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It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win


I’m glad that game is out of the way. That seemed to be one big exhalation of all the pent up emotion from the North Carolina and Indiana games. The Cats burst out to an 18-2 lead and then took their foot off the gas. It wasn’t much fun to watch, but it will provide Cal with ample material in the two weeks leading up to the Louisville game.

– The topic on the mind of every UK fan is the play of Terrence Jones. He did injure his pinkie in the first half – Cal said it was a dislocation – and that severely limited him, but even before the injure it was evident that some of that Indiana funk was persisting. He just seemed sluggish. This team is talented enough to win without Jones, but he needs to get his head on straight sooner rather than later if this group wants to reach their potential come March. Jones went scoreless in 10 minutes of game time and in the past five halves, he only has four points and six rebounds. Something is wrong and it goes beyond a dislocated finger. Hopefully whatever it is gets taken care of soon. Jones is a good kid and you hate to see him struggle like this.

– In positive news, Anthony Davis was an absolute machine out there tonight. He finished with 14 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks. His growth as a rebounder and interior scorer has been exponential. The sky really is the limit for this guy and his play should have every NBA GM drooling. For the Louisville trolls out in full force tonight, you have no one who can stop him. What he will do to your team on December 31st will be criminal – not Greg Scruggs DUI criminal, but criminal nonetheless.

– Michael Kidd-Gilchrist continued to prove himself as Kentucky’s best all around player. His stat line of 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists was extremely impressive. He also went 2-3 from beyond the arc and 7-8 from the free throw line. Over the past three games, he has averaged a little over 17 points, nine rebounds and two assists. If he keeps this up, he will be the Kentucky player most often in the conversation for postseason accolades. Sign me up for the MKG fan club.

– Doron Lamb continued to solidify himself as Kentucky’s go to scorer. He finished with 24 and six rebounds and his floater seemed nearly unstoppable. He missed some open three point looks but his overall performance covered up for his few miscues. The offense seems to go as Doron goes. In the first half it seemed like he was the only one who was willing to put his head down and drive toward the basket. If Lamb can consistently lead this team in scoring like he did tonight, we’re gonna be alright.

– Marquis Teague’s turnover issues seem a thing of the past. He finished with eight assists and only one turnover tonight to go along with eleven points. The only knock on Teague’s performance tonight was the fact that he took too many dumb threes. It’s not just him though. The whole team settles for the three point shot too often. It’s hard to run the dribble drive without any dribbling or driving. Cal wasn’t excited about the 33 three pointers we shot as a team. Teague’s game isn’t from distance. I don’t know what Cal says to him at halftime, but against both Indiana and Chattanooga, he came out of the break looking for his drive more. That’s where he thrives. We don’t need Marquis to be Brandon Knight. We just need him to be Marquis Teague.

– Kyle Wiltjer took Cal’s comments after the Indiana game to heart and started to look for his own shot more. He might have looked for his own shot a bit too much, but it’s better to see that than to see him pass up on open threes. Wiltjer may be a star in time, but this season we need him to fill a specific role. If he can provide solid defense and three point baskets, he’ll be doing exactly what we need him to do.

– Speaking of Wiltjer, his White Boy Academy killed the spread. Really hope Polson can bounce back in the waning minutes of the Samford game. Twany Beckham also got three minutes at the end of the game. He didn’t do anything. We predicted as much.

– In non-game news, the renovated Rupp Arena designs were approved by the city. You can check them out here. It looks pretty cool.

– Chattanooga’s Drazen Zlovaric found some success inside with 15 and nine, but no one on the roster really stood out against the Cats. The team that was leading the Southern Conference statistically in every three point category was held to 8-27 from beyond the arc by UK – that’s only 30 percent. It wasn’t a top flight opponent, but it’s nice to see some good perimeter defense out of the Cats.

– The next game is Tuesday against Samford and it’s on ESPN2! Isn’t it nice not to have to look for links?

Article written by Matthew Hays

63 Comments for It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win

  1. ukfaninohio
    11:40 pm December 17, 2011 Permalink

    Injured finger will bother him all year that sucks

  2. Claw
    11:46 pm December 17, 2011 Permalink

    Oh, you can say in the post that Jones needs to get his head on straight, but if anybody else comments about his attitude they are deleted. I’ll just rememember to only say Go Cats

  3. Wow
    12:02 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    That picture of Jones’ finger is gross. If that is real, he could be out a month or so. Yikes.

