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Matt Jones talks UK’s end of game struggles


Our favorite CBS Sports blogger not named Gregg Doyel was in Nashville for the game today and gave his thoughts over on regarding Kentucky’s loss to Vanderbilt. Matt talks about the inability of this team to finish down the stretch and their need to get a good win on the road before he believes that they have a chance to make a deep run in March. It’s a good read, so go ahead and take a look at everything he has to say.

Article written by Matthew Hays

70 Comments for Matt Jones talks UK’s end of game struggles

  1. Pissed off UK fan!!
    7:05 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Playoffs???? Somebody say playoffs???

    This team isn’t doing shit in March! I’m about to sell me Sec tix…….terrible!

  2. SmoothBradly
    7:15 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    OMG!!! We are in last place in the SEC East. Pitiful.

  3. catsfan79
    7:19 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    im starting to feel a little pissed off now. i never let last years team play into my expetation for this years squad but 7 losses really sucks for these guys. they are way better than that. it really aggrivates me ul is playing better than us right now. wow!! with a nobody team!!

  4. Viren
    7:22 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    #1 I will gladly buy your SEC Tournament tix. Kentucky will be fine on the neutral site games.

  5. Mr Schwump
    7:23 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    This team’s going nowhere, not enough talent. What Calipari has to do is vow this bullshit ends with this team.

  6. Matt Jonesing
    7:23 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    I am just going to admit it was me that was pulling on Darius’ D!ck. Otherwise, he would not have pulled his groin.

  7. Mr Schwump
    7:25 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    And one more thing…Calipari gets big points for recruiting but this is also the guy who brought in Vargas and Poole and those eff-ups costs this team any chance at depth.

  8. chokecal
    7:26 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Face it, this team cant win on the road int he mediocre SEC, what does it say about a run in March?? UK SUCKS!!! LOLOLOOL

  9. Fed Up
    7:29 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Not sure what to really think of this season. How can we have 3 McDonald’s All Americans and play this way? How can Cal not call a play from the bench or during a timeout that really works? I am so sick of his excuse and everyone else’s of “inexperience”. What are Miller, Lyggins and Harrelson? Why did he recruit Poole, Vargas and the others? Why did he gamble on Kanter when no one else was that stupid? No reason to expect more next year either. Last year we had 5 first-round draft picks and could not beat a depleted WV team, still could not get to the Final Four. This year we have 3 McD AAs, next year we’ll have 4; but, what good are they if you can’t win? Cal has never been a game coach and never will be.

    KY basketball has seen it’s best years and will never be the storied program it once was. Pitino won’t be back. How hard is it to watch UL this year? They’re having a great year with all the injuries, etc. Man, don’t you remember those great years!”

  10. Pissed off UK fan!!
    7:31 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    # 4 you want them??? Just like we were fine with Uconn?? I want this team to win so badly, but it’s just not reality.

  11. Mr Schwump
    7:35 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    0, if you feel that way go suck Pitino’s pecker.

  12. Mr Schwump
    7:36 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    11 was meant for 9.

  13. Cal&cat-fan
    7:37 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Isn’t there a way someone can ban pissed off uk fan. He is such an idiot I hate it when people like that act like they know something

  14. Players fan
    7:39 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    It’s time to quit blaming the players, toughness, etc. They have no offence. They cannot get the best shooters a shot when they need it. Want Jones and Liggins to shoot more? Why, look at the percentages. Why do we keep dreaming about Miller, 2 1/2 years is enough. Hood can’t play? How do we know, we have seen what Miller can do. How many shots do we get for Lamb. How many shots do we get for anybody, they have to get them all by themselves, while every other team screens our but off.

  15. elstie01
    7:42 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Man Pitino is just the best thing to happen to syphilis! F you #9. Go to Porcini’s and I’m sure if you’re nice the man will let you stay after hours with him. UofL and the rest of the Big East is repeatedly sucked off by the media. Yet they never win anything worth winning.

  16. matty5
    7:50 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    It’s simple really…this team should be better with the talent they have on the floor. Don’t give me the ‘we are only 6-7 deep crap’…

  17. matty5
    7:51 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    question: Honestly, would ANYONE have guessed our record would be what it is today, if I would have asked you in November??

  18. Funny Stuff
    7:53 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Heard Cal was eating a burito on the bus ride home. He got a mad case of mud but and overflowed the toilet on the bus.

