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Eight notes from a letdown rout

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

After flying high after the rout over Kansas, the Cats needed to be pulled back to Earth a bit, and tonight, the Boston Terriers tried their best to play the spoiler. Of course, UK still won by 24, but that seems to be a pattern this season: even with an incomplete performance, the Cats are big and strong enough to cruise. Let’s go through the highlights.

Hangovers are real, yo

The first half wasn’t pretty. As predicted, UK jogged out of the gate after the huge win over Kansas, and to their credit, the Terriers were truly pesky, nipping at the Cats’ heels like the friskiest of Jack Russells. “We did not fight in the first half,” Calipari said. “I expected a letdown, I was just hoping it wouldn’t be too bad.” After the game, Boston head coach Joe Jones acknowledged that his squad may have caught Kentucky at a good moment after the thrilling win over Kansas.”I thought it was always hard to get up for a game like this when they had such a big game and they played so well in that game,” Jones said. “I was using everything at my disposal.”

Jones is a character and obviously loved the spotlight of UK’s stage. After he was done with his press conference, he “accidentally” tried to walk into the wrong locker room, joking “Is this Kentucky? I’m going to change teams.”

Really, can we keep him?

Ryan Lemond tackled the UK mascot at halftime

In case you haven’t been to a game yet this season, Ryan Lemond now handles halftime festivities, emceeing halfcourt shots. Tonight, the UK mascot made the halfcourt shot, and Ryan tackled him in celebration.

Yes, those are zippers on his back pockets. Zipper pockets on the jeans! Mark this down as a show topic for Monday.

Boston got chippy

The second half escalated quickly. Boston stayed right with Kentucky for the first ten minutes thanks to several fouls from the refs, which sucked up any life in Rupp Arena. The officials called a double technical on Aaron Harrison and Cedric Hankerson, and another technical on Nathan Dieudonne. Boston clearly wasn’t scared of the Cats, jawing and scrapping until the end. In fact, UK only won the rebounding battle by five; however, the Cats opened it up with about seven minutes left, cracking BU’s 2-3 zone by going to their strengths: length and lobs.

Andrew Harrison got mad

Andrew Harrison only had eight points tonight, but I’d argue he shifted the momentum in the second half. After the refs tried to choke any and all rhythm from the court, Andrew got mad, driving the ball, drawing a foul, and sinking two free throws. He followed that up with a beautiful lob to Willie Cauley-Stein. Andrew also had five assists, second to only to Devin Booker, the star of the game. UK shared the ball better than they have all season tonight with 24 assists, the most in a game since dishing out 28 vs. LIU-Brooklyn in 2012.

Speaking of Harrisons, Aaron had a lot of these, too:

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Devin Booker took over

Remember when Devin Booker finally found his shot vs. Kansas? That hot streak continued tonight, and in the second half, it seemed like Devin couldn’t miss. He finished with 15 points off 5-8 shooting, 4-6 from behind the arc. Even better were Booker’s seven assists, a team high. Booker admitted that getting his shot to go down vs. Kansas was a huge confidence boost. “Finally got to see a shot go in. so, that was good,” Booker told reporters afterwards. “Shooters keep shooting. I feel like I kind of shot myself out of it and from here on out I’ll be good.”

Still looking for a full performance

It seems crazy, but we still haven’t seen a complete performance from the Cats. Tonight, the offense finally flowed in the second half thanks to Aaron and Devin, but the defense struggled. On defense, Calipari said that against Kansas, UK looked like a “January team,” whereas tonight, they looked like a “November team.” He also issued his standard disclaimers, warning that this team isn’t as great as everyone is making them out to be. “We all expect this team to be world-beaters every time out, and let me say this, folks: they’re not going to be,” Cal said.

I get Cal’s point, but the fact that it’s only November and the team looks this good and still has room to improve has me heading to bed happy. These quotes from Boston head coach Joe Jones help. “They have so many guys that someone is gonna get hot. They are so good,” Jones said. “Even though it was a close game, they were playing as a team. You can win big that way.”

“They’ve got a chance to get better and better. That’s the scary thing.”

Really, let’s keep him.

Meanwhile, in Athens, Georgia…


LOL. No, you don’t.

This dunk by Dominique Hawkins is all you need to see

Dominique got the start after Alex Poythress sat out because of illness, and made the most of it with this dunk, the first of his career at Kentucky. “Now people know I can dunk. I feel like I’m the best dunker on the team,” Dominique said.

