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UK v. Arkansas: Classic Game, or just Really Good Game?

“I hate this place.” -Mardracus Wade

 

I’m flabbergasted.  I had something else planned for today, but after that dismantling last night, it just didn’t seem fair to talk about anything other than how well the Cats performed from start to finish.  Really, the whole team showed up to play, hustling for loose balls and rebounds even when they were leading by twenty.  That’s a killer’s instinct.  Terrence Jones had a very good game, and took another stride in inserting himself back onto awards lists, and into opponents’ nightmares.  Marquis Teague played exactly the kind of game that helps this team the most, with seven points (on 50% shooting), four rebounds, NINE assists, and only three turnovers.  For this team, with so many scoring options, that’s very close to a perfect game for Teague.  Extremely well done, sir.

 

However, nobody’s game was better than that of Anthony Davis.  Twenty-seven points.  Fourteen rebounds.  Seven blocks.  Zero turnovers.  Zero fouls.  How does a post player put in thirty-six minutes and get ZERO fouls?!  I’m not even mad, that’s amazing.  Add in his shooting percentages (83% FG, 88% FT), and his play was absolutely miraculous.  And that may be a hyperbole… but not by much.  He was divine.

 

In fact, he was so good, that I wondered to myself on my way home:  Does Anthony Davis’ game last night deserve a spot on the “All-Time Greatest UK Performances” List?  Initially, it may seem like a ridiculous question, but it got me thinking about what the game had, and what it didn’t have.

 

What it had was efficiency.  The points are high, but we’ve seen higher; it’s not even a freshman single game record, let alone anything else.  The rebounds, again, were excellent.  But MKG got more rebounds against Louisville earlier this season.  The blocks?  Special, sure, but then again he is Anthony Davis.  He got seven against Kansas and South Carolina, too, and eight against St. John’s.  No, what’s really unbelievable are the shooting percentages.  Davis went 10-12.  TEN OF TWELVE.  If you’ve never played, or watched, or heard of basketball (which means nobody here), I’ll clue you in: that doesn’t usually happen.  In fact, it almost never happens, and you can take the “almost” out of it.  Take into account that one of those misses was a three, and the other was a goofy post move that may or may not have been partially blocked, and you have one of the best offensive performances that I can remember.  That’s not even drawing attention to his stellar defensive play.  OR his zero fouls and turnovers.  The sharpness and precision of Davis’ game was absolutely astounding.  He just didn’t make any mistakes, and when you don’t make mistakes, and are a freak athlete, things get out of hand pretty quickly.

 

Consider also that Davis’ best game of the year came on a night when he broke UK’s single-season block record, and you have yet another layer in what was already an impressive game.  While it’s not a result of this game alone, it does add some permanent significance above and beyond what would otherwise just have been an old fashioned Arkansas beatdown.  The best performances, the ones that we remember the most, always have a story behind them.  We go into the game expecting something great, and what actually happens ends up being so much better.  Such was last night.  We knew he’d get that record.  I mean, c’mon, it’s Arkansas, and he only needed two blocks.  But the way he got it… Now that was special.

 

However, as far as single performances go, I’m reluctant to throw the #greatestgamesever tag on it just yet.  Although Davis was amazing, the game itself just didn’t mean much.  The classic games, those games we look up clips of on YouTube just because we have five spare minutes on a Wednesday and they give us a raging clue, are always important games, whether against rivals, or in a tournament, or whatever the case may be.  There’s more on the line than just the game.  Think about it:  Jack Givens, for example, put the Cats on his back against Duke in the National Title game.  That’s a double-whammy: beat Duke and win a championship.  Boom, classic.  Jodie Meeks broke the single game scoring record AT Tennessee.  Another classic.  This game just didn’t have that same kind of relevance, and Arkansas really isn’t that good.  I really think that’s the only reason this won’t be remembered as an all-time type of performance.  I see it getting the same kind of attention that Tayshaun’s three point barrage against North Carolina does.  Amazing highlight reel, memorable performance, but the lack of significant meaning behind the game itself keeps it from being a classic.  Just do the same thing against Syracuse in the championship game, Anthony, and that problem’s solved.

 

Bottom line, it was an amazing thirty-six minutes.  I imagine we’ll see David Stern introduce a few clips from this game in June, when Anthony Davis goes number one overall. After last night, there’s really no doubt that he’s one of the best players, not just this year, and not just at UK, but of all the guys to play the game anywhere, at any level, in the last decade.  Point. Blank. Period.

Article written by Corey Nichols

36 Comments for UK v. Arkansas: Classic Game, or just Really Good Game?



  1. dhighdrated
    9:04 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    40 Minutes of “well…”



  2. Halb
    9:14 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    I would rank MKG’s game against UofL as better just b/c it was a more meaningful game.



  3. Playersfan
    9:16 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    What was interesting, Cal said in his after game interview that he was working on keeping Davis for 3 years. When you think about it, is millions everything, or What about being considered on of the best college basketball players of all time? What could Davis be with 4 years of stats, multiple NCAA appearances, championships?. Surpass all Issel’s records, be national record holder.

    Is that a possibility?



  4. Hoss
    9:17 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    40 minutes of “oh crap they’re dunking on us again.”



  5. dhighdrated
    9:21 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    3 – no. call is full of ish. he’ll push him out just like cousins



  6. Davis says #8
    9:25 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    it was a great game for Davis, but I think the reason is because everyone played great in this game. They did not know who to guard, it was either Davis dunk, Jones dunk, MKG driving lane, or Lamb knocking down a J. Great team effort last night.



  7. T.J.
    9:26 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    I think we may be ballooning Davis’ performance up a bit. Great game, and he definitely showed that he is a man among boys. But does it really rank up there with Tayshaun’s 3’s against UNC? McCarty’s shot from the corner against LSU? Jodie’s 54?