  19. bung
    7:55 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    14) yep
    We dont play the bench and say they cant play
    We are not required to run or we are too lazy
    We need more shots from the Low Post
    We have no half court plays except turnover and 3
    A 5 star lazy guy is not as good as a 3 star smart hustler
    If talent wins , we got a problem…..

  20. BlueMist
    7:55 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    18) No, there is no excuse for our record. We are only 6 deep because Cal refuses to play certain players. I mean, he gave them a scholarship. so freaking play them.

  21. BlueMist
    7:57 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    20 should be for 17

  22. Just saying
    7:58 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    17. Actually yeah!! Before the season anyone with any sense said “With Kanter were a Final Four team, but without him we’ll be lucky to make the sweet 16”.

    We dont have Kanter, hood and Vargus are the worst players Ive ever seen and they are our only sub (consider Lamb the “sixth starter”). We have no bench, a team full of freshman, and weve lost 5 games by a grand total of 12 points.

    This team is EXACTLY what they should be, and actually might be just a touch better than they should be

  23. NonRetard
    7:58 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Our roster is depleted because last years team over achieved. We lost 2-3 people we weren’t expecting to lose. We went after Vargas as a back up of our back up. Ortan, kanter, harrellson, Vargas. All our plan b’s fell through. If cal had more than 1 full year of recruiting here we could have landed a better big man. This team is a gillipese team -ppat. Expecting freshman to come in and lead and perform like last year’s team is foolish. Next year we will retain several quality players plus add more talent. We’ll be fine. Stop the panic and the bs digs at a team that is a great foundation to rebuild from losing 4 recruits to draft, 1 upperclassman to draft, 3 seniors, and 1 recruit to ineligeble.

  24. UkRon
    7:58 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Anyone who thinks the MSU game is a sure win, is sadly mistaken. They have 2 NBA playerson that team and a dead eye shooter.

  25. Just saying
    8:01 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    23. Thank you!! This team lost SEVEN players from last years team, and Kanter from this one. No one in America could lose Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Orton, Patterson, Kanter, along with Stevenson and Harris and still be ranked in the top 25.

    NO ONE!! Not Pitino, Not Coach K, NO ONE!!

    Calipari should be considered for awards for how good this team is, not called names and the fanbase “fed up”

  26. jimmy dykes
    8:04 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    9….obviously you don’t know about the nail. other wise eat my shorts b/c you’re a big douche. .

  27. bung
    8:04 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    If we had won all those close games by 2 it would have been nice but still would mean we arent much better than anybody else.

  28. L yeah!
    8:05 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Nice Card board.

  29. jimmy dykes
    8:05 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    the gaytors win a close one

  30. bung
    8:06 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    We cant win by 20 in the weak conference?

    8:15 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    These kids have got talent, but it just comes & goes. These kids have talent, but I honestly don’t know if their stupid or what. By this late in the season, these kids should know where to be on the court in an offense, but they still run around lost. I’m beginning to wonder what exactly they’re doing in practice. I’m so over the dribble drive, it’s an illusion; I wish Cal would figure this out !!!! If Cal had a Pitino style offense & defense with his ability to recruit; say what you want, it works & has proven over the years that it works.

    Cal can recruit, Cal can possibly coach, but this one & done stuff isn’t going to get us very far. It takes way too much time & is way too much trouble to have to start every year all over gain with freshman.

  32. ?
    8:16 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    first of all i like b.knight … but he is much more tyreke evens than john wall

  33. GoCats2010
    8:20 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    In a real conference (not C-USA) with real athletes, the DDMO just isn’t as effective. These coaches can scout, and have the horses to slow the DDMO. One of the biggest reasons for last years success was the post-up offense and running the DDMO about 25% of the time. Yes we score points, but it doesn’t seem to wear teams down like we did last year, maybe that is just a factor of depth

  34. Badcall
    8:26 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    #25 Well said. All the big shots think coach K can coach. He couldn’t do this good. GO BLUE OR GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. #1 UK Fan....
    8:29 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Got Pitino? (oh, how I wish!)

  36. Jorts Left Nut
    8:29 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    26 – 9 “nailed” it. We’ve got a politician coaching this team. All talk – no X and O.