There’s no topping that. Enjoy the rare Saturday off.

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.

14 Comments for Eight notes from a letdown rout

  1. Mc12
    10:48 pm November 21, 2014 Permalink

    I know we have a great home record, which can be attributed a lot to talent, but you can’t tell me that playing in front of a quiet crowd doesn’t have some impact on the energy level of these players out of the gate.

    Rupp can be great during bigger games, but in these types of games it’s a whole different story.

    • Casper
      12:42 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

      Sorry, but these cupcake games are boring…
      This is why Cal is upgrading the schedule
      And Cal being a high class guy is not going to
      humiliate these teams by 30

    • Hakmer
      1:25 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

      You know who you have to blame for that? ERUPPTION ZONE.. the same group that just had their tickets taken away from football for not showing up. Everyone wants to blame the older crowd but the fact is when u can hear the coach who is next to the student section, the students are not bringing any energy whatsoever. If their was a reason to put students around the court, they have not shown that making noise and bringing energy is one of em.

    • Mc12
      11:09 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

      Casper- I can’t tell if you’re serious, so I’ll reply with we won our first game by 40.

      Hakmer, I get what you’re saying, but I think it’s more about the culture at Rupp across the board. Everyone is to blame. I can tell you that while in Indianapolis, there were younger, medium-aged, and older people going crazy the whole game. This is why I only go to big time games at Rupp, or weekend games. I’ll go to road games, and neutral site games much more often because I want to cheer loudly, when I want to cheer. I can also tell you that there are other teams, that have older fans in the lower section that make noise.

      When I went to UK our seats were a little better. The “ERUPPTION” zone is a disappointment, but in my opinion the view from there is not great. I’d have to believe that if it was in a better location. I do think something should be done to prevent this section from being empty. Maybe offer open spots in this section to people in the upper section so it’s at least full?

      This section is so small that it can’t explain why the whole arena is quiet.

  2. syrin23
    1:37 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

    Know what I really like about this team so far? Everyone seems to be having fun !! None of the pouting, head hanging, jawing with the coach or other team or each other. They genuinely seem like they’re having a blast. Now the fact that they are dominating people I’m sure helps, but have we seen a team this relaxed at this point in the season before?

  3. BanjoBeliever
    3:33 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

    I thought it was a pretty good game. Any time we have a win over 20 points – count it good!

  4. Ken Grizzle
    7:52 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

    I’m glad I’m not the only one watching the game and was unimpressed with the officiating. Terrible calling may be a better phrase.
    That being said, The Cats did come out a little flat and frankly never put off enough energetic vibes to stir the crowd until Devin Booker got his mojo working. I loved the challenge down the stretch when they avoided an eighth round knock out by responding in a grand fashion. Great effort by WCS,AH,AH,TL,DJ,CT and The Hawk.

  5. Jud
    8:46 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

    Tyler thank you for providing a link to watch the game last night. I would not have been able to watch it if you had not been so kind.

  6. Juanita Broadrick
    9:10 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

    “Let down Rout” really? That’s the kind of crap headline that gives BBN fans a bad name and causes Cal to go after all fans when it’s a minority blogosphere doing it.

    • BTownUKFan
      2:45 pm November 22, 2014 Permalink

      Juanita, if you read the post, you’ll notice Cal used the term “letdown”. I believe TT was referencing his comment and the fact that it did turn into a rout at the end.

  7. RealCatsFan
    10:24 am November 22, 2014 Permalink

    Wasn’t able to get the game on DTV. Does anyone have a link where I can watch a replay? Are any DTV stations airing a replay of the game?

    • ibescootch
      12:06 pm November 22, 2014 Permalink

      There’s a link under one of the posts from last night, maybe the Hawkins starting one?

  8. Time Expired
    12:38 pm November 22, 2014 Permalink

    Can anyone really not have known there may be a let down for this game. BC is no KU and this is to be expected. Anyway a 24 pt. win in an off game that is pictured as a letdown is pretty awesome. This team only gets better and better and will always have someone that steps up when necessary like Booker did. Gonna be a tuff team to beat.

  9. jeffj
    3:01 pm November 22, 2014 Permalink

    the Georgia “we want kentucky”sign was pretty cool. they coulda put the sign in all those empty seats , then we could see what kind of sign making people would do that…………… GO CATS