky d
    1:02 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I love Chip Cosby!!dam



  3. Hal
    1:03 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    1- 20-1. they got a 15 point lead early in 2nd half when joja only had 30ish points total. the team may have sloppy or less-interested & cal laid into them. OH & WE DID WiN, ON THE ROAD. grow. a. pair.



  4. Great Googly Moogly
    1:17 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Ohh, great…a Rick Santorum ad on the top of the page.

    Yeayyyyyypuke.



  5. curious
    1:17 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    A
    nybody heard anything about how ryan harrow has been doing in practice? Haven’t read anything about him in awhile.



  6. Tommy
    1:21 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    3.) I wasn’t referring to being upset with how the team performed, more-so the fact that these KSR writers rehash the same write-up after every game, and pretend winning close, ugly games is a new thing.



  7. JimR
    1:26 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Jones diving onto the floor for that loose ball reminded me of Jay Shidler, who as I recall, seemed to come in off the bench and then spend most of his playing time hitting the floor with reckless abandon. I loved his energy.



  8. just another day at the morgue
    1:28 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Y’all are spoiled, because this team is so sickenly talented–and beyond that, good kids! I freaking am in heaven here…after the BCG years, to see the talent we have at Kentucky is such a blessing!!!



  9. Bulldawg
    1:35 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I am a HUGE Chip Cosby fan! It is great to see him doing well. Had the honor of shaking his hand one time at a football game. I always thought his football coverage was excellent! He was basically the only reason I would look at the LH. That one guy that is “not yelping” turned me completely anti-LH. It is great to see that Mr. Cosby moved on up! Continue the hard work Chip because BBN loves you man! I just wish the football team would get better…



  10. Bulldawg
    1:41 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Oh yeah, IMO TJ had one of his best games. He was hustling his butt off! Lamb played great defense. And Miller showed why he can be invaluable to this team. Davis is just a freak and a joy to watch. i thought Gillie’s effort was there but it looked like he was trying to force his offensive game at times. If I read correctly Teague had 0 turnovers 7 rebs. and 7 assists…that is exactly what this team needs from him. It was a well-desrved win for the Cats! Still can be a lot better, but still better than anyone else! GBB!!!!!



  11. Jeremy
    2:42 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Thank you, Beisner, for adding the prayer request for the two teenagers! They have made improvements but have a ways to go. Great site!! Also just started catching the radio show on 730 WFMW out of Madisonville in the last few weeks! Great stuff! Go Big Blue!



  12. KnicksCat
    5:17 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I have family that lives in NY. The Cal to Knicks rumors are starting up again. Cal is friends with the owner and would supposedly be willing to make him the GM as well. There are also rumblings that the knicks may trade Amare for Dwight Howard. Personally, I don’t think Cal takes the job if offered, but just wanted to pass on the info.



  13. Chuck
    6:07 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Every time Jones touches the ball, I get nervous. I am convinced he is bi polar.



  14. Mr. Manager
    6:45 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Go Cats!!!



  15. gcat4496
    7:16 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I wouldn’t exactly call this a close game. We lead by double digit the final 25 mins. Georgia never got it under ten. This was a comfortable win on the road. There are several factors going on: #1. We start 3 FR and 2 Soph and we are 20-1. That is unheard of unless they are super talented. #2. We are in league play now. We are not playing Transy, we are employing SEC teams that have big body talented players. Did you know that Georgia beat Notre Dame on a neutral court. Yes, the same Notre Dame that just blew out previously #1 Syracuse. #3. We are not playing in Rupp every game. Yeah that’s right. 3-0 in league play on the road. Not bad. #4. We don’t have much depth. We have about 6 guys playing over 30 Mins a game. They get tired. It is hard to blow out an opponent when you are tired.



  16. Al B. Sure
    7:37 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    The place was sold-out, but a couple of minutes into the second half and most of the seats were empty. I guess Georgia fans gave up early. Kyle Wiltjer is still a major liability on defense, but I thought I saw him get a block last night! No mention of Lamb’s haircut?