  8. The Cheese
    9:28 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    Great game. However, did you see the interior guys for Arkansas? Of course a player with his ability will school them.



  9. Dan DICKitch
    9:32 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    7-Really! It is KSR ya know. AD is good real good BUT one bad game and it’ll be— “well” they didn’t win by 40 LOL!



  10. Sammydog
    9:33 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    I feel pretty sure Cal was JOKING about keeping Davis another 3 years. In our dreams maybe but not in the real world.



  11. bung
    9:34 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    how bout vern hattons 30 over elgin baylor for the title



  12. warrior
    9:42 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    derrick miller going off against LSU in 1990?



  13. bung
    9:46 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    pratts double double (26pts 11 reb) beating duke in the ukit final



  14. Al's IndiCats
    9:47 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    In all fairness, and even though it was a game we’ve all been waiting for, but it was a game against Arkansas. Like the rest of you, what I saw was an absolute great game from tip off to the final buzzer. Still it was Arkansas! What impressed me the most was two things. One was Teague’s play. He played the way Cal is needing him to play against better competition. He played under controll and did what we needed to win. Second, was the way TJ played. He needed to be a force out there and he was just that last night. Of Course so much has been said about Davis, it would be redundant to say anything else, except he IS an BEAST. I only wish they would count how many altered shots there were because of his presence around the basket.
    DENFENSE was probably the best as it’s been since the UNC game. During the game I couldn’t tell what Teague’s number was because he was guarding his man so close I thought at one time he was wearing a red uniform. I hope this was the game that shows the country who we really are and keep this steam roller going. GREAT GAME! GO CATS!!!!!!!!



  15. lionelrichie
    9:51 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    I was just a another game….Arkansas isnt a team I would say is tough enough



  16. Abe Froman
    9:51 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    Out of all the games I could have missed, last night just HAD to be the one.



  17. arlie
    9:54 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    Issel 51 pts 17 rebounds against LSU (Pratt added 27)



  18. Syrin
    9:54 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    I keep posting this, and have been posting it for weeks, but AD = our MVP without question. Look at how his numbers have improved and are there EVERY SINGLE GAME. The guy is ROCK SOLID on the road, at home, big opponent, it doesn’t matter. He is the single most important player in our line up. Defensively he takes away perhaps 20-30 points a GAME by his defensive presence, then toss in the double digit rebounds and offensive prodcution. Ouch! What a nightmare for opposing teams!



  19. John Chaney
    9:56 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    @#9 LMAO



  20. RyanRobeySays
    9:56 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    I mean this is just terrible



  21. shannon spake
    10:00 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    Am I not the hottest sideline reporter in the game?



  22. interesting read
    10:02 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    Interesting read (at espn.com)on how Pitino ended up at UK initially…. One of the more interesting things to me is that even then, J Tipton was a jackass.
    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7432671/how-rick-pitino-got-kentucky

    bubba



  23. me
    10:03 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    does anyone know how to get the radio show on computer?



  24. Zeus
    10:05 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    I like how Jones and Davis are coordinating their blocking efforts, instead of both going for the block at the same time — Jones bites first; the shooter either swallows leather, or is forced to double-clutch, or hesitate; either way, Davis demolishes whatever Jones doesn’t get. I think having your 4 go for 13-9-5 and getting little acknowledgement is an embarrassment of riches.



  25. Al's IndiCats
    10:05 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    23 I was wondering the same thing about where the show thread is



  26. Streak ends in 11
    10:10 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    iheartradio



  27. Al's IndiCats
    10:13 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    23, go to iheart radio/wjkj.com



  28. MustangCat
    10:15 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    BOXSCORE would be nice! You guys did the box score thing a few times this year, and did a good one! Why did you stop? Now, i have to jump off of your sight and go somewhere else to see the box score?! Bad business move. Why let customers go anywhere else?



  29. Erin Andrews
    10:17 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    21 – No, I am.



  30. Lou eaton
    10:30 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    It’s still all about team cohesiveness and although this was a weak opponent Teague was doing what he is supposed to do and that’s distribute the ball to other players. Also, Jones continues to come back to his old form and when he does then this team will be scary IF we can get consistency from Miller and/or Lamb…



  31. JackBluto
    10:49 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    AD’s record breaking block was with his elbow. He could have been a T-Rex and still would have blocked that shot. Amazing play.

    TJ went after it too on D tonight. A really good game by all of the players except those that were once playing in Strakville.



  32. Zach
    11:18 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    Tayshaun’s barrage of threes against UNC was voted the most memorable moment in Rupp Arena history just a couple of years ago…Not anywhere in the same neighborhood as a great performance by Anthony Davis against a bad Arkansas team in mid-January.

    Five years from now, people will hardly remember this game. But it’s great to see the team put in a tip-to-buzzer performance like this.



  33. NotSatire
    11:25 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    “That may be a hyperbole”…Lose the “a” Corey. It should read “That may be hyperbole”. Just saying…:)



  34. bluristhurr
    11:25 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    Ill remember Tayshauns 3 pt barrage forever it’s my favorite right behind Meeks but Tayshaun did that to NC and their isn’t another team I hate more. So now thinking about it while I write this it is my favorite because it was againts North Carolina.



  35. bluristhurr
    11:27 am January 18, 2012 Permalink

    28 makes a good point now I’m going to ESPN to check it. Your slacking KSR. Ive never watched your show or listened to a podcast or w/e its called either! I like to read my sports news



  36. catsflaws
    12:36 pm January 18, 2012 Permalink

    I agree 28, I’d really like some BOX also. Come one KSR, hook a brother up. I haven’t had a BOX in so long