  4. JacK LorD
    12:05 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    all my years bustin up corruption has led me to this conclusion.
    the weakest link in an organization always reveals itself and eventually causes disruption. TJ, get your act together or you will be forever known as “the weakest link”

  5. Bo Duke
    12:08 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see Jones being able to play for at least a few weeks. I have a feeling the coaching staff will be giving out much info on it.

  6. Ncaa
    12:08 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Its falling apart. Lol

  7. go team
    12:09 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    i dont know what to say….gilchrist looks goofy as heck out there….but somehow the kid gets it done.
    and how!

  8. TheReal
    12:23 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Terrible post. We get an easy win without one of our top players even playing and it’s “boring” and “a win”? We dominated them, wasn’t flashy but have a little pep in your writing geez. Quit being a spoiled sourpuss.

  9. Skeps
    12:23 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Putting your head down and driving to the basket is dumb. This team takes “too many dumb 3’s”? Only shooting 2-7 against IU is better? You can’t beat quality teams with only driving to the basket. Wise up.

  10. 2011
    12:23 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Who still says goofy?

  11. Skeps
    12:24 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Terrence Jones is playing out of position. He’s not a natural PF post-up player. He’s more comfortable at the 3 spot. Give the kid a break.

  12. Ncaa
    12:26 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    New rule 43-4/5$bc-4: uk will no longer be allowed to shoot three pointers

  13. Kevin
    12:52 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    We’re not gonna hang #8 this year…and it’s all TJ. Less partying, more bball!

  14. CliffFrankLou
    12:54 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    And down goes Vandy again

  15. CliffFrankLou
    12:59 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Jones will be fine in 2-3 weeks–not that big a deal.

  16. Kevin
    1:05 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    @#11: Give the kid a break? No sir, not if you’re gonna be a lottery pick and make your millions. You better be great from anywhere on the court! Saw the pouting/mouthing on the bench again…

  17. Lovely
    1:09 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    TJ’s funk showing up right around the time of finals has me worried. I hope it is just coincidental and he’s not having serious academic problems.

  18. T Jones...
    1:33 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Yes, Jones struggled terribly against IU. It’s time to get over that. Talk of a persisting funk or sluggish play doesn’t make sense to me, dude got hurt at the 17 minute mark tonight…walking off the floor with his finger at a 90 degree angle. At that time, UK was up 10-0 and while he hadn’t attempted a shot or scored, he was hustling, playing defense, and had an assist to Teague on the break. I’m not sure much could be expected or gained by putting him back in the game after that. He was obviously favoring his left hand and that’s when he shot his three shots and had two turnovers. Why put him back in at all? He came back in twice, and had to come out shortly after. It would be different if the injury was on his off hand…he could still shoot, dribble, and pass better. But a dislocated finger on your dominant hand…I wouldn’t want to try to play like that. Hopefully it isn’t too bad of a recovery. Get back to beast mode T Jones!!! Hopefully soon.

  19. nolablue
    1:35 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Uhm, lots of people say “goofy”. Even people who know
    how to put quotes around words correctly.

    I hope whatever is wrong with TJ, he has LOTS of pent up energy
    and finely honed rage ready for The Filthy Cards.

    Honestly, the kid has always bugged the livin’ crap outta me,
    but I don’t wish him any harm. I hope he pulls through
    whatever is goin’ on.

  20. lpool003
    1:44 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    I completely agree with the Anthony Davis section of this post. Louisville is in some serious trouble on the 31’st. They barely beat Vandy (who just lost to Indiana St.) at home in OT and an extremely overrated Memphis team at home tonight. Other than that it has been cupcake city and they have not looked good in those games either. MKG, Lamb and Davis will go off in that game since they have nobody who can guard them… expect a 20+ point blowout IMO.

  21. Tomas
    1:59 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    17. Pretty sure if his grades were a problem the University would already know. I know my grades 24 hrs. after my last final which was Wednesday, and I go to a NAIA school in Southeastern Kentucky.

  22. True blue
    2:07 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Looks like the bad guys are blogging again. TJ is struggling, but everyone knows how good he can be. This game and the next three let’s face it, exebition/practice games. Get psyched, the Cards are coming to Rupp. One of the last games of 2011. We have the most awesome team in the world without a doubt!! Shabazz, come join our party !! UK Blue forever!!!

  23. TRex
    2:40 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    This team is fun to watch!! They are fantastic! It is not even Christmas, they will get much better.
    These guys will be the best team to watch since the 1996 studs!!!

  24. Calipari'sInYourEar
    3:03 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Please Matthew… “Wiltjer may be a star in time, but this season we need him to fill a specific role. If he can provide solid defense and three point baskets, he’ll be doing exactly what we need him to do.”