  17. CatsFanInKnoxville
    7:40 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    So, Chip gets HD??? Why not your show, Matt?



  18. theTruth
    7:41 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Personally, I’m getting tired of Calipari lighting up Jones every other trip down the floor. There are times (including last night) where Calipari is flat out mocking Jones during his tirades. Everyone talks about Terrance pouting, but the fact that the kid came back this year to endure more of Calipari humiliating him on national TV, I think, says a lot about his desire to be a better player. Plus, we don’t even see what happens in practice. Please stop making judgments about this kid’s personality and character. I think most of our heads would be swimming if we were the subject of Calipari’s ire every 90 seconds.



  19. Al's IndiCats
    7:47 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    8, I hafta agree with you, we ARE spoiled as brats at a toy store. Remembering the last 4 years of Tubby and the BCG experiment, that generally brings me back to earth. Had Clyde stayed we still would probably be in the hunt for that 2000th win.
    Even though it was a low scoring game, I was watching TJ and he was flat out getting mauled as well as Davis. I was somewhat concerned about this game also as I will be Saturday playing LSU. It used to be the B10 that was physical with the Bigs in the middle, but now it’s filtered down to the SEC and unless they really abuse Davis and or Jones it’s a no call. A win is a win and I’ll take a win on the road even if it’s against a cub scout troop.
    GO CATS!!!!!!!!



  20. Hoss
    7:51 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    20- then be a GD man and handle your business instead of constantly pouting and crying about it. That’s Jones’ problem. He’s a pussified whiner and I can’t wait to see him be someone else’s problem.



  21. Hoss
    7:53 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    19- I, much like Cal, have had my fill of TJ. Too much head to ever get the full potential out of his skills.



  22. Cherith Cutestory
    7:55 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    glad to see this book closed. GO CATS!



  23. buzzard
    8:06 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    It was good to see Darius wanting to take shots. He’s one of our best offensive players. Great game Darius. I thought TJ played hard and that’s all you can really ask a player. A win on the road in the SEC is a good game! Enjoy the season Cat fans!



  24. Cat Fan 13
    8:10 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Sometimes I wonder if alot (not all) of you “fans” even like UK. Go Big Blue!!



  25. Hoss
    8:12 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    To constantly see a kid with the world literally at his fingertips continually make his own life more difficult by acting like he’s 9 is just too much for me to watch. I say the crybaby deserves what he’s got coming… which is a slow slide into NBA mediocrity.

    What a waste.



  26. Cat Fan 13
    8:12 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Lets build these kids up instead of always tearing them down. They are kids! Our kids!



  27. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    8:13 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    20- Concerned about LSU? Really? Because of Brandon Bass’s little bro? I say we win by at least 15 easily as long as we rebound the ball well (they are 38th in nation for rebounding).



  28. dreamsmooth
    8:16 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Ramel Bradley is heading to a new team in Israel:

    http://www.allkyhoops.com/2012/01/ramel-bradley-to-sign-with-hapoel.html



  29. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    8:17 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I think at this point fans should just accept the fact that Jones has slid into a role player on this team and is not going to be our star. As long as effort is shown and he continues to play defense well and grab rebounds I don’t know why people continue to berate him. He is not going to score 25 a night this year so get over it (we are still winning games people).



  30. NotJerryTipton
    8:18 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    we win for realz



  31. Cat Fan 13
    8:18 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    We are one fluke 3 pointer away from being undefeated with a bunch of freshman a couple of sophomores and a senior and oh yeah I almost forgot about Eloy the Destroyer!!



  32. Blue World Order
    8:21 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I wonder what the new unis will look like today?



  33. Stan
    8:22 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone see what Jerry the Jerk wrote about Cal?It nevers ends.I guess Matt or Drew or whoever is running this site now doesn’t have the courage to ask Cal or UK why they keep answering Jerry Tipturds questions. Why not tell all players, coaches, etc..he doesn’t exist.Screw you Jerry,you are a bitter old bastard.COME ON MATT, DREW, SOMEBODY! ASK WHY HE IS STILL BEING ISSUED A PRESS PASS AND WHY ARE THE PLAYERS AND CAL EVEN RECOGNIZING HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  34. Blue World Order
    8:24 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    #34 AMEN BROTHER!!!



