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RECAP: Kentucky won, but that was horrible


Technically, Kentucky won tonight, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Before we get into the recap, I’ll remind you that Missouri has only won seven games this season, two in SEC play, and lost at home to North Carolina Central by ten, the same margin by which the Cats won tonight. Yes, Kim Anderson’s team has been playing better as of late, but let’s not sit here and pretend that the reason tonight’s game was close was because Tigers played amazing basketball. The sad truth is, if not for Bam Adebayo, Kentucky would have lost this game, the thought of which is the only thing uglier than the 40 minutes of basketball we witnessed tonight.

But, the Cats survived, beating Missouri 72-62. Let’s talk about it, then burn the tape. So many weird things happened, I’m not sure where to start.

Bam played his best game of the year

Let’s start with the good: Bam Adebayo. Bam put the team on his sweaty back tonight and got only his fourth double-double of the season, first in SEC play. Bam finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He was 6-9 from the field and a stellar 10-13 from the line. He wasn’t perfect, but in the second half, he carried Kentucky. Bam has fallen out of the first round in some mock drafts, and if tonight’s performance wasn’t indication enough of his upside, John Calipari hammered the message home in the postgame press conference.

“If someone passes on him in the draft this year, they should be f-f-fired,” Cal said. “‘Only thing he does is dunk.’ Yeah, he dunks. He’s going to dunk on your neck. He does that too, but he guards every position. For anybody to say, ‘Well, he’s not this and this.’ You’re not on an NBA team because if you were they’ll look back and you’ll get fired.”

Exhibit A of Bam dunking on your neck:

Unfortunately, Bam’s performance was the only positive I have for tonight.

The first half entire game was awful

We all knew this team was prone to bouts of terrible basketball, but that first half was brutal. In fact, between Kentucky looking lost, Missouri’s yellow court, the terrible chants from the student section, and the officiating, watching tonight’s game felt like torture. How bad were the Cats in the first half? They only scored 31 points, no one scored in double figures, and they turned the ball over nine times to only four assists. Somehow, they led by one, but that half felt like a horrible dream, which only got weirder when SEC Network’s Laura Rutledge had the nerve to ask Calipari what he thought of the Missouri student section chanting “CAL, YOU SUCK” at him as he headed into the tunnel:

This is far from the thing we should be the most concerned about right now, but come on, Laura. How the heck was Calipari supposed to respond to that? As Jeremy Shannon said on Twitter, simply walking away from that question was the best defense we saw from Kentucky all night.

When asked about the interaction after the game, Calipari downplayed it, telling reporters that Rutledge came over to him to apologize for the question in the second half, to which he responded, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

I don’t believe that for a second, but classy response.

Malik Monk was ice cold

Monk was cold tonight, finishing with only 11 points off 4-12 from the floor, 1-5 from behind the three-point line. Unfortunately, tonight’s performance is another reminder that when Monk’s cold, you just don’t get much from him. Making matters worse were the rest of the team’s shooting woes. Usually, when Monk’s off, at least someone else will step up and shoot the ball well. That wasn’t really the case tonight, with Kentucky shooting only 28% from three, although Mychal Mulder and Wenyen Gabriel both had crucial treys down the stretch.

Calipari got T’d up

The TV broadcast was at commercial when it happened, but Calipari got a technical from Teddy Valentine at the 7:47 mark after TV Teddy whistled Wenyen Gabriel for traveling when he clearly should have called a jump ball, one of many questionable calls by the refs. After the game, Calipari said he didn’t cuss, but that he deserved the technical. (Which means he totally cussed, right?)

Some stats that prove just how bad/weird this game was

  • Kentucky had a season-high 17 turnovers to only 10 assists
  • Kentucky only had two steals, a season low
  • Kentucky only had 2 fast break points
  • Missouri kept it close by shooting only 37%, 18% from the three

This isn’t a stat, but in a sign of just how bizarre this game was, a Missouri student decided to storm the court in the final seconds of his team’s ten-point loss:

Even the TV announcers didn’t hold back on that one, calling the guy “some idiot.” That’s how desperate we all were for this game to be over.

Can this team beat Florida?

If we’re talking about the squad that just played in Columbia, no way. Like it or not, Saturday’s game vs. Florida is coming and it’s huge. Whoever wins will get the #1-seed in the SEC Tournament, and probably a better seed in the NCAA Tournament.

