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Revenge is a dish best served old

That was an ugly, ugly, ugly showing from your University of Kentucky Wildcats, but Big Blue Nation has Julius Mays to thank for his contributions in the 72-68 win. Uncle Julius was the team’s rock, its leading scorer, and, surprisingly, the guy who drew the assignment of guarding Elston Turner on almost every A&M offensive possession. He played all but four minutes in the game and was clutch at the line in overtime, sinking two free throw attempts to extend Kentucky’s lead to three on two separate trips to the stripe down the stretch. It was an all-around great game from the old man who emerged from role player to Most Valuable Player in College Station.

Fans have a lot to complain about; John Calipari has a lot to be frustrated with; but Kentucky escaped with the win, and that’s all that really matters. Returning to Rupp with two wins in that crucial two-game road stretch has the Cats on track to earn a decent seed in the tournament and give Florida a run for the SEC crown. That “bubble” talk was getting really old.

Let’s close the books on Elston Turner and the Texas A&M Aggies…

Elston Turner was the storyline entering Saturday’s game and his quest to kill Goliath was almost successful once again when he hit a floater with a friendly bounce at the end of regulation to force overtime. Before the clutch bucket, that had us all saying, “not again,” Turner was just 5-for-19 from the field and inconsistent and erratic in his shot selection. It was nothing like what he did to the Wildcats in Round 1 in Lexington when he couldn’t miss. Still, he was the game’s high-scorer with 21 points and put a little fear, we can admit it, in #BBN every time he touched the ball down the stretch. Kudos to Julius, again, for playing great perimeter defense on him. I can’t believe it came down to that.

If there’s one positive to watching Elston Turner send the game to overtime, it’s that UK cut into Indiana’s primetime GameDay special. A little silver lining for your popcorn boxes.

Though the Cats never relinquished the lead after a 9-o start, they did everything they possibly could to try to give it away. Ryan Harrow and Kyle Wiltjer combined for six turnovers in the final 2:07 of regulation, which left the door open for A&M to hang around when Kentucky’s should’ve put the game away instead. This team still lacks the ability to close games and that will eventually cost them, even more than it already has, if they can’t find that killer instinct soon. Teams like Florida and Missouri would’ve turned A&M’s late deficit into a win with the opportunities Kentucky was giving up. There’s no excuse to go almost four minutes without a field goal at the end of regulation in a game you’ve led since the opening basket. And that lone field goal was a Julius Mays prayer as the shot clock expired. Had that not gone down, Kentucky would’ve played the final eight minutes of the game without a field goal.

The big game from Julius Mays meant one thing for Archie Goodwin: have a seat, young fella. Archie played a season-low 19 minutes and rode the pine next to Coach Cal in the game’s biggest moments. Calipari stuck with the Harrow-Mays-Poythress-Wiltjer-Noel lineup in crunch time, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees with that decision.

Archie will find a spot on the SportCenter Top 10, though:

He is now shooting 0.00931% with that shot on the season.

After the game, Calipari said, “Wherever Archie sees Turner, leave. If it’s a pickup game, go home. Don’t go near the guy.” So you’re telling me we don’t want to draw A&M in the SEC Tournament?

Who is Nerlends?

This “Nerlends” guy played well, as he always does, but came back down to Earth in the blocks category. Nerlends only had two blocks after a six-game stretch of averaging 7.5 per game. I guess he moved that defensive prowess to the offensive end, where he scored a career-high 19 points to share the team-high honors with Julius Mays. Throw in his 14 rebounds and Nerlends had his third career double-double.

The mustard to Nerlends’ ketchup, Willie Cauley-Stein, returned to the lineup and played his first four minutes since the Tennessee game. It wasn’t much but it was good seeing Willie back out on the court. He was certainly missed.

Kyle Wiltjer and Alex Poythress both had up-and-down games. It seems like they each played well and not-so-well in stretches. Kentucky fans were ready to pat Alex on the back when the knocked down two key free throws at the end of regulation, until he came right down on the other end and gave up an offensive rebound to Fabyon Harris. Poythress can go ahead and count on seeing that play in Sunday’s film session, because it was a big slip-up that could’ve cost Kentucky the game. Harris was able to cut A&M’s deficit to two, instead of Poythress going back to the line with 19 seconds and a four-point UK lead. Wiltjer turned the ball over in a trap in the corner on the very next possession, which led to Turner’s late heroics and overtime in College Station.