  37. R U Fo Real
    8:31 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    31. what are you talking about “this one and done stuff”? should we not have recruited the best players?

    you guys don’t get it. unless we look good and these guys make a deep run, we aren’t gonna have any one and dones (besides maybe Jones) because you will see their stock drop (ie Lamb and Knight).

    last years exodus was an anomaly–we won’t see that ever again.

  38. Jezz
    8:32 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    How sad is it that a win against Louisville is looking good on our resume?

    I agree that we lost a ton of talent and everything, but the talent we still have is amazing. I don’t care about a few losses, but it’s getting ridiculous. I still think we can make a deep run in the tournament, but the SEC regular season championship is already lost.

    I don’t know what to expect anymore. Really, I thought these guys had this Vandy game more than any other on their minds and that they could pull it off. I hate going into games and thinking we’re gonna lose them, but that’s pretty much my mindset when we’re playing on the road now.

    Please win another one…

  39. gcat4496
    8:34 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Here is the good news. 4 or the last 6 are at home and 1 of the road games is at so-so Arkansas team. I don’t think this team can win in Knoxville, but UT has laid some eggs at home. So, I think it is very conceivable that we either run the table or we win 5 straight. So, we could be 11-5 or 10-6 in league play and should finish in 2nd or 3rd in the SEC East. Also good news is that all tourney games are at neutral sites and our fans travel well. I am looking for a solid finish to this year.

  40. UkRon
    8:35 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    38) Would we have beaten uofl if half their team wasn’t injured? Can you imagine how awful we would be if we played a good team without our starting PF, starting center and a couple of decent bench players?

  41. The Source
    8:36 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    I thought UK fans were supposed to have knowledge about basketball. This board proves the exact opposite.

  42. AustraliaCatFan
    8:38 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    I love UK no matter what! Cal can’t coach? He can only recruit! Get a grip!!! You all are NOT fans. Part of being a and the Big Blue Nation is supporting your team from good to bad. I would love for our next outing at Arkansas to pick from random some KSR poster (myself included) to be head coach and watch as we got steamed by 33 points. Although I have the sneaking suspicion a lot of these ‘angry’ fans are really UL, UT, or IU supporters. A couple of bounces and we are 4-1 on the road.

  43. Mr Schwump
    8:41 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Problem with this team is no production from Miller and Harralson on a consistant basis. Throw in the slugs on the bench and the results are predictable. We all should have seen it coming.

  44. dustyblues77
    8:43 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Before the season started I thought this team was going to loose 10 games if they did not have Kanter. That is not to say they would be horrible. I am sure some UK fans belive a 10 loss season or more is a horrible season. I probably fall under the norm because I think this team is doing a great job with the personel they have. I really like this team. They might not play smart all the time which is normal for a short manned team relying on young players. But you cannot question their heart. This teams plays extremely hard representing the blue and white. I believe with a deeper team we are not looking at 7 losses right now and possible 10 loss season. I think Cal has done a great job with team and I believe that they will be a tough out in the tournament. I am not saying they are a final four team but this team has alot of fight and they have ton experience in tight games. I hope the real UK fans cheer this team on instead of bitching about so many things to be critical about. This can be the best and worse fan base. I believe you show real character in defeat and this fan base can do a better job cheering this team on. Most teams would have not been that close in this game today.

  45. #1 UK Fan....
    8:45 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    The problem with this team wears a coat and tie and sits at the end of the bench getting paid about $200,000 per ballgame (win or lose).

  46. parvenu1
    8:46 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Mr. Schlup, or Swamp, or Whatever-Who is this Harralson you speak of? And, let me get this straight-are you refering to the 18-20 year-old student athletes on the bench as “slugs”? You are quite the man of integrity…

  47. parvenu1
    8:47 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    #1 UK fan? HA! Who do you think you’re fooling? We know that you are neither #1, nor a UK fan. Remove yourself from this board and go back to your hole.

  48. Bc
    8:51 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    If nothing changes in who he starts, or who plays what position, we will keep getting the same results!! Easy fix. . . Play Doron Lamb at the point, and move Knight to the 2. Lamb has a better feel and is a better passer. Bring Jones in off the bench again. Let the small guys get off to a big lead. Jones’s passing is subpar, and breaks up the rhythm on offense. It’s worth a shot.

  49. Ridge Runner
    8:54 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    We need to start hanging banners for beating uofl. Becasue this dolt we have coaching the team will never make a final 4.

