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6 Notes from UK’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Loss

© Jim Dedmon | USATSI

© Jim Dedmon | USATSI

Kentucky was without Quade Green for the third straight game on a night the whistle wouldn’t stop blowing, but there is no excuse for their 76-68 loss to South Carolina.

The Cats led the Gamecocks by 14 points with 11:34 left, but after a dumb foul by Hamidou Diallo, they absolutely fell apart. The weaknesses we’ve seen in spurts became Kentucky’s defining characteristics in the final minutes: no defense, no rebounding, poor free throw shooting, and even poorer decision making. It’s late and we’re all angry, so let’s go over it and call it a night.

Jarred Vanderbilt made his debut

On any other night, Vanderbilt’s first game back would be the leading story. The versatile freshman forward made his much-anticipated debut at the 13:09 mark, and after he worked off the nerves, showed just how important he could be to this squad. Vanderbilt’s passing, effort, and rebounding were a breath of fresh air on a night Kentucky was once again without Quade Green. He finished with six points, five rebounds, three assists, and one block in 14 minutes. Not bad for his first game action since last April. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save Kentucky from itself.

All of the fouls

Tonight’s game took almost two and a half hours thanks to the 59 fouls called throughout; Kentucky accounted for 32 of those, the most in a non-overtime game since January 14, 1997 per Corey Price. Between the two teams, 64 free throws were taken, the most in any SEC game this season. Three Kentucky players fouled out and three players played with four fouls in the crucial closing minutes.

Again, no excuse. The difference in the game? South Carolina hit 73.7% (14-19) of their free throws in the second half, whereas Kentucky only hit 42.9% (6-14). Can’t win close games when you’re doing that.

Hamidou Diallo was the most frustrating of all

More often than not, the reason the Gamecocks were at the line late was a stupid decision on Kentucky’s part. The most egregious error of all came from Hamidou Diallo, who was whistled for an intentional foul when UK was up 14 with 11:29 left. From there, South Carolina went on a 12-3 run. As you might imagine, Calipari came back to that moment a few times in his postgame remarks.

“We got up 14, had the ball. PJ [Washington] throws a cross court pass — not what we were trying to do. That’s not what we called. Hami fouls intentionally. ‘I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it.’ You pulled the guy’s shirt out of his pants. ‘I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it.’ You pulled the guy’s shirt out of his pants. So don’t say that. You did it.”

Hami didn’t do himself any favors talking back to Calipari on his way to the bench, either. Both Kevin Knox and Calipari said certain guys were “doing their own thing” tonight, and it’s not hard to figure out who they’re talking about. From ball-hogging to bad decisions, Hamibout to be in the dog house.

Kentucky had no answer for Chris Silva

South Carolina’s big man abused Kentucky on the inside tonight, putting up 27 points and 8 rebounds in 35 minutes. As Calipari said, Silva manhandled everyone who tried to go against him, putting poor Wenyen Gabriel on a poster in the first half.

While Nick Richards played better tonight, putting up 12 points, Kentucky still lacks a dominant big man down low, which makes guys like Silva their kryptonite.

This team needs Quade back

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was able to man the ship for two games, but tonight, it was painfully clear this team needs Quade Green back soon. Running point in back-to-back games finally caught up with Shai, who scored only six points and committed six turnovers, five in the first half. The team’s best defender, Shai was a step slow tonight and got pressured into bad decisions by South Carolina’s swarming defense; however, as Calipari said afterwards, blowing a 14-point lead in the second half didn’t happen just because Quade was out.

“Basically, we played the whole game without a point guard,” Cal said. “But we had our chances to win anyways. That wasn’t it. There were balls we should have had rebounds. I’ve never seen so many dumb fouls. Grab a guy and pull his shirt out? Excuse me? Do you think this is lacrosse?”

Yeah, he’s really pissed about that foul.

Where do we go from here?

To borrow a line from Freddie Maggard, what does this all mean? Hopefully, tonight’s loss will be a wake up call for several players, most notably Hamidou Diallo. If you’re looking for silver linings, it showed us what Jarred Vanderbilt can bring to the table. Above all, it should serve as a much-needed reminder that this team is not above freshman mistakes; however, in a year in which no one is that good in college basketball, I don’t need to remind you of another dismal loss that happened at South Carolina almost four years ago. It’s still January, so I’m not closing the book just yet.

Also, Calipari’s never allowed to make a half-court shot ever again.

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Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

43 Comments for 6 Notes from UK’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Loss



  1. syrin23
    1:18 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    We had at LEAST 5 absolutely lazy stupid passes that led DIRECTLY to lay ups on the other end. PJ was AWFUL passing from the top. Knox took bad shot after bad shot in the second half. The guy is not a good spot up shooter. At all. The refs let Silva charge all night long. His go to move is slam a shoulder into our player, hope he doesn’t get called for a charge, which NEVER happened, then get a lay up. Diallo is getting worse by the game. Does the guy decide the time to shoot is AFTER he slams into someone? Dude is ridiculously athletic, and can’t STOP, pull up and shoot a simple five foot jump shot? He has to pull the Harrison twin throw your body into a crowd of people and pray something good happens?



