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Kentucky Defeats South Carolina in Revenge Game

Kentucky earns a bit of revenge and defeats South Carolina 82-61 tonight at Rupp Arena.

The Wildcats improve to 27-1 on the season and 12-1 in the Southeastern Conference.

Some keys to the game:

– Kentucky had a 56-30 advantage in points in the paint
– Kentucky’s bench outscored USC’s bench 13-0 in the game
– Rebounding was 47-31 in favor of the Cats
– Devan Downey scored 25 points on 26 shots (9-25)
– Patrick Patterson scored 23 points and passed Joe Crawford for 19th on the all-time UK scoring list
– DeMarcus Cousins had his 17th double-double on the season with 19 and 11; the 11 rebounds gives Cousins 285 on the season, a new UK freshman record

Some Postgame Quotes:

John Calipari

On Patterson:

“I’m so proud of him”

“We need him to be this. I’d like for him to get 25 and 12 each night…”

On Miller:

“I thought he was tremendous.”

On the 2nd half:

“We were trying to post each time down the floor.”

“We didn’t play great, but we played well enough to win.”

On South Carolina:

“I’m not worried about stopping one player.”

Some notes:

– Kentucky 2010 recruit Gorgui Dieng (Huntington Prep) was in attendance tonight; for those that are unaware of Dieng, here is an article I wrotein late January where Dieng confirmed Kentucky’s interest

– Calipari expressed some great concern involving the quick turnaround for Saturday’s game at Tennessee. He said the team would literally go to bed around 1:00 a.m., get up and go to class, try to get whatever they can get done tomorrow afternoon and then travel to Knoxville for a noon game on Saturday.

– He noted that Magic Johnson spoke to the team before the game. He said he announced to the team that there was a very special recruit coming in and he wanted everyone to make the recruit feel comfortable. Then, Magic Johnson walked in.

– Magic told the Cats: “You’re a defensive team. I love it. I love watching your team play.”

– Calipari added that guys like Magic and Ben (Roethlisberger) are Hall of Famers and they are coming here to watch our little team in Lexington.

– Magic was celebratory “Y” in the K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y cheer; and yes – he did the John Wall Dance

– After the game, Darrin Horn was all class. He admitted that Patrick Patterson is one of his favorites: “Patterson is terrific. He’s one of my favorite players in the league…”

– Horn said of Rupp Arena: “One of the best environments in college basketball.”

– Horn also added that he feels Kentucky has improved since the last time they played.

– One funny moment came when Tipton asked Coach Horn if he was surprised that Kentucky threw the ball into Cousins following a timeout right after USC has trimmed the lead to 5-6 points.

Horn replied with a laugh, “No. Did you think they were going somewhere else, Jerry? Noone’s stopped that kid all season and if they claim they have, he was just having an off night.”

– UK introduced former UK football star Jeremy Jarmon to the crowd; he received a nice ovation

Key Individual Stats:

Kentucky

– Cousins 7-13 FG, 5-8 FT, 19 PTS, 11 REB
– Patterson 10-12 FG, 1-1 3PT, 2-3 FT, 23 PTS, 8 REB, 4 BLK, 2 STL
– Wall 4-15 FG, 0-3 3PT, 4-4 FT, 12 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 6 TO
– Bledsoe 4-8 FG, 0-2 3PT, 8 PTS, 2 AST, 2 TO
– Miller 2-6 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-3 FT, 7 PTS, 8 REB, 2 BLK
– Liggins 3-5 FG, 1-2 3PT, 7 PTS, 2 REB, 2 STL
– Dodson 0-1 FG, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 12 MIN
– Orton 2-4 FG, 2-2 FT, 6 PTS, 5 REB, 2 STL

USC

– Downey 9-25 FG, 3-9 3PT, 5-5 FT, 26 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST, 5 TO
– Raley-Ross 2-11 FG, 1-6 3PT, 6 PTS, 4 REB
– Jackson 8-11 FG, 16 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL

Key Team Stats:

– Field Goals:  Kentucky 32-64 (50.0%) South Carolina 26-67 (38.8%)
– 3-Pointers: Kentucky 3-11 South Carolina 4-20
– Free Throws: Kentucky 15-20 South Carolina 5-7

My Thoughts:

– I was a little disappointed in John Wall’s play tonight; his shooting was off and he turned the ball over 6 times. He’ll bounce back but tonight was not one of his better efforts.

– Bledsoe had a tough first half, but picked it up significantly in the second; he becamse more agressive in the second half and his play greatly improved

– Darnell Dodson essentially produced nothing in the game

– I thought Liggins played pretty decent and did a nice job defensively on Downey; Calipari disagreed and actually stated in the postgame that he reverted to last season tonight

– Cousins is the best big man in the SEC and possibly the country

– Patterson is turning it on at the right time

– The atmosphere was great tonight; it was great to see Magic and Big Ben at the game

– I respect Devan Downey’s talent and think he is a great player, but he has never came across a shot he wouldn’t take; he’s like a combination of a 30% shooter and “Pistol” Pete Maravich.

Article written by Anthony Wireman