Since I lost my seat on the floor today to the Sporting News’ Mike Decoursey (who is very nice), I didnt get quite as good a stuff as usual, but here goes….
Lots of stuff to get to on an odd day in Rupp Arena
(1) This is my first Senior Day so I dont have a great deal to compare it to, but the surroundings seemed very emotional. Likely in large part because of the Kentucky connections of the players, the kids got loud ovations. Also very funny to see when the Juniors presented the Seniors their jerseys, Woo was EXTREMELY happy, showing Ravi’s jersey to the crowd and giving him a huge hug. He is one happy guy.
(2) A number of national media at the game and it was interesting to see how Billy Donovan promotes the program to them. He called Gregg Doyel and Mike Decoursey over after the press conference to talk to them one-on-one.
(3) I thought the officiating was truly horrible on both ends, a feeling I have had about a number of games this season. Lots of times, bad calls were made and made up for with even worse calls the next time down.
(4) Tubby seemed upset with himself about not playing the big men more. He mentioned that Woo only got 6 minutes and said, “I am afraid that I make the big guys feel like ‘Coach doesnt have confidence in me’ and I need to be careful about that.”
(5) It was clear to me that Florida’s game plan was to lay off Rondo and crowd the lane. Billy Donovan said as much after the game and marveled at how Rondo still got penetration….but the lane was more crowded, which is one reason the shots didnt go down.
(6) Ravi Moss was unlike how I have ever seen him before. Clearly dejected, looking towards the ground and talking about how “there are more important things in life than basketball.” It was very uncharacteristic.
(7) For those who have said that Ramel Bradley will transfer at the end of the season, I got confirmation today that this will not happen.
(8) Tubby wondered aloud whether the Senior Day pressure of playing in front of family and friends is a negative. I love Tubby, but considering that UK had previously only lost one game on Senior Day in fifty years, I do question that.
(9) Tubby was effusive in his praise for the work ethic of these seniors. You could tell how much affection he has for them and he said he “really wanted to get this game for them.”
(10) Some very abusive chants by the students toward Joakim Noah. I think making fun of players and giving them a hard time is all in good fun, but like with Matt Walsh, some of the chants coming from our students cross the line in my opinion. Mildly embarrassing from where I sit.
Having said that, I know some from this blog would be worse (although much more clever) so I wont be too harsh in my judgment.