    • Cat68
      9:10 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Very first pass was a lazy pass that resulted in a breakaway dunk – set the tone early. Just have to be better. No excuse for this. And that weave offense that we run out front with meaningless passes usually involves lackadaisical passes from Knox.



  2. Kat4Life
    1:28 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    As you regulars know, I have praised Hami’s athleticism……but cursed his basketball IQ…..great athlete, crappy basketball player. WAY too much NYC schoolyard crap in his game, he whines, he flops, he gives up on defense, he showboats, he has poor shot selection, and he turns the ball over…..oh yeah, in spite of his alien-like length, he is also somehow a marginal defensive player…. at best……He hopes to BECOME Archie Goodwin some day, and will make about as much money in the NBA as I will……..I don’t think I’ve been as underwhelmed by a high school “megastar” as this guy……..I think the team is about fed up with Hami…..I think he sits a bit more, particularly when Quade comes back……if he comes back…….

    Oh yeah…..I know he’s just a kid and all that, but you come to UK you should know about fans like me……we’re out there……bunch of us……..it matters……tonight really sucked…..up by 14 with 11 mins…..



  3. Angelo
    1:36 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    the prescient rumors about the 2018 team are all coming true… Vanderbilt is our only hope, but he has come up lame…I hope he was not limping tonight!



  4. SillyW4bbit
    1:51 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Great write up as always, Tyler! We can only hope Cal goes back to his missing half court shot days 😄



  5. Freedom Stacks
    1:55 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    You gotta make a shot before you can “never be allowed to make one again”. For being the best shooter on the team, a 0% fg percentage is pretty much garbage!!



  6. NUM1UKFANFROMTHEVILLE
    2:01 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    I will always love any player who wears blue and white with Kentucky across the chest, but I don’t like nothing about Hami’s game besides athleticism. His +/- has to be -20 average for the season. I really don’t like his attitude on the court, and he’s worse than Rasheed Wallace when it comes to fouling and thinking they don’t. He throws us out of rhythm when he gets the ball bc he either turns it over passing, with a charge, steps on the line, travel, carry, can’t play d, and his free throws and shooting sucks. The Tennessee game, this game and others show he’s very uncoachable. Like the person before me mentioned, a lot of New York, park style in his game with no structure and discipline. To end, he throws his self out of the game mentally. Don’t see him going pro, but know he will. I know I’m not the only
    One feeling like this after 18 games.



    • MACDADDY
      8:35 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Soo you like everything about Hami’s game?



    • ClutchCargo
      9:26 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Actually, he said he likes at least one thing about Hami’s game, besides athleticism. He doesn’t seem to like everything.



    • T-wah
      10:25 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      He was paying tribute to poor grammar. Double-negative in lines 2 and 3 of the post. 😉



  7. wyatts1
    2:25 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    It sounds lame and like a excuse but the truth is the truth, the officiating screwed us, and without a doubt this was the worse game I think all year for sure, probable the last couple of years from the refs. But honestly IDC, we got JV back and he proved to everyone but more importantly his teammates that he can help and will help. I’m excited for the remainder of the season now!! I was before don’t get me wrong, but much, much more so now



    • Mathlete
      6:49 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      If we had been reasonably good from the line, we would’ve won a close game, the crowd did their job and rattled the guys at the line.

      Ignoring that, a 2.5 hour free throw shooting contest sprinkled with a few seconds of actual basketball is awful television.



    • unbridled
      8:29 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      I’ve watched several big east games his year. The difference in officiating is amazing. Big east games have the flow and feel of an actual tournament game. SEC games are absurd.



    • ClutchCargo
      9:29 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Yes, the officiating was bad at best, but we helped them out a lot. Lots of inexplicable grabbing and hacking on defense, mostly due to being out of position. Still could have gotten an ugly win if we just make more FT’s.



  8. dballrb
    2:51 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Not a good look at all for the Cats if Zion was watching. Thinking,hum Coach Martin,home state,Crowd,cheering for the in house SEC team..If Zion was leaning UK,This loss hurts Kentucky in more than wins and losses, but I could be wrong but I don’t think I am



  9. dballrb
    2:59 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    JD lost his redshirt year,he may be out the door in 3 months…Perhaps to make room for big Z,but wishful thinking on my part.JD should come back..The one and almost only good comment that has come from Dicky V is,’No kid on this team is ready for the nba,and should stay,otherwise their making a grave mistake’.



    • unbridled
      8:31 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      It would be completely ignorant for jarred Vanderbilt to redshirt this year.



