– The Cats trounced the Marist Red Foxes 108-58 tonight on the UK IMG Sports Network . The poor game feed prompted the Turkey Hunter to quip: “IMG uses bank surveillance cameras.” While the picture quality was indeed lacking, the pace of play was top rate. The two teams combined for 81 points in the first half, but it was the second half that displayed the real fireworks.
– Cal started the first half with Miller, Lamb, Kidd-Gilchrist, Teague and Davis. Kentucky jumped to a 4-0 lead after the first minute, but the Red Foxes brought the score to 18-17 at the 13:30 mark. That timeout led to the entrance of Terrence Jones to the game, who struggled through the first half. John Clay cleverly Tweeted, “Terrence Jones playing like someone who was out at 2:30 a.m.” The Cats went into the locker room leading 45-36. Kidd-Gilchrist led all scores with 11 points, Davis contributed 10 points and 5 boards.
– If the first half was a Kentucky struggle, the second half of the season opener was a very different story. Terrence Jones started half #2 in the place of Miller and helped the Cats blast off to a 6-0 run. Kentucky finally got the offense rolling in this second period, shooting 60% from the field, extending the lead to thirty six with 7:30 left. The rest of the game was a Big Blue Steamrolling, with Kentucky breaking the 100 point marker for the second straight game. Sam Malone put on a scoring clinic in the last minute, scoring two pretty buckets. The Cats closed out the Red Foxes 108-58. Kyle Wiltjer and Kidd- Gilchrist had great games and finished with 14 points.
Marquis Teague is the Real Deal
-Much has been made over the young PG Teague and he proved why tonight. Teague posted a 16 point, 4 assist and 3 steal performance in his big blue debut. Absent too are the high PG turnover numbers that usually accompany new PGs, as Teague posted only 3. Cal will say that is three too many, though.
Sub of The Day
-Despite his slow start, Terrence Jones came off the bench and scored 5 points for UK in the first half. Jones started the second half and helped the Cats sprint to a 21-2 run to start the second frame. Jones finished the game with eight points. This wasn’t Jones’ best game by any stretch, but it is clear that it was a very different team with him on the floor. When TJ entered, the game was 18-17; it was never really close after he subbed in.
Doron Lamb was “Over the Top”
-Lamb exited the game in the first half due to an apparent eye injury. Lamb must have executed the Lincoln Hawk “hat-around” in the locker room, because in his eleven second half minutes, Lamb put up six points and five assists. A few of those assists were simply incredible. Lamb shot 50% from the field (6-12) and was 3-5 outside the arc.
A Tale of Two Defenses
– The Cats entered the break up only 9 but finished with a 50 point win. The stat that jumps off the page is Marist’s FG %: The heroic 50% from the first half dropped to just 17.1% in the second period. While there are many factors can be credited, the huge interior presence of Davis and Kidd- Gilchrist top the list. The Cats seemed to be comfortable in the press, and it resulted in 14 Red Fox turnovers. The defense has a lot of work to be UNC game ready, but I’ll take a 50 point W tonight.
Anthony Davis is a Monster
-It should surprise absolutely no one that Anthony Davis dominated tonight. It’s like he’s playing with Game Genie on. The freshman succeeded 10 of 13 slams and finished the contest with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks. Those numbers makes Davis the third Wildcat all time (Terrence Jones and Sam Bowie) to record a 20 and 10 performance in their first freshman NCAA game. This kid may end up being pretty good.
– The roundball story of the day (off the court) was the saga surrounding an on-campus car accident involving UK players Stacey Poole and Terrence Jones. According to police reports, a car carrying Poole and Jones collided with another vehicle at approx. 2:30 Friday morning. Coach Cal released a statement confirming that the players did not violate team rules. Cal also indicated that a team curfew would be imposed as a result of the incident. After the game tonight, Grown Jones owned up to his mistake (leaving the scene) which resulted in some Twitter love from the Legend Oscar Combs. TJ also said he was upset about reports that he was drinking and he denied that he was. (Click for complete statements via Ky Kernel’s UK basketball writer Aaron Smith).
– The C-J posted a story about UL coach Rick Pitno today that featured a bizarre picture of the coach’s face. As Matt reported earlier, the substance of the story is still unknown because the picture hauntingly protects the text. While many speculate the picture served as Christopher Nolan’s inspiration for the “Two Face” character in “The Dark Knight,” the director has not issued a comment.
– “Baby Drake” Drew Franklin linked to a WSJ story called “The NBA Fan’s Guide to College Baketball.” The Journal noted, “If you love NBA Swagger” then you’ll love Kentucky. Or put another way, “Kentucky is a Swagasaurus-Rex and all other teams are swagaphobic.” Hi Shabazz. Again, it cannot be overstated how much different this program is now from this time 2008. It feels good to be on top. Thanks again, Cal.
– The Football Cats are 13.5 point dogs to Vandy tomorrow. Your boy Aaron Cordero previewed the game (below), and picked Kentucky to prevail 23-21. In other news, I’ll have what he’s having. The game will be televised on the SEC Network at 12:21pm EST.
– Perhaps the biggest story of the day was the farewell post from BTI. In his 1,450th career post, BTI articulated his thoughts about the comments section and the public perception of the BTI persona. It was truly a fitting finale for one of KSR’s brightest stars and early numbers indicate that “BTI’s farewell post” is on pace to beat the series finale of “The Playboy Club.”
– Chris Thomas will usher in your Saturday morning blogging experience bright and early, or at least before McDonald’s stops serving breakfast. Don’t miss it.