If you were watching the game on television, you were treated to a late thriller in Lawrence, Kansas that cost us about five of the first seven minutes of the UK game. Then, for whatever reason, ESPN cut to a Kansas statistical graphic and highlights from Miami and NC State, when UK-A&M was in progress! ESPN knows better than that. You don’t take Kentucky basketball away from #BBN for anything.

Kentucky returns to action on Tuesday when Frank Martin and South Carolina come to town in the teams’ lone matchup of the season. Game time is set for 9:00 ET and will air on ESPNU.

See ya back here Sunday morning, folks.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

56 Comments for Revenge is a dish best served old

  1. Mack
    10:17 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    PPat is killing it tonight.

  2. rixter
    10:17 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    Best served ‘old’?

  3. rixter
    10:18 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    No, Chandler parsons is killing it tonight, who could have guessed he would be a better NBA player than PPat?

  4. rixter
    10:19 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    OK, ok..Uncle Julius. I get it. Clever.

    10:19 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    I was pissed!!!

    10:20 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    About the kansas gae thing

  7. mudcreekmark
    10:30 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    Remember the football team before Brooks took over? When we had a lead late everyone one on the team acted like they were playing not to lose the game instead of playing like they were when they got the lead. That is exactly the mentality of this basketball team right now. They act like they are scared to death that they are going to blow the lead and guess what that is exactly what they end up doing.Its like they are clock watching and are afraid to make a mistake and playing really tight.Something has got to change this mentality or the first time we get in a close game in the tourney we’ll be going home.

  8. Blue Jesus
    10:31 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    PPat and Chandler Parsons are both killing it. But just for the record, PPat’s +/- is 27 and Parsons is 19.

  9. rixter
    10:32 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    That’s a team statistic

  10. Axe Cop
    10:36 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    I stopped caring about the game after hearing about MKG. MKG is trending on Twitter right now.

  11. Gavin S.
    10:39 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t understand Cal’s quote about Goodwin and Turner. What the hell is he trying to say?

  12. Well Obviously
    10:42 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    11 he’s saying Archie can’t guard him. Might as well go home. Mays had to pick up where Archie slacked.

  13. JBR
    10:46 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    Man, you guys need to get a little thicker skin…deleting posts now just because you don’t agree with them…

  14. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    10:46 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    If Alex could dribble and Archie could shoot, this team would be pretty good.

  15. Incrediblue
    10:46 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    Its “Revenge is a dish best served ‘COLD’.”

  16. rixter
    10:47 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    But Julius Mays is ‘old’ Get it?

  17. rixter
    10:48 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    Although I think the cats rate higher than a 10 seed, I otherwise LOVE Lunardi’s latest bracket prediction:

    16Norfolk St / 16Bryant U
    8Notre Dame

    5Wichita St
    12Villanova / 12Illinois
    13Stephen F. Austin

    6Kansas St
    3Miami (FL)

    7Virginia Commonwealth

  18. Mike
    10:49 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    15) dude? You don’t get it?

  19. Nerlens
    11:10 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    With the amount of D i play they figured I had to have one in my name

  20. gpack
    11:22 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    Drew why are you making fun of Archie making a shot while being fouled? I don’t understand!!!!!!

  21. Rixter
    11:34 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    Indiana 81, (1) Michigan 73.

    Rings are being forged as we speak.

  22. Drews been hittin the sauce
    11:34 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    There is no SEC East this year Drew….just one big ass conference.

  23. mudcreekmark
    11:47 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    14)We have a shooting guard who cannot shoot and a power forward with no power. I have said this numerous times on here. Everyone keeps wanting Poythress to be a beast but he just doesn’t have the skills. He can shoot the three or dunk and that is it. If you make him put it on the floor he cannot dribble good enough to get to the rim. I have never seen him dribble with his left hand.All you would have to do is take the baseline from him and you’d have him stopped every time.

  24. Ridge Runner
    11:51 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    It’s another win on the road and I’ll just be thankful for that.

  25. John Ellis
    11:55 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    The “revenge” quote is from “Titus Andronicus” and indeed revenge is served when the child of one of the characters is served to her for dinner in a pie. Those Romans.
    Cal hasn’t sculpted the way this team plays to the abilities on hand – almost everyone is a freak of some kind. Nerlans is a dominating center whose rail thin (though he gets pushed around less every game). Kyle is a set three point shooter in a center’s body. Poythress is a finesse guard in a NBA power forward body. It’s a Tubby team, eight deep with people needed at one time or another. Polson is getting major minutes and should. Hood has contributed. The parts don’t match so Cal has to remake the machine. Still time. Watching IU/Mich., lots of unguarded threes, broken assignments, very selfish plays. But they played with the confidence of experience. Mays did that today or a major loss. What is chiefly missing is a sense of space, of where they are on the floor in relation to one another. Particularly shows on defensive rebounding. Goodwin MUST keep his eyes open at all times when he has the ball or he’s going to play in Europe. That play where he ran into Noel who was setting a pick for him was not grade school level.

