Far and between do we see a performance like we saw last night. Jodie’s performance will definitely go down as one of the greatest individual games in UK history, without a shout of doubt! There has been a story about Jodie everywhere you look and how great his performance was, and justly so. But let us not forget about the team, a team that opened the regular season with a lost to VMI. Our beloved Wildcats started this season down two games to none. We need not to forget about how much this young team has developed in such a short period of time. We started out as a team with no sense of direction, no identity and we have become the front runner to win the SEC Regular Season Title. What a difference a few weeks make. But what has changed from the start of the season?
Call it what you want, this team plays HARD! I joke with a buddy about coach G’s comments on Toughness. Perry commented on a question about the team’s mindset going into the second half of the Miami game in Rupp arena, “Coach said we had to be tougher so we just had to do that.” I asked, what does toughness have to do with getting pounded by 20 in your own building? After experiencing last night’s game against Tennessee I saw a team that possesses absolutely zero toughness, coach included. Tough teams don’t let an opposing team’s player score 26 points in the first half and come out and double that plus two in the second half. Tough teams don’t let other teams come in their house and murder them by 18. Tough teams don’t talk trash they can’t back up (Bobby Maze). Tough teams don’t have coaches that don’t know how to motivate their team to stop another player from dropping 54. Tough teams don’t have coaches that wear bright orange blazers. Kentucky exploited Tennessee’s lack of toughness and at the same time answered my question what does toughness have to do with anything.
Jodie’s role is to score, score and score some more. He knows that, his teammates know that, other teams know that, your grandma knows that and they still can’t stop the kid! That is Jodie’s role for this year’s team and he is doing one heck of a job performing that role. Along with Jodie, Patrick is our second go to guy. Patrick’s role is known without me even mentioning it. The team has realized that everything on the offensive end must go through these two in order for us to have our best chance at winning every game we play. This being said does not mean the other guys need to be shy about shooting the ball or being aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. Up until last night I thought this might be a problem. However we saw Darius Miller take shots with confidence along with Porter, Harris and Perry. There has been a lot of debate on whether this team needs a constant third scorer. I say we already have our third scorer in the rest of the team. It has been evident throughout the year we never know who is going to step up from game to provide that extra scoring. One game it is Josh and the next Perry followed by Porter in the Louisville game. We don’t know who it is going to be but we do know someone will but everyone is capable. More importantly these guys need to keep the pressure and continue to play solid man-to-man defense. Defense is the identity of this team. If we continue to improve our defense we will be in every game all the way through the NCAA tournament no matter who we play!
If my cousin continues to be the first one to greet the players coming off the floor during timeouts then we will win both the SEC Regular Season Title and Tournament Title! Mark it down!