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The fouls were bad, but Kentucky really got beat on the boards

© John Reed | USATSI

© John Reed | USATSI

When we look back on this game, we’ll probably think first of the fouls. Forty-nine were called tonight, 29 on Kentucky and 20 on Auburn. The Cats shot 24 free throws to the Tigers’ 44, a frustrating and telling stat; however, an even bigger component to tonight’s loss was rebounding. Auburn absolutely manhandled Kentucky inside, winning the rebounding battle 42-28. The Tigers had 17 offensive rebounds to the Cats’ 6, leading to 17 second-chance points.

Kentucky’s performance on the offensive boards has been an issue all season, and John Calipari brought it up first in his postgame press conference.

The difference was the offensive rebounding and that came down to toughness. [Austin] Wiley just had a field day on Nick [Richards] and not many people have done that to Nick, but he did. There were probably six or seven offensive rebounds — are you ready? — where we didn’t leave our feet. We didn’t jump. I’m like, what is going on?”

Let’s go back to the fouls for a second. According to stat guru Corey Price, Auburn’s 44 free-throw attempts are the second most in regulation by a Kentucky opponent in the John Calipari Era behind North Carolina’s 45 in December 2013. Calipari mostly refrained from commenting about officiating after the game, but gave Auburn props for getting to the line so often.

“Let me just tell you, they put their head down and they go. That’s what they do. And we were trying to do the same without the same result. We were trying to do the same.”

“Give Auburn credit. They were more physical. They created more fouls than us, obviously, and the crazy thing is, we had our chance 62-60 with the ball. We’re okay, let’s go. And we don’t do what we need to.”

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.

34 Comments for The fouls were bad, but Kentucky really got beat on the boards



  1. JohnnyCat
    9:09 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    Kentucky’s downfall this year is how weak they are down low. EJ, Brooks, Sestina, and Juzang are simply not very good and give very little in a high-level game. Throw in losing Whitney and this team is incredibly thin in the paint. Couple that with the fact that Nick seems to get pushed around by big physical centers and this type of rebounding differential is going to happen. Unfortunately the entire season comes down to improvement from the bench and EJ. I’m not holding my breath.



    • mashburnfan1
      9:44 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      But Nick is up for player of the year according to Calipari. He dominated all those guys that were 6’7 that we have been playing. Plus cow develops guys for the NBA in one year, Nick has been here three years he should be player of the universe by now to get that much development



    • KYCat4EVER
      12:05 am February 2, 2020 Permalink

      SPOT ON Mashburnfan1…

      And let’s not forget “our Lynn Bowden”… as Coach Process calls him!

      LOL… heck, Lynn Bowden throws better passes than Hagans and protects the ball better!

      Calipari best retire …

      GO BIG BLUE!



  2. IrishCat
    9:13 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    It’s easy to beat a team on the glass when you inherit you’re allowed to play more physical than they are.



  3. Righteous1
    9:14 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    The real issue is that our overpaid coach cannot make in game adjustments period, end of story!



    • mashburnfan1
      9:41 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      Best comment so far, and true. Wins most games simply because he has way better talent, of course most losses came wit a more talented team than he lost to. Look at Vandy game, Utah Valley etc, we won those, and most, games because of who we played and not how we played.



    • runningunnin.454
      10:23 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      Oh look, Dumb and Dumber is on. I feel pretty good about the team; go on the road in the SEC, get f*cked by the refs, and it takes 44 FT’s to beat us.



    • CrystalBall
      10:57 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      You can’t win 81% of your games unless you can make adjustments.



  4. big cat
    9:15 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    NEWS FLASH. There is great parity in college basketball. Translation, it will be much harder, and very unlikely we will win another title….especially with inexperienced freshmen players – regardless of how much potential they have. Auburn had experienced players. We do not.



    • peaches76
      9:49 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      We have experienced players this year. Several. Just didn’t bring our big boy pants tonite. Have to say that Pearl does more with less.



  5. WildcatNation
    9:18 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    I had 3 fouls watching this game



    • IrishCat
      9:21 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      Best comment.



    • RAGE
      9:27 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      Lol that is hilarious!!!



    • ClutchCargo
      9:37 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      Then I must have had a couple of technicals and gotten ejected.



  6. Righteous1
    9:20 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    In Cal We Trust, It’s NBA or Bust!



  7. makeitstop
    9:21 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    Cal’s right. U get beat that bad on the glass… fire up the bus. They hv to want it and Cal can’t want it for them.



  8. MrFlip41129
    9:27 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    IrishCat is 100% right!! Go Cats!



  9. JT55
    9:28 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    Good to see a level headed article. Yes, there were some bad calls. But, we absolutely got punked. Better move on fast because if they’re flat like last Wed, they’ll b in trouble Tues night



  10. MrFlip41129
    9:30 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    Righteous1. First like you could do better. And second, Cal makes adjustments, but when you can’t hit a bull in the ass with a base fiddle, get out rebounded, and don’t get the call when it’s called on the other in, that’s not on Cal. In Cal I trust! Go Cats!