  50. Will
    8:55 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    When Polson is getting minutes in a tight game, you know we just don’t have the players this year. Orton leaving and Kanter not being elgible is just killing us. I can’t say I am happy losing all these tight games, but I am not shocked either. It’s like we are playing 3 and a half players vs. 5. We are young…. I am not giving up on the team but look forward to next year with a full roster.

  51. Rumor
    8:55 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Hearing Miller could be out a week or two.

  52. Mr Schwump
    8:57 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    46, I’m sure they’re all good boys, yes sir/no sir types, open doors for old ladies and all. Hell, maybe make their own clothes. They’re not SEC-calibre players and we are trying to win here you know. The Harrelson I refer to is Josh “I couldn’t guard a statue” Harrelson. Good games vs UL/UT, get more consistant. And I’ll put my integrity up against you any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  53. White Castle Sliders
    9:00 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Well atleast I have a bunch of Natural Light to drink and when I’m done drinking I have a suitcase of White Castle sliders to tear up. UK will dominate in Atlanta…I don’t care how many days in a row they have to play. UK has been losing by a few points in tough places to play and the teams beating them have been shooting lights out from 3. Atlanta will be an all UK crowd. UK will win 4 straight at win the SEC TOURNEY.

  54. Mr Schwump
    9:00 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    51, pulled groin could last the rest of the season. Difficult injury to come back from.

  55. OMG
    9:04 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    53) I bet your [email protected] explodes later tonight and you get a severe case of mud butt.

  56. Dan
    9:04 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    We only play 6 and now that one is hurt, we are in serious trouble. Between the inability to win on the road against anyone, let alone a top 25 team, and only playing 6-7 people a night, this team is going nowhere. I used to think we could make the sweet 16, now… probably second round loss to an unranked Big East team. Very disappointing, but I’m getting used to us choking at the end of big games.

  57. sunnycat
    9:05 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    The biggest problem with this team is they are soft. Unless there is a wide open path to the basket Liggins is the only one who isnt scared of contact. Knight is probably the softest of them all if he gets touched its a turnover.

  58. Jezz
    9:15 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    People saying the problem is Calipari, or the coach is not getting it done or whatever… is simply PATHETIC. Know your place, shut up and support this team.

    I am not pleased with this loss, but Calipari is the answer. The emotions I felt last year were real, I felt we could win every single game, we had a real, very real shot at winning it all.

    And this will happen again VERY SOON.

    You guys can’t coach, you guys can’t recruit. Shut up and support the team.

  59. MurrayRacerCat
    9:32 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Some posters might want to think back two seasons and think where we could be if there had not been a coaching change. Between Pitino and Billy G, there’s a lot of stuff on the UK coaching seat you just can’t get rid of without a few seasons and a healthy dose of penicillin.

    This year looks like a step back from last year but is a leap forward from the NIT season (really seasons, the last two years of BCG should have been NIT births in my opinion). Last year we were blessed with two guys that had no business playing college ball in Wall and Cousins and some upperclassmen that had been through the flames of hell under BCG and were ready to show the world something. This year is simply a more realistic picture of where the program is in the rebuilding process. Improvement is still needed but we are “trending positive” from the days of Gardner Webb losses and postseason games competing with the high schoolers for time in Rupp.

  60. parvenu1
    10:03 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    Ok 52, I need to learn that it is ok to call kids that are working their butts off, “slugs.” My bad, I’m sure…

  61. knoxcat
    10:15 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    look they had 3 players returned from last years team and they have been in the top 25 all year i dont she any lottery pics on this team a lot of these guys will have to come back next year should be a lot better its tough hving all freshman when your everyones superbowl

  62. Pissed off UK fan!!
    10:56 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink

    #13 ban me from what?? I’m only venting due to the fact this team is underachieving!! Just like a lot of people on here…..if you can’t handle my honesty, then go elsewhere. I don’t want to spend my hard earned money to watch a team fail continually and that’s my right! I’m sick of our fan-base putting up with mediocrity. It’s at Vandy, it’s an away game, Vandy played outta their mind. AND???? Aren’t we every teams Superbowl? So I’m just suppose to accept this years results? We are not the elite program we once were and it pisses me off! Don’t be so sensitive!