  35. Blue World Order
    8:26 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    We should start the Jerry Tipton doesn’t exist campaign



  36. ThatsAShame
    8:29 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    30 – I agree. Moreover I think we are better with him in the 13pts/8reb/2ast/2blks. This stat line wins us a championship.



  37. Eric
    8:33 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Miller will be sorely missed next year.



  38. Freelance Phillip
    8:40 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I think I just teared up little in that promo.



  39. John Chaney
    8:40 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Prayers go up.



  40. Stan
    8:44 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks 34 and 36. It is just beyond me why UK still puts up with his shit. They have plenty of good reasons to take action against him,why don’t they? The talk about protecting the players, this would go a long way in doing that. I know I wouldn’t my son or daughter talking to someone who has a hostory of misquoting and lying on players as well as causing issues where there are none. I told him how I felt about him in a letter to the HL. UK sits on there ass and does nothing,.Screw you Jerry,you are a bitter old bastard.COME ON MATT, DREW, SOMEBODY! ASK WHY HE IS STILL BEING ISSUED A PRESS PASS AND WHY ARE THE PLAYERS AND CAL EVEN RECOGNIZING HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OR GIVE US, THE READERS AND FOLLOWERS OF THIS SITE THE VOICE TO ASK!!!!!!



  41. barn
    8:51 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    what’s with all the criticism of tj? he didn’t score a bunch but had a solid game. i was pleased with his energy in last nite’s game. we only scored 57 pts and still won by 13. i think that shows that this team can beat you any way you want to play.



  42. Jenny Craig Pitino
    8:59 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I think UK should use the T.O. press conference method and just say “next question” when Tipton ask a question.



  43. Soccer14
    9:17 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Chip Cosby is a hard working dude. I remember Chip interviewing me for the herald Leader after high school soccer games. Now look at him. Congrats!



  44. Al's IndiCats
    9:34 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah 28 I am. Not that I think it could happen but a foul here, a basket there anything can happen on the road to even good teams. Look at what happened to ‘Cuse over the weekend at ND. ND couldn’t guard a 90 year old lady with a walker all year long with the starters and the bench on the floor all at the same time, and the stars were all aligned, fingers were crossed and desparate shots fell. Again, anything can happen on road games.

    I agree with all on Tipton. I have absolutly no idea why this guy is given a press pass at all. The HL doesn’t make him to rewrite any of his stories when they are clearly out of context and completely false on others.
    As much as it pains me to say this, Roy Williams had the best comeback to him after we played UNC. I just wish UK would pull his pass and let him look from the outside in.



  45. Stan
    10:00 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I agree 43!



  46. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    10:18 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    45- You’re absolutely right about the dangers of playing on the road. I’m just not overly worried based on the talent level LSU has now. Starksville, Nashville, and Gainesville will all be tough though absolutely. Cats by 15+ Sat.



  47. harepi
    10:31 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    i have become puzzled about the substitutions. wiltjer never played in the second half and eloy and beckman not at all. will become a time when he will need 9 players, especially with the inconsisten zebras in the sec, on the road at vandy, miss st and florida.



  48. lee denney
    10:54 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    I’m no expert, but it seems to me the teams that hold Terrance to a lower score do so by rushing in for a double team when he gets the ball anywhere near the basket. This forces the left-hander to his right away from the bucket and latelyhe has given up and passed the ball to a teammate on the perimeter. I don’t have the easy solution.



  49. MemphisCat
    10:59 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    Prayers are on the way for the two kids and their families.



  50. Hoss_Cat
    11:27 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    #19 Jones deserves to get ridiculed by Cal. He shouldn’t have came back if he didn’t want to play like a man. You think just cuz he came back that he should be able to play like a da_n pu$$y?



  51. sunnycat
    11:45 am January 25, 2012 Permalink

    51. Amen. It is ashame Cal had to chew TJ’s ass all night to keep him motivated.