    • KYwildcat8289
      10:27 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      Dude I almost never comment but as a former collegiate player it is astonishing how little these “commenters” know about actual basketball and coaching (which they clearly don’t see adjustments cause they don’t know the game). That’s why they should all be ignored cause they have no clue about the game



    • desertCard
      12:19 pm February 2, 2020 Permalink

      Such a lame reply lol. Cal can’t make in-game adjustments and won’t adjust his recruiting to build teams. Being at the NBA draft seems more important than where ever the FF is being played. He’s openly stated what his mission is and it has little to do with the name on the front of the jersey. The modern day BBN. How can you not rise up and demand a change? And look at the photo accompanying this article. Probably 2 fouls committed on one play there. That “the refs hate UK” gets tired after so long.



  11. mashburnfan1
    9:33 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    Quit whining. Just got beat got outcoached outplayed etc. again. To win a title you must win six straight games in the tournament. First two may be against fairly weak opponents, next four should be against average to above average teams. We have won six game winning streak this year By beating Utah Valley, barely, Mount St. Mary’s Lamar UAB in a struggle fairly Dickinson and Georgia Tech all non-tourney factors and probably not even in the tournament teams. These young teams Cal has every year Struggle with consistency and is why I have always said we will would not win another title with Calipari as coach. Would be different if he could coach but all he worries about is the NBA. Look at the Arkansas game we lose if he stays on the sideline, we won because he got thrown out and the staff made the adjustment to go to zone. Keep making excuses, it was their Super Bowl, dumb game time shouldn’t start games at 6 PM, We were looking ahead, referees fault, it was windy in Idaho, and all the other lame ass excuses you want to use all the time but I go by the facts. Despite the best talent almost every year he has one title and loses too much more inferior teams every year the tournament including Robert Morris



    • makeitstop
      9:43 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

      Based on where we are now, we definitely can’t beat 6 good teams in a row. Too many guys take games off. But Cal has gotten them to develop and gotten hot in March. Personally I have my doubts bc of our front court. I could see our back court turning it on and stopping the dumb turnovers, passing better, and playing great D for a whole 40 minutes. But the front court? I don’t see it. Upset someone? Sure. 6 in a row? I hv trouble seeing that and I’m an optimist by nature.



  12. Miller45
    9:59 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    You know i try not to whine too much about officiating even if I take issue with it ….but joe lindsay is a joke, wiley was climbing up our backs and even pushing off of our guys on the offensive glass all game and got away with it, McCormick and doughty were boxing out from the side on defense while having both hands on our guys, which is completely illegal in any universe where they play basketball. we did commit some bonehead fouls for sure but IQ, maxey, and ej were called for 7 or 8 completely nonexistent calls. Auburn couldn’t hit a shot until our guys had to back off because of fouls. Ashton and nick aren’t going to play like that again and we are gonna beat their butts into the ground next month



  13. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    10:06 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    Cal’s idea of coaching is telling his 5 stars players to make a play in the huddle. He for darn sure can’t out X and O anyone. He usually can just roll it out there with better players. Not this year.



  14. VirginiaCat
    10:12 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    The loss tonight was foreshadowed by our failure to recruit a big man to bolster our front court. We struck out on every quality big man we tried to recruit. Recruiting losses eventually translate to game losses and then tournament exits.



  15. Dark Soul
    10:22 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    We could’ve had shaq in his prime and he would e fouled out and did us no good. The refs where terrible. The killed us on the boards for sure but some of that is them calling fouls every time we moved. They took our best player out of the whole game . He probably only had 3 real fouls.



  16. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    10:22 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    The fouls were “consistently” during rebounds thus negating them.



  17. CahillsCrossingNT
    10:36 pm February 1, 2020 Permalink

    Is Kentucky even a threat to win the SEC anymore?



  18. Ol Jim
    12:36 am February 2, 2020 Permalink

    The Cats lose and the hoards of Cal hating trolls call for him to retire. Get a grip people! This is not one of Cal’s better teams but he’s doing a good job of getting what he can out of the players. Hagans and Richards had an off night, Auburn shot 20 more free throws than us and the Cats still had a chance to win. Ls like this will turn in to Ws come March. We’re getting there y’all. Trust the process and Cal’s track record of winning.



    • CatsfaninFL
      7:11 am February 2, 2020 Permalink

      Man you ain’t lying. The Louisville trolls (“but I been a cats fan since I were 12!”) are so obvious to detect it’s pathetic. Mash, righteous, virginiacat… all they do is show their face after a loss and whine about Cal. Losers in life and on their keyboard. Go cats!



    • desertCard
      12:23 pm February 2, 2020 Permalink

      Then that means his recruiting sucks. He got flash in a pan and won a NC a century ago. Won’t happen again if he doesn’t change. Mass One and Done team recruiting is dead.



  19. Righteous1
    1:22 am February 2, 2020 Permalink

    Right on Mash!!!!