I’m not sure what happened to that team we all loved in December, but Calipari better find them in the next two weeks. If what we watched tonight is a preview of what’s to come, then I have the same reaction as Calipari did to Rutledge’s question: cal-walkaway

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.

37 Comments for RECAP: Kentucky won, but that was horrible

  1. runningunnin.454
    12:57 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I’ve said all season, we can beat the best teams in the country, or we can lose to anybody……
    Tonight we almost lost to…..anybody.

    • maximumscott
      1:17 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      So everbody played bad except Bam. MONK ice cold, 17TOs, 2 FB pts, nothing from Willis, Fox nothing really, Briscoe a bit but fould Out. Questionable officiating and we won by 10 at Mizzou. Hell, ill take that. The last great performance was UT at home. Lets see what energy Rupp provides for UF and Vandy. I still think we win out. Cats hang 90 on UF. Monk 27, Fox 20, Bam 15/15, the res of em pick up the slack. Im telling you this team is a game away from clicking. 3 games left. Hit stride going into tourny.

  2. syrin23
    1:06 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Ugly ball ftw

  3. Luether
    1:17 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Good game analysis, Mrs TT. My sources tell me that we must play a lot better to beat Fla at home…

  4. SanDiegoCats
    1:55 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Definitely didn’t play tonight like we did in December, but we can get there. We were reminiscent of it last week at home against Tennessee and just came off a great win on the road against a good Georgia team.

  5. StuckinLville
    2:08 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    This time of year we should have all the kinks worked out. After being optimistic earlier in the season, I have no expectations now. I have actually found myself not watching games and turning them off (Florida) before they are over. I can say in my 31 years I never skip games. But I’m glad I did not watch this one. This is terrible. I just don’t get it.

    • UKfanman01
      5:08 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      You watched Gillespie but you can’t watch this? B***h please

    • StuckinLville
      7:48 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I turned some of those off too. But we werent expecting to win titles when he was here. This team went from scoring 100 pts multiple times, fluid, and fun to watch to looking like an AAU team who doesnt like each other anymore. It is way more frustrating. Plus, i work third shift and im glad i didnt wake up to watch this crap.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:23 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Thankfully for you the season will soon be over. You won’t have to decide whether or not to watch “crap”.

  6. Angelo
    2:17 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Laura may be dumb, but she looks good. It is TV… Our team is a mess. Our only hope’ in my (hof) coaching experience’ during March Madness is random 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones inserted in our man-to-man(y) defense… We have to do something unpredictable. Even the worst teams have us figured out…

  7. StuckinLville
    3:34 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Bright side, at least we aren’t Indiana. Went from a top 10 team to 15-13 5-10, and the Big Ten isn’t even all that great this year.

  8. angrykygrandpa
    5:36 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I’m tired of everyone using the excuse, Well, they played their best against Kentucky. When are players not supposed to give 100%. When Kentucky gives us 70%, are we gonna get a 30% refund on our ticket price or the players only get 70% of their scholarship? I know these guys are young, but Cal must teach them to give 100% each game, as they owe that to the ticket holder and the University. It only makes sense if you are playing one or two years to play 100% each game so the NBA will see you at your finest, so it benefits the players also and even if they don’t go to the NBA, a NCAA ring aids them throughout their adulthood. Yes, we set our standards high here in Kentucky and that’s the reason when you don a University of Kentucky basketball jersey on, it really meant something. Big difference in losing giving 100% team effort and getting beat by yourself and your team members. Once the team unites and gives 100%, you will never have to worry about the scoreboard.

    • EdC
      6:55 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Exactly what I was thinking. They don’t have a single player Cal would even consider recruiting but he let’s the “We’re everybody’s Super Bowl” excuse have meaning. How about we give Super Bowl effort or playoff effort every now and then? If SEC road wins really are so amazingly difficult (even though everybody knows Missouri is a walk over) why don’t we see strong effort on every single road game?

      Another Calism that is annoying me is that he uses the excuse that they aren’t playing with confidence. Really? While that may be true for a couple of players, to my eyes the team as a whole are playing with cockiness and not taking their opponents seriously. They generally also aren’t playing with intelligence because we get between 3 – 6 travelling violations every single game because they shuffle their feet which, apparently isn’t a travel in their practices or they are dumber than bricks.

      Cal can’t MAKE them give playoff effort but he could actually follow through with his hollow words that he will bench them.