    You have no clue what your talking about.

  25. gimmea...
    3:04 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Everyone needs to get off Jones back and leave the kid alone. He played 2 and a half mins tonight before he got hurt. Baker wad really running him down when he was hurt. Just makes me sick to see him bashed on.

  26. Blueblood
    3:49 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    These guys are fantastic! Poetry in motion! At the speed of light!
    Lamb’s floaters!! Davis’ dunks, blocks! Kidd-Gilchrist moves like magic!
    Fans: savor these moments, this team is the best to ever wear Blue.

  27. Hal
    4:17 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    come on, man. the team purposely took more 3s tonight. it was a lesser opponent, at home, & with a starter sitting. you saw all of that, right? teagiue is improving at one thing at a time. npow, we just need darius to hit his 3s and this team will crazy good.

  28. Louisville
    4:54 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Ha ha ha

  29. Louisville
    4:55 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Mr horse haye lol…don’t worry about Scruggs worry about down syndrome Tj. We will c on the 31…. Hooiser

  30. Calipari'sInYourEar
    5:00 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    So this website reports Terrence Jones has a fractured finger. Matt Jones reports that the finger was indeed fractured, then both are retracted.

    Calipari reports that Terrence has a dislocation.

    Matt Jones knows not to report inaccurate news. They taught him how to check his sources at Duke. He got the story right, and was told to pull it.

    What a wanker.

  31. Dane Brammage
    6:46 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Put the finger in a brace and apply DMSO, pre-, during, and post-game.

  32. Stan
    7:23 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with #11,If he is hurt, sit him down. Everyone can defend him all they want, but the effort wasn’t there, something about his bogy language and his expression, something is wrong. I love TJ and hope he works out whatever is causing this.

  33. RidgeRunner
    8:02 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    I did not see or hear the game due to a stupid Christmas party I had to ummm..attend.

    I like to see the assist/to ratio from Teague, MKG at it again (awesome), & Ant –well he is Ant (amazing).

    I’d like to hear more about TJ (pre finger injury) from someone that I know is not a troll or someone that just wants to bash or see’s him thru blue glasses. My question is this…did he “try”?

  34. bung
    8:03 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    good article matthew…i agree with you

  35. RidgeRunner
    8:04 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    bung…what was your take (seriously) on TJ before he got hurt? Effort or?

  36. bung
    8:25 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Ridge…i had to miss the very first of the game myself. But i know we only got 6 pts off the fast break.

  37. RidgeRunner
    8:25 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Someone who saw the game… Matthew says above the previous game funk persisted & he was sluggish. But in the previous game, my only concern was that he quit and pouted. Did anyone see him like this?

    Now, if he tried to get back on defense, tried to get rebounding position, run offense by not standing around, and didn’t argue/pout (as examples)….this means he is trying. He may than have a bad game this time truly and be sluggish trying…but I’m ok with that in regards to supporting him and being patient until he finds his niche. about it? bad game or no effort guys? Remember the difference.

  38. RidgeRunner
    8:26 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Gotcha bung…I hear ya bud.

  39. jimmy johns
    8:36 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with no one

  40. Rickpitinoshairplug
    8:48 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Matt and his double standards. Last night be said it was a fracture. This morning it says dislocation. He didn’t cite that he changed it. He bashes other sites when they donexactly what he did last nifht

  41. Blueblood
    9:09 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    TJ probably has a chip fracture. U see this all the time on X-rays
    of a dislocation.

  42. BurnerTurner5
    9:11 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Nice game Vandy. That was a top ten team to start the season?

  43. Mike
    9:12 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    We are not getting the full story on TJ…why not let him be interviewed even if he turns out to be less than truthful? Will Cal keep the muzzle on him this week again? Everyone is trying to be supportive of him becuase this has to be affecting team chemistry.

  44. Mike
    9:12 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    We are not getting the full story on TJ…why not let him be interviewed even if he turns out to be less than truthful? Will Cal keep the muzzle on him this week again? Everyone is trying to be supportive of him becuase this has to be affecting team chemistry.

  45. RidgeRunner
    9:14 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    In the ‘Things happen for a reason’ dept….

    If this injury to TJ shelves him a few games, perhaps he can come to grips on his issue & have tiime to resolve it.

    I hate to put it like that…but

  46. lurking with intent to loom
    9:15 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    #28,29-Educational RX for you: Sound out your vowels, and learn what a sentence is. When you pass second grade, come back and try to post. We will let you know if you make sense then. Ok?