  63. Viren
    11:50 pm February 12, 2011 Permalink


    I think Kentucky can still finishin the top 2 its not like 1 and 2 in the East have much separation. Kentucky plays its 4 out next 5 at home and Vanderbilt plays 4 of its next 5 on the road. Tennessee is very inconsistent as well and we are tied for 3rd in East. Second place and first round bye in the SEC tournament is still in play and it could be decided in conference season finale. I feel like this team could get hot and roar through SEC it just depends which team is going to show up. The one that beat Tennessee at home and Louisville on the road or the one that lost to Ole Miss and Bama away.

  64. Viren
    12:03 am February 13, 2011 Permalink


    I can completely understand other fan bases mocking Kentucky lose to team like Vanderbilt. If you are a true Kentucky fan you would understand the circumstances this team is under. I am sure you know better than anyone we do not have a front court NCAA did not allow that when they ruled Enes Kanter ineligible. This is not Calipari’s fault he took a risk a huge risk but had Kanter been cleared we would have been Final Four lock and possibly cut down the nets. Yeah I said it Kanter would have made that much of a difference had he suited up for Kentucky. If you think 3 talented freshman’s and second straigh #1 recruiting class is mediocrity than I really do not understand what you want Coach Cal do. You can’t recruit a class higher than #1 I can remember int he recent past when we used to lose these recruits all the the time to teams like Duke, Kansas, and UNC. Wildcat’s got the same best shot from every team every time when we did not have the best talent on floor in late Tubby Smith and Billy Gillispie Era. At least try to be patient with a Coach who took an NIT team to NCAA EE and ran into a hot WVA team or could very well have cut down the nets. Kentucky really needed a great recruiter and we got him in Coach Cal, I will tell you in the next 3 years Kentucky will hang an NCAA Championship banner. Support the team in a win or loss if we don’t we are more likely to run these freshman’s away than encourage to stay one more year. I am sure they do go to these site and read what fans are saying about these losses.

  65. trollalert,trollalert......
    12:40 am February 13, 2011 Permalink

    Fed Up, do you really think you are fooling anyone?

    A lot of posers on this thread……….didn’t you have your own game today? Are you all really this obsessed with UK?

  66. I can't see the comments
    5:43 am February 13, 2011 Permalink

  67. Helvete
    11:03 am February 13, 2011 Permalink

    There just isn’t the chemistry on this team. I think that they’ll be better next year when Jones is in the league.

  68. Al's IndiCats
    11:26 am February 13, 2011 Permalink

    Good grief, you all are acting like it’s the end of the world losing to Vandy. Jenkins was unconsious out there. No one could’ve guarded him better than they did. Stallings was crying so hard in the first half to anyone who’d listen that the ball boys were having to get a shop Vac to get the tears off the floor. But that wasn’t the reason we lost.
    If you want to bitch and moan and you haven’t used up your eligiblity, try to walk on next year. And for all the trolls, well you guys must not have much to do other than get on a UK blog, my guess is most of you don’t have girl friends or wives, just living in your man cave (BASEMENT)wacking it to the tune of BEAT IT!
    Come the SEC Tourny we’ll be just fine. Do I think we’ll win the SEC, I don’t know. But come win lose or draw I’m a CAT fan and have been since 1958. GO CATS!

  69. John
    12:52 pm February 13, 2011 Permalink

    #’s 22, 44 and 59 have said it best of all of the posts. I completely agree with their perspective. This team is exactly where they should be with out Kanter. I am happy with Cal and those who are throwing him under the bus with visceral comments are not fans of UK. This program lost 5 first round draft picks. Some on the site have completely lost sight of how that could and should devastate a major program yet we are competing and a high level. If it weren’t for coach Cal’s recruiting and coaching ability we would be begging for an NIT invitation. I also agree with the comment suggesting Wall and Cousins really had no business playing college ball. Knight, Jones and Lamb are very good players but need more work and development than Wall and Cousins did. Yes they do frustrate sometimes but that is what young developing talent will do every time. They also play their @#$ off every game without question. This is “Our” team and a pretty good one. Either support them and our coach or quit calling yourself a UK Fan.

  70. mykraphone287
    10:34 am February 14, 2011 Permalink

    the picture attached to this post lamb laughing, jones moping, liggins, harrelson, and knight look concerned… that should tell you were there heads are at. we are gonna be a 5 seed and we are will get knocked by the 12 seed mark my words