  26. Chicago Chris
    11:57 pm February 2, 2013 Permalink

    This is the FIRST time this season where I’ve actually started to pay close attention to other teams’ games. That was the worst part about the Gillispie years is that we became irrelevant and it no longer mattered when, say, the #15 team was upset. As this team makes a case to be considered back in the top 25, other teams’ game start to matter again!

    Thanks, glad to be back.

  27. Kyle
    12:00 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Archie Goodwin did not make top 10 plays if his name is D-Wade making that circus shot he is on there at 1-5 how do u have some of those plays on there but not his terrible

  28. John Ellis
    12:04 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    PS to Matt – you handled the guy who was saying that the white players – Kyle in particular – are smarter, higher ‘basketball IQ’. I’d call that out myself. Kyle can be brilliant mentally as on the pick and roll plays, or an idiot as he was with the lob to Noel and the inbounds corner play (where he had three options to save the possession and blew all of them). Brains and basketball IQ have nothing to do with race. The most consistent BBIQ on the team is actually Noel, since he stopped bringing the ball down to have it stolen as he did early in the year. Mays when he gets to show it, then Kyle who is very inconsistent and then the rest who sometimes look like they’ve never played BBall.
    Kyle is likely a four year player but by that time he will be a pro and probably NBA. I still for the life of me can’t figure out why Cal doesn’t have Noel screen for him for threes – a la Jorts and Knight. How anyone could guard his three behind a screen I can not imagine. All he needs is a moment – a long moment – to gather.

  29. dragonlord741
    12:07 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Forget the Archie play, how does Noel’s sick one handed put-back dunk with about 3 minutes to go in the first half not make the top 10?

  30. kelly doyle
    12:12 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    For starters : kudos to Travis and his gang for taking out the chickens or as I refer to them , The “hayjocks”. Next: julius played a great game, it was beautiful and sorely needed but he did not win this game. Cal knows this. He’d take it from Auntie Mame,Aunt Jemima, Uncle Julius, Wherever, at this point. He provided the support necessary for Nerlens to lead his team. 19 has a clue. 21 …I’m not sure??? I expect no Big Ten team in the Final Four. You watched the best college player in action tonight. When it comes to it, who is tuning in to watch Zeller, Coach K, Ricky P.???? ? College BB is in dire need of a star. I’ll give you a hint ….FTF…Matt watched the same high school highlight reel I did. It’s coming to fruition…enjoy the ride. BSPN is gonna hate it every step of the way. Go BIG BLUE! March, ON!

  31. BallEater
    12:18 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Cal should have this team watch the IU-Michigan and pay close attention to IU’s energy and team work. Thet need a lesson in both areas.

    Archie will leave UK this year to a loud….”SO WHAT! Glad he’s gone.”

  32. mashburnfan1
    12:34 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    17}does not matter what bracket we get. this team just does not have IT. missed free throws and turnovers kill us. also being outshot by 20-30 shots a game will kill us vs good teams. i see above article says late game play like that vs uf, based on our current play the uf game will be over by halftime. not trying to be negative just don’t see the improvement from this group to give me reasons to think differently

  33. Tstone1
    12:40 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Did Archie’s circus shot make it into the top 10?

  34. xcoach
    12:50 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    #21 The NCAA is not played in Bloomington.
    #25 I don’t think Goodwin has his eyes open because he can’t handle the ball without looking down at the ball. Did anyone notice the breakway play when he got fouled. He never took his eyes off the ball. He should have been #1 on the Top 10 Plays though.

    Can we please use timeouts at the end of the game? Wiltjer trapped in the corner at the end of regulation. Three timeouts left – none called = loss of ball.
    Goodwin vs. Louisville was trapped on the sideline with us down two. Timeout left – none called = cross court pass intercepted for a dunk and “ballgame”.
    Mays (recent game I can’t remember) taking the ball out under opponents basket. Timeouts left -none called = 5 second call and loss of possession. Call a timeout!!! Save possession and maybe the game!!! It’s not rocket science.