  9. Kat4Life
    6:23 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    There appears to be a very weird dynamic between Cal and Briscoe. Briscoe is a sulking moody confrontational player who has a very limited skill set. Like it or not he is not an NBA guard. He may not even be a European league guard. I’m not even sure he could start for the National Guard.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:05 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Derp derp?

    • Bobbum Man
      3:05 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I remember when Bledsoe wasn’t an NBA guard either… not saying they’re the same player as he definitely doesn’t have the athleticism Bledsoe did, but you never know

  10. canecowboykat
    6:26 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    And so, when talking about Bam’s excellent game, where does the conversation go from Cal but to the NBA draft status.

    Can we please focus on the here and now, just for one game? So tired of it being the narrative constantly.
    I do not hear this non stop from other coaches.

    • EdC
      6:58 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      It’s all we have. Cal has managed to change the idea of success for enough UK fans that we are nothing but a feeder system for the NBA so cal can brag about how many players he put there. Of course every one of them were going to be there anyway and that is why he recruited them but why let that get in the way of a good story right?

    • catsarerunnin
      8:26 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      You don’t hear NBA from other coaches because they don’t have NBA quality players…duh.

  11. henderblue
    7:07 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Maybe they read on KSR yesterday that this was going to be an easy game. I did

  12. Ky ski nut
    7:57 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Went to bed angry, woke up angry. They should also pull that one ref’s card, he’s completely inept.

  13. CPACAT
    7:59 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Thankfully the UK Spring Football Game is just 51 days away!

    • catsarerunnin
      8:29 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Yes all is bliss when it comes to UK football. The winning…the tradition….the championships…no KSR complaining…

  14. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:29 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Players first.
    I love the mentality and it has gotten us far. But nothing is 100%, if it were everyone would do it.
    The problem is when high rated recruits have glaring weaknesses…do you continue to play them or do you bench them? Well for Coach Cal he plays them. He only benches them if they aren’t giving effort…or at least in theory. Briscoe puts for a lot of effort, and he was a top recruit…Cal is going to do whatever it takes to get Briscoe to the NBA. Might as well face it.
    We blame Briscoe because he can’t shoot…but the fact of the matter is that it wouldn’t matter if our “shooters” were hitting. To me, Monk, Gabrilel and Willis are a bigger issue than Briscoe.
    If everyone were playing their absolute best basketball they could play I would want Briscoe on the bench. Give me Bam, Willis, Gabriel, Monk, and Fox. But it just doesn’t happen because three of those guys don’t defend. Briscoe does.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:35 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      You really think Cal stays with Briscoe just because he wants him to get drafted? Wow…

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      8:44 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Did I say “just” anywhere?

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      8:47 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Actually I did say just…in the last sentence…but you know what I mean.

    • catsarerunnin
      9:36 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I “just” think the whole idea that Cal plays Briscoe because he wants him to be drafted is ridiculous. I don’t like everything Briscoe does either but I don’t believe the whole NBA draft conspiracy theory.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      10:54 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      It isn’t a conspiracy theory. Cal literally says he is players first. If you don’t believe that Cal is playing Briscoe because of that then why is he playing? You are a nay-sayer on many, many posts. In your 55 years of life you would think that you would have figured out something else to say other than just disagreeing with everyone else.

    • rockatao
      1:43 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      The problem with all of you NBA-draft-conspiracy guys is that you conveniently overlook the fact that we have a McDonalds AA who rarely even gets in a game.

  15. Biscuits Old Dad
    9:17 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Is it just me or does there seem to be a chemistry issue on this team now? Early on they seemed to really like playing together and the results bore that out. Now they just don’t seem to be having much fun.
    Maybe it’s because other teams have figured out their best chance of winning is to hurry back on defense to choke off the fast break so they can’t run and gun like they did. I’m sure they’d rather play that way than run their half court offense.
    I do know our defense, particularly against the pick and roll, is awful. I like Willis, Gabriel, and Fox, but I wouldn’t want to have to count on their defense to stop a good high school team.
    I don’t know, but I hope Cal figures it out soon or March will be a short month.

    • TBW3011
      9:41 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Other teams have adjusted and we don’t know how to counter. I think it’s that simple.

  16. TBW3011
    9:40 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Monk defended fine. Past time to point the finger at Fox on that end of the court. He’s atrocious on defense. Has been all year. Opposing PG’s have to salivate when they have the ball.

    • rockatao
      1:45 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I agree with that. Monk has played decent defense, and rebounded, the last 4-5 games.