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Kentucky vs. South Carolina Recap

– Kentucky beat South Carolina today 79-64. At the conclusion of the game, one of the studio commentators described the Wildcats’ performance as “Ho Hum.” While I know the feed inside the studio can’t be great, I can’t help but think he skipped the second half.

– Yes, the final spread was only 15. Yes, Kentucky had 15 turnovers. Yes, Kentucky was out rebounded 30-32. All of those things being true, Kentucky still dominated this game. There wasn’t a moment in the final 27 minutes where the outcome was in doubt.

First Half:

– South Carolina controlled things early and opened up to a 4-0 run. Kentucky responded in the third minute and started a 5-0 run, capped by a MKG to T.Jones monster mash in the fifth minute. As the clock crawled toward the second TV timeout, Doron Lamb and Bruce Ellington got things going behind the three point line (Ellington finding nylon twice in this period) and the Gamecocks put on a rebounding clinic. After a Malik Cooke jumper in the tenth minute, Carolina cut the lead to 3 (13-16).

– Following the third TV timeout in the thirteenth minute, the Big Blue giant woke up and opened up a can of instant offense. In the period bewteen 7:16 and halftime, Kentucky was 6-9 from the field, 3-4 from the free throw line and 6 rebounds. Anthony Davis ended the period on his own terms, throwing down a bone crushing oop in traffic to extend the deficit to 16. At the break, Kentucky led Scar 34-18.

– In the first half, Kentucky shot 56.5% from the field, 40% from behind the arc and 66% from the charity stripe. Carolina, on the other hand, struggled a great deal. South Carolina made just 25% of their field goals, 10% (!!) of their 3 point attempts and 50% of their free throws. Amazingly, the Gamecocks managed to out rebound the Cats 19-15 in the first period, while Davis’ 3 blocks led all players.

Second Half:

– If the first half was ‘uncertainty,’ the second half was ‘Point Blank. Period.’ In an effort that seemed to be in response to a live blog comment decrying UK basketball as “not fun,” Kentucky’s Big Blue superheroes delivered the buckets in bunches. The Cats pushed the lead to 20 in the third minute of the second half and refused to let the lead fall below 16 until the tenth minute. At one point, early in the second period, the Cats improved the FG% to 65%. In the twelfth minute of the second half, UK’s 3PT% was at 50%. In the fifteenth, Kentucky pushed the lead back out to 20. The Cocks closed the deficit to 15 in the final minute, and Kentucky zipped em’ up 79-64. 

– South Carolina shot considerably better in the second half. The Cocks were 17-32 from the field (53%) and 5-12 from distance (41.7%). The Cats improved their first half numbers and posted a 61% FG% (16-26), 50% from behind the arc (3-6) and 76.9% from the stripe (10-13). Kentucky out rebounded Scar 15-13 in the second period and Davis added 4 more blocks.

Final:

– Terrence Jones led all scorers with 20 points (8-9 FGs, 1-2 3PTs, 3-5 FTs) and added 3 rebounds. Teague, Davis, Lamb and Gilchrist scored 17, 12, 10 and 9 respectively. Vargas looked good with a steal and a pair, Miller added 4 points and Wiltjer had 5 points and a rebound in 8 minutes. Kentucky was 29-49 from the field (59.2%), 5-11 from behind the arc (45.5%) and 72% from the stripe.

Looking back at the ‘five things to watch for’ from the preview: 

1. Which Terrence Jones showed up today?

– It’s safe to say that the real Terrence Jones stood up today. Jones put up 26 against St. John’s but his 20 point effort is his second highest total of the season. His 8-9 performance from the field is good for 88.8%, a career best. 

2. Did Davis continue to dominate with rebounds?

– While the team was ultimately out rebounded by USC, Davis’ 10 boards led all players. However, 8 of those 10 came on the defensive side of the court; MKG and Jones grabbed two offensive boards each. Again, Kentucky out rebounded Scar 15-13 in the final 20 minutes.

3. Did Teague control the ball and tempo?

– There isn’t a member of the BBN that is upset with Teague for scoring 17 points. Anytime a Wildcat sets a career high, the Big Blue Faithful should be pleased, especially when the guy is 60% from the floor. Teague matched his season average with 4 assists, but fans should be really happy with his turnover count: 2. And any night a guy shoots for 1.000 from the 3 line is never bad.

4. Did Kentucky’s 3 point shooting improve? (Must be higher than 36%)

– Yes. Kentucky was 5-11 from behind the arc (45.5%). What’s more, the 15 points garnered from those shots comprised roughly 19% of Kentucky’s 79 point total. If you’ll recall, their average on the year is 21%, so the Cats didn’t simply “shoot more threes.” They were just more efficient. 

5. Did Kentucky cover? (Do they beat expectations?)

– No. If the spread was -21, Kentucky got close, as they pushed the lead to 20 several times.