  10. Aar
    5:37 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    IMHO, an NCAA-wide cap of 25 fouls per team, per game would end basketball this ugly. When one team commits their 25th foul in the game, they get a penalty of one point for every foul more than the opponent and the game ends.

    Mike Anderson would be out of a job in 5 games, Frank Martin would find a new coaching bag of tricks in no time and Cal wouldn’t have to make his guys “play tough” nearly as much. As long as the NCAA allows unlimited fouls per game, they will continue to get basketball this ugly and worse.

    The above is not at all directed at the officiating of the game last night. That crew did the best they could in the face of a game in which one coach played a game of attrition by fouling from the tip.

    Loved Vanderbilt’s game and looking forward to his play getting integrated with the team. Like him playing the 1. Also loved Richard’s progress in this game. He’s starting to turn the corner.



    • Mathlete
      6:51 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Arkansas would be the first team to give up 400 points in regulation if that rule change happened



  11. UKfanman01
    5:38 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t see anyone going pro on this team tbh. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing either. I really thought this team would be much better than this. I honestly thought that Cal had done the right thing by not recruiting any selfish flashy players this season. They all wanted to play together and mixtapes showed they were all solid players.
    I also thought a year (glad a year really) of practicing with Fox would’ve made Hami a much better player… Just being 100% honest this kid isn’t going to make it in the NBA. I don’t think he’ll become any better by returning either, as his attitude restricts coaching. I’m sick of Cal getting these New York/New Jersey players who come in with piss poor attitudes thinking they’re God’s gift to a court. Cal needs to sit him down and show him where Briscoe is going in his career and tell him it’s going to be him if he don’t lose that punk *** attitude that’s where he will be IF he even gets drafted.
    Also what about Knox? This kid has basically been a no show all year. BBN blew up when this kid committed. He was supposed to be THE GUY. But he has the motor of Randolph Morris. He seems like he’s trying to coast under the radar until it’s time to go pro. He can’t rebound, shoot, play d, pass…. I guess he can dribble. He’s ok at free throws, which is how he gets the bulk of his points.



    • clearhorse
      9:04 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      I understand the frustrations with the team and particularly with Knox but “no show all year” is a little much. The dude is 18 years old for another 6 months! He also had 21 points (his fifth 20 point game), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and was 8-10 from the FT line last night, so the “no show” is hyperbole. You can see the skill and potential but we know his game isn’t well-rounded and he lacks some of the confidence and decision-making. Hami – lay it on him. Too much talent to suck so badly.



  12. Big Meech
    5:58 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Maybe everyone should relax and really listen to cal when he says this is a process. I think he’s done this before. Don’t blame hami Bc he didn’t play great, he’s not wall or Davis. He was the hero when he hit the 3 against va tech. I’m guessing some of u were the same ones saying Vanderbilt was selfish for not playing…but didn’t really know the situation.Nick played better but he’s still figuring it out. We get healthy and in mid February Is when we start to figure it out. It’s not always fun but it’s the way it is. We will always be a roller coaster at this point if we don’t have experience. Not sure when Q will be back but when he is we will be good



    • Danny44324
      6:28 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      I agree. The negativity really pisses me off. I normally do not read the articles on this site after a lose, but for whatever reason I did. I agree though, they’ll be fine.



    • bosch8184
      8:42 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      We’re not playing Hami because he didn’t play great, we’re blaming Hami because he is a selfish dick currently.



  13. Danny44324
    6:25 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    More doom and gloom from KSR and their more loyal followers. Once they get green back, they’ll be alright.



    • kjd
      7:41 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      We’re ok when Green returns. One player isn’t fixing this team.



    • Cat68
      9:19 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah, not sure how Green became the savior for this team. Especially since he’s like all the other guys who play a very porous style of defense.



  14. mj7juice
    7:00 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Horrible officiating, this is what’s wrong with college basketball. Absolutely atrocious. No excuse to blow a 14pt lead, but from an athletic perspective, it’s hard to be aggressive when the officials are calling everything. Then next time down the floor, arm bars, hip checks, no call. South Carolina fouls on every possession.



    • kjd
      7:48 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      We blew a 14 point lead. Period.



    • bosch8184
      8:43 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      98% of them were fouls though. Should learn to play defense without fouling.



  15. catsarerunnin
    7:19 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    OMG we lost!! It’s the end of the world! This is real wrath of God stuff. Human sacrifice…dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!!!!!



  16. kjd
    7:55 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Diallo is selfish and is an ignorant basketball player. IMO, he’s a mouth and a cancer on the team. Very disappointed in Cal for not benching him after mouthing back on two separate occasions. He’s only here because NBA rejected him. He’s still going to hear “no” from the NBA.