  47. RidgeRunner
    9:22 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    I only pray that TJ tweets, interview, (however he wants to put it out) something like this…

    “During this time with my finger-injury I am also working on a personal / private matter and please give me time, BBN”

    He would then have 99% of BBN behind him completely. Coaches…please get this to him.

  48. statician
    9:50 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    he runs from a car accident because he was afraid. right. now he is pouting all the time and hanging his head. the kid is obviously not getting his “touches” with all the other talented options around him and he is not happy about it. he is regretting returning and instead of fighting thru it, he pouts. lucky to have kidd-gilchrist. he is a true star in the making and that is how you play. all heart and effort mixed in with talent will = payday. like he said, ‘as long as the outcome =’s income. wonder if he was talking about this year or next?

  49. I say
    9:52 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    I say boot TJ off the team or bring him off the bench. He doesn;t need to get his head on straight, he needs to get it out of his azz.

  50. Hard Hittin' CAT
    10:04 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    49) STFU

    TJ is going to be fine. Ridgerunner, I saw the whole game including the first part of the game before Terrence got hurt. I thought his effort was good. He was hustling and playing hard on defense.

  51. Ncaa
    10:06 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Good job tj i guess if u cant be the man youll drag us all down

  52. R U FO REALZ?
    10:06 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    49. u are kidding right? the kid had one bad game and then dislocated his finger on his dominant hand.
    use your head, dumbass.

  53. OMG!!
    10:08 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Sad to say, but Louisville looked like the better team yesterday. Raceme Buckles has returned and Pitino has added Kevin Ware to the lineup. Peyton Siva and Kuric are playing much better and the Tards have a much deeper bench. Pitino will give Cal his first loss at Rupp.

  54. gimmea...
    10:24 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    53… are you stupid? I’ve watched every ul game and therr is no way they can be favored to win. Michigan beat Memphis like a drum and they barely brat ut in double ot. With or without Jones, UK is the MUCH better team

  55. gimmea...
    10:27 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    All I needed to see from Jones was that he was cheering on his teammates in the 2nd half (he wasn’t last week) to see that his effort was there. He played 2 mins pre-injury.

  56. 19snl60
    10:32 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    tj will b fine. we will need everyone working together and healthy to go the distance.u of k in march.

  57. kygolfnut
    10:55 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Go back to last year, TJ had the same thing, if he isnt the star he starts moping around, if he doesnt get the touches he wants, then it is pout city, of course if he would play inside where he belongs most of the time and not think he is Doron he might get the touches. Want to toughen him up, use the pads and helmets in practice and pound on him a little bit and dont call any fouls in his favor, maybe then he will come out, play hard and not get down when he doesnt get a call by the refs he thinks he should have/

  58. kygolfnut
    10:56 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    on UL vs UK,. if the cats dont toughen up the will he handed their heads on a platter just like at IU, only this time it will be at home.

  59. sunnycat
    11:25 am December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Some of you need to take off the Blue Blinders. IU was not a “bad game” Jones quit on his team and there is no other way to put it. He scored 4 points because he was 2-3 fg 1 rebound and 6 turnovers. If his shots werent falling thats is a bad game. getting 1 rebound is pure effort HE QUIT ON HIS TEAM.

  60. LPD
    12:22 pm December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Believe me or not… I work with the Lex. Pol. Dep. and TJ is hanging around with some sketchy folks. We have been to talk to Mitch Barnhardt about TJ’a involvement. He is not suspected in anything but simply has been see running around in Cardinal Valley with these folks very late at night. I hope this has nothing to do with his on the court play. He seems like a good kid and I hope he doesn’t mess up his NBA dreams running around with low lifes.

  61. rick
    2:49 pm December 18, 2011 Permalink

    TJ is a sophmore. 19-20 years old. I was hardly operating at my full potential at that age and people need to chill out a little about this. It’s not like it used to be where we could let young players develop over time. Now they are expected to come in and win a championship as freshmen and sophmores. Don’t put anymore preassur on this young man than he already carries.

  62. Catsfando
    5:52 pm December 18, 2011 Permalink

    Why have a blog if you’re not going to post what fans have to say? I’ve posted the same post twice and it appeared to have been accepted then disappeared. There was no personal attack, vulgarity, nor any comments on the writers here. With all the trolls posting here (and there are a ton) a real fan can’t post? What’s up with that?

  63. Calipari'sInYourEar
    12:09 am December 19, 2011 Permalink

    #61 – rick – Your still not operating at your full potential.