Be happy. Go cats.

Article written by Tyler Montell

20 Comments for Kentucky vs. South Carolina Recap



  1. bung
    8:08 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    darius tied teague for assists in half the minutes…points in paint thanks to a litlle better fast break won it…



  2. bung
    8:14 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    POINTS OFF TURNOVERS 1 2 – Tot
    South Carolina………. 2 14 – 16
    Kentucky……………. 5 5 – 10

    POINTS IN PAINT 1 2 – Tot
    South Carolina………. 12 14 – 26
    Kentucky……………. 22 26 – 48

    2ND CHANCE POINTS 1 2 – Tot
    South Carolina………. 8 7 – 15
    Kentucky……………. 2 2 – 4

    FAST BREAK POINTS 1 2 – Tot
    South Carolina………. 0 0 – 0
    Kentucky……………. 6 6 – 12



  3. quickyricky
    8:15 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    #johnshortneedstobetheY



  4. Another Perspective
    8:19 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    1% from the 3 line? FAIL



  5. Bulldawg
    8:19 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    Nice post tyler. A bright future awaits you…

    Happy to see TJ and MT do well today.

    Guarentee you somebody will bash Miller. So sad, everyone can’t score 20pts every game. Good Game from Davis and Gillie too. GBB!!!!!!!!!!!!



  6. Donald0551
    8:32 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    Support another Kentucky team tonight. On ESPNU Isaiah Canaan is putting on a show of the ages! Dude has 22 points already 6-6 shooting. Go RaCERS!!!!



  7. joe from germany
    8:34 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    Who is calling the wildcats “not fun?” I guess they missed the Indian and north Carolina games, plus plenty of others where we are averaging over 80 points a game… This is far better than tubby ball. The only reason I see it be considered not fun, is that we are always in control of the game and winning. So if UK is up more then 10 , no one gets into the game. But I think those people are lazy and should be enjoying our great defense and offensive output of over 80 points a game. S/o to TJ for a great game



  8. Not the ref guy
    8:34 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    #dancinguyneedstobetheY That guy has been working it for years and paying top dollar for good seats to entertain the crowd, he even showed up in the Vill’an to do his thang. Bring him to mid court and give him some love…………



  9. Jacob
    8:51 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    6 he still hasn’t missed!



  10. Duh
    8:56 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    #4) “1.000 from the 3 line” means 100%, like .500 is 50% and .333 is 33%. Thanks, thats is all



  11. Women can never seem to get this right
    9:16 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    Most obvious clue that this post was written by a woman:

    “was out rebounded 30-32.”
    “cut the lead to 3 (13-16).”

    I don’t know what it is, but women and men who don’t know anything about sports always seem to screw this up and invert the numbers. When you’re giving a score, the higher of the two ALWAYS comes first.

    Otherwise, fine post.



  12. Fake Minter
    9:22 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    Mashburn wants to buy the Hornets! Read it on Yahoo



  13. NotJimNatz
    9:34 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    11) Ms. Tyler is the woman. Tyler is the man. Without making a blanket statement about half of the world’s population (women), I do question a man that makes such nit picky statements. He was obviously stating that from Kentucky’s point of view. Generally, that rule applies. But there are exceptions, namely being when the preceding statement specifies a subject matter.

    Your comment was Busch League.



  14. Women can never seem to get this right
    9:49 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    @ #13

    Given what you say about TM being a guy, it would appear the second half of my statement would be most applicable in this case.



  15. NotJimNatz
    10:06 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    14. LOL now that may be true. Good point.



  16. JBR
    10:15 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    @5…I don’t bash Miller because of how many points he scores…I bash Miller because he plays like a wuss and would be the softest player on the Lady Cats. He gives you what a 5’10” white kid could give you…outside shot, fills in when other guys need a break. No heart. Why was it ok to bash Jones, but not Miller?

    Other guys stepped up today…Teague and Jones looked much better, now just have to keep it going.



  17. here ya go
    10:26 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    16) racist statement. it’s not ok to stereo type any race, unless it’s asian.



  18. catsfain5
    10:48 pm January 7, 2012 Permalink

    “Bruce Ellington got things going behind the three point line (Ellington finding nylon twice in this period)”
    Damion Leonard made the only three for South Carolina in the first half and Bruce Ellington didn’t get anything going behind the three point line going 1-8



  19. road_warri0r
    1:30 am January 8, 2012 Permalink

    I believe Miller enjoys seeing his team mates have a great game. If he was selfish, he could shoot a lot and make 20 every game..just sayin



  20. BamaCat55
    8:49 am January 8, 2012 Permalink

    13, It’s not nitpicking to call out a post that says “out rebounded 30-32” or cut the lead to 3 (13-16). The person is clearly not a sports person whether male or female. The higher number always goes frst as 11 points out. Good game for Jones and Teague, we need similar performances as the season goes on.