“I didn’t know I couldn’t do that.”
Happy Monday KSR-ites. I hope your weekends were better than John Lucas’ (if you like basketball, you really need to click that link). I know mine was. I won’t go into details, but at one point I ate a hamburger using two grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun. It was exactly as amazing as I’d hoped it would be. I’d link a picture, but nobody wants to see an image of me getting cheese and grease in my beard. I did other stuff too, I’m pretty sure, but that was really the highlight.
Almost as good as the Grilled-Cheese-Burger was the LSU game last Saturday that I had a blast watching. I know it’s selfish of me to judge a game on how fun it was to watch (even though that’s the point of all sports), but put this one near the top of the list for me so far this season. There just weren’t any noticeable flaws in the way they performed. UK is playing so well, in fact, that it led Myron Medcalf to say that the Cats “are in Beast Mode right now.” ESPN.com’s rumor section has a headline with a tag claiming “it’s hard to find flaws in Kentucky’s game….” Anthony Davis is so good you don’t even have to have Insider to read about him on Jay Bilas’ list of top ten college big men. You get the idea: people who know about basketball are taking notice of the nation’s clear number one team.
My takeaway from the Saturday’s shellacking was less about the stat lines and glamour shots (both filled up nicely by Terrence Jones) and more about the absolute Man-Level toughness showcased throughout, particularly from Davis. Is it just me, or does anyone else get nervous whenever Davis falls down? To look at the guy, I’m afraid he’s gonna break his leg anytime he trips, or gets bumped into, or looked at. He’s so thin, that it’s difficult to imagine he’d be able to handle any sort of physical play. I’d go so far as to say that “beat ’em up” was included verbatim in the Tigers’ gameplan (minus the Malcolm White foul, which of course went too far). There was plenty of banging, fair share of hard fouls, and a smattering of cheap shots to go around.
Anthony Davis didn’t care.
I was thrilled to see LSU play that way against us. Don’t misunderstand me: it wasn’t simply schadenfreude (hilarious pronunciation here). I don’t enjoy watching players get hurt. Not even Rakeem Buckles. This game is life for these kids, and it’s never good to play in a way that engenders potential injury. What I was pleased to see, though, was our reaction to the rough play. Davis was the focal point, but it was tough all around. The response was more than just physical resilience, although that was certainly displayed. I particularly love Anthony’s quote alleging, “I was from Chicago; I just kept getting up.” And he did. When he left the game I thought for sure he was done for the day, if not longer (BBN collectively gasped on that play, let’s be honest). Instead, he came back just to get beat up on some more. Oh, that and shoot 6-6 and get a double-double. We’ve said all along, or at least I have, that Davis’ only relatively weak point was his frame, and how he might not be able to hang with the “strong arms” of the league. Consider that worry dispelled.
But being tough is only part of what they showed. When Cats were getting whacked, shoved, and body-slammed, nobody tried to retaliate. Rather, they calmly put the game away behind rock solid defense and experienced-looking offense. That shows a cool head, and a mature team, and I’m proud of that. I can really appreciate a team that knows the best response is not to counter-punch, but simply play well. Great job, and Go Cats.
We have much more to look forward to this week, not the least of which is the unveiling of the platinum jerseys at UK’s second date with Jarnell Stokes tomorrow. Also, if you have time later, try the grilled-cheeseburger. It’ll change your life, f’realz.