  17. Al B. Frank
    8:17 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    I love UK and I have faith that this team will figure it out. That said — and I find myself wondering this almost every year — why won’t Cal recruit some people who can shoot? I never see other teams miss as many easy, open, big shots as we do. I know Monk got hot last year a few times, but he was no great shooter… just a streaky shooter. There is no one on this team that we can count on to hit an open jumper when we need it. Every game that Cal’s son goes into, the announcer always makes a point to say what a good shooter he is. I think he’s 0-for-the-season, as far as I can remember. I know you want fast, big, tall, athletic guys… but how about a few shooters in there. We need a Murray or a Booker.

    Also, not to blame the officiating, but we seem to get called for more offensive fouls than anyone, and then I watch the other team go right down the floor and do the exact same thing we did… and it’s either blocking on us, or no call.

    As for blocking fouls on defense… some of those last night… come on. I watched the replay and I was screaming, “Where’s the foul?”

    I thought Vanderbuilt played great. I’m excited for what he brings to the team.



  18. mothandras
    8:29 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Worst Calipari team so far.. no leadership.. not playing as a team.. at least with the Noel, Goodwin team we had a chance with Noel until he got hurt. This is a 10 loss team.. and NIT bound if we don’t get Green back and figure this out.



  19. Jiminy Crickets
    9:03 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    All I ever hear is how athletic Hami is. Other than a NBA combine vertical jump, I have simply not seen it. He cant get 6 inches off the floor if someone makes contact with him. Tonight, just like the Louisville game, he was running wide open for a dunk/layup and fell down when going to jump BEFORE contact was made. On defense he is lost, watching him guard someone is funny, he looks like hes on pogo sticks, constantly hopping, its no wonder his guy simply blows by him. Stop watching the game and just watch him and you will see he HATES contact of any kind, and intentionally avoids it. The report on Hami, after trying the NBA combine was “low Basketball IQ” and “has no feel for the game”. A year later and he hasn’t shown that’s any better.

    As far as the game, Ill give them a pass. The team seemed frustrated with Hami, all night. On a bad entry pass to PJ, where he luckily got fouled, you could read his lips “damn man, I wasn’t even looking”. They virtually played the entire game without a PG (Shai had 3 fouls in first half, and quickly had his 4th in the 2nd). Vanderbilt and Knox had to play PG, because every time Hami tried he threw it away. Vanderbilt looked good after he calmed down. Richards looked like he was at least awake, but AGAIN missed a dunk (a play no one seems to have noticed). Make a dunk and were up 7, instead they get a run out, make a shot and get fouled, now were up two. A huge difference maker.

    Momentum shifts happen in basketball, especially on the road. In order to stop that you have to have a “go to” guy that simply goes and gets a basket to quiet the crowd. We do not have one of those guys on the roster, and it was obvious last night.



  20. CatstopWontstop
    9:06 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Everyone needs to pump the brakes! This wasn’t a great loss, to be sure, but the sky is not falling. Hami misses a free throw after the intentional, then returns the intentional, Knox has a 3 come half way down then out followed by a missed Richards dunk (the part of that which was most concerning was the lack of hustle Richards showed to get back on D), key players playing with 3 and 4 fouls most of the second half, and MISSED FREE THROWS! Any of that goes a different way and UK wins the game most likely.

    In addition, SGA had a poor game (it happens to everyone, check Trey Young’s line against K-State last night). Vanderbilt, while looking good, isn’t in step with his teammates yet (bounce pass to a cutter was unexpected and mishandled, lob to Richards ended as a turnover when it could have been a dunk).

    Everything is fine…Florida on Saturday will be fun!



  21. UKfansNKY
    9:06 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Once Vanderbilt is back to 100% Diallo should NOT leave the bench!! Hell, I would play Brad before him!



    • Jiminy Crickets
      9:18 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      once Green is back, Cal should start Green and Shai, and bench Hami, and have him 3-4th off the bench. He needs to make a statement to him, that were tolerating crap defense, and reckless selfish ball hog play.



    • Jiminy Crickets
      9:19 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      not tolerating



    • Kat4Life
      9:24 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed……I wince every time that guy touches the ball……Hami has the basketball IQ of a grape.



  22. UKLugo
    10:25 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Didnt have an answer for the 3-2 zone. Havent seen SC play this yr, but the Cats didnt execute well against that look.
    Brad Calipari, aka “the best shooter on the team”. SMH. Would he see the floorif he wasnt the coach’s kid?? Probably not and rightfully so.



    • T-wah
      10:37 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Honestly, we didn’t have much of an option but to throw Brad in there. With only 8 scholarship players and several of those in foul trouble, Cal needed to squeeze a few minutes from the likes of Brad. Injuries and low basketball IQ (along with AWFUL defense) are killing us.



    • kjd
      10:50 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

      Awful defense is directly related to the non-existent basketball IQ.
      Cal has missed with this class. This team will not reach championship contender status.