  35. kelly doyle
    1:06 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Really sick of these naysayers …hey, what about the Reds chances in ’13 ? This year is wide open, no one has a clue. You got believers, commentators,spectators, speculators, and depending on where you’re from, Dicktators. Florida is playing tough by way of Erving Walker running out of eligibility. ( He and Murphy Holloway are the only guys ahead of me on the wait list at Tanbark…. Hey SnNH!, maybe we can double date)

  36. Bradley
    1:35 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer and especially Poythress were useless. I know u would rather dog Goodwin and cater to the other uneducated basketball morons like yourself though, so have at it.

  37. Bradley
    1:38 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    31. IU is pathetic defensively. Should they watch that or just what u cherry pick?

  38. Mike
    2:18 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    I hope Matt sees this, or someone shows him. Anyway, someone on the CI board has a thread about how ESPN has a headline and clip saying that Noel intentionally tripped a player in today’s game. The clip shows no such thing. It appears Noel adjusts his gait to avoid running into the guy, but his leg does make contact and the guy trips. Anyway, it’s impossible to know whether he meant to do that, but ESPN has made itself judge and jury. Cal should demand an apology.

  39. The only one who actually read the post...
    2:27 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Drew, who is Fabyon Turner? Also, when do we play again? You never actually specify?

  40. We
    2:37 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    25. Impressive reference regarding the “revenge” quote, but, imho, the play where Kyle got the inbounds pass that ended up with a held ball and turnover was on Cal. He assumed that A&M would immediately foul and thus wanted our best free throw shooter with the ball. It was actually an extremely smart play by A&M to realize that Kyle could not navigate the trap and not foul him.

  41. Smiley Pete
    3:15 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    There is no SEC East anymore. You cover uk sports with a focus on basketball…comeon

  42. Bobby Knight's Shrink
    3:41 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Valid points #32…especially the alarming trend of big FGA disparities….seemingly every game !!

  43. real journalist
    4:51 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    39 and 41: Drew hasn’t got time for little details. he’s too busy trying to be funny.

  44. Drew Franklin
    4:54 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    39, 41, 43: It’s called a Saturday night and rushing through the game recap.

  45. like sweet music to my ears ...
    7:42 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    three words : CATS NEVER TRAILED

  46. Don
    7:55 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    It seems like alex and ryan must have family and friends in their ear all the time about how good they are and how high in the draft they will go this year. If I were a pro scout I would not have them on my draft board at all. I predict they will not go or go extremey late and eventually be cut. The other option is come back and spend more years at Kentucky. Next year they will be coming of the bench. I look for them to provide that senior leadership down the road. Standing and looking at the action will not get it in college or the NBA.

  47. Call out
    9:12 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Seems like every post there’s someone in comments who comes in to bad mouth the writer it the site. Makes me wonder why they spend so much time on KSR unless they’re from a rival site or have an ulterior motive. If you don’t like it, don’t visit the site.

  48. Real UK fan
    9:32 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Amazing fans on this site. The players play their best. Their best may not please you, but none of these players are point shaving or half assing on purpose. I would love it if the people that write negitive comments had bosses that micro managed them all day at work and nit picked them for every action that was less than inspired. How many of you so called UK fans could stand that scutiny.

  49. Jim
    9:45 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    Did anyone notice that at the end of the first half when we got called for a loose ball foul they gave A&M 2 foul shots when they weren’t even in the bonus?

  50. Uk Fan
    9:45 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    It won’t be long before someone puts this team out of its misery.

  51. Freddie Kowan
    10:11 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    48. Great lecture. I feel the same and am sure 99% of UK fans do also. I have also wondered how these negative people perform at their places of employment. I just don’t understand how some can hide behind the keyboard and say hateful statements about 18 year old players. I wonder what their purpose in life is. Why do some people embrace so much negativity in their lives?

  52. WildcatNVaBeach
    10:31 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    @50…I agree and it will be Feb 12!

  53. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    10:49 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    UK still plays like a team with little to no veteran experience.

  54. BurnerTurner5
    11:05 am February 3, 2013 Permalink

    ESPN SUCKS! We miss a couple of minutes of our game that we had to sit around and wait until a six oclock start time because of ESPN. Since when do they start showing highlites from other games while the game that is supposed to be on is actually being played at the time? They couldn’t wait until halftime for that shit? Of course March will be here soon enough and ESPN will have their guys french kissing obamas ass while going over his bracket. They’re all a bunch of east coast liberals that can’t stand UK.

  55. Kobe
    1:17 pm February 3, 2013 Permalink


  56. Them
    1:49 pm February 3, 2013 Permalink

    It all be interesting to see next year… who goes to the NBA, who transfers and who sits on the bench