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The Good and the Bad of Kentucky’s 85-63 win over Mississippi State

So much maroon… (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It had been a while since the Cats played an actual game, and boy, could you see that in the first half.  In true Kentucky fashion, the Cats stumbled out of the gate again tonight, but rallied behind a strong performance from the bench to put away Mississippi State by a final score of 85-63.  Here’s the bad and the good of it all.


Another awful start

Maybe the team was still wrapped up in the fun times of Camp Cal.  Maybe the Louisville game went to their heads.  Or maybe they were just rusty after the long break.  Regardless of the reason, Kentucky looked straight up awful for the majority of the first half.   Mississippi State jumped out to a 12-2 lead, and the Cats didn’t score until the 15-minute mark.  They were listless, slow, and submissive to a smaller Bulldogs who led 40-37 going into the half.  After the game, John Robic (stepping in for Cal, who went to be with his son, Brad, who underwent ACL surgery yesterday) said that the Cats “settled” in the first half, and weren’t mentally ready for the game:

“I think we were rusty. Having 13 days, even the players were like, ‘We finally get to play a game.’ It’s just the way the schedule went, but I do think that we were a little bit rusty. We’re in game shape, but we weren’t ready for the game when it started. And it took us some time.”

Of all of the team’s bad habits, slow starts could be the worst.  Or free throws, but Cal says not to worry about that.

So much maroon... (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

So much maroon… (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Julius Randle’s reaction to double and triple teams

Mississippi State followed through on their promise to double team Julius Randle early and often.  As a result, Randle had a relatively quiet night, tying a season low with only seven field goal attempts for eight points.  However, he’s still Randle the Reliable when it comes to rebounding, grabbing 14 boards.  Julius was even triple teamed at times tonight, and in those situations, needs to kick it out more often to his teammates, who are more often than not wide open.  Robic lamented about that after the game:

“First off, he has to catch the ball tighter, no question. If he sees space, he has to take it.  If they are going to send two or three players at him, he has to sacrifice himself for the betterment of the team, our players are finally understanding to be in certain spots on the post‑ups.”


Photo by Darrell Bird

Photo by Darrell Bird

James Young’s got to be starting something

Young notched his second straight double-double, with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.  Fifteen of those points came in the first half, when the Cats needed offense the most.  At 8-18 from the field and 3-10 from behind the arc, James missed a lot of shots, but at times early on, he seemed like the only player willing to start things offensively.  Robic said that James always has the green light from the staff to let ‘er rip:  “I can’t think of any of the 18 shots that were bad or forced shots.  James is a scorer.  If he has it going, he has it going. He has that green light to shoot the ball.”  Robic also praised James for playing a “complete game” and talking more with his teammates, something he noted the entire team is doing better after the break.

Photo by Darrell Bird

Photo by Darrell Bird

Dominique was Dominique

How can you not love Dominique Hawkins?  In what is becoming his trademark, Dominique came in early in the first half and infused the team with energy, attacking the basket and taking advantage of open space.  Mississippi State failed to guard him, so Andrew Harrison encouraged him to shoot.  Robic said that Hawkins is the type of player that does everything the staff asks him to do, brings hustle, and always defends well.  In short, he’s a coach’s dream: “He just brings an energy that you have to find time for him on the floor and that’s why he’s out there.”

We all owe Marquis Estill and Cal’s dentist a big thank you.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Dakari Johnson had his best game yet

Matt nailed it today when he predicted Dakari Johnson would have a big game.  Dakari was ridiculously efficient tonight, scoring eight points in eight minutes off 4-4 shooting.  After the game, Robic said that tonight was “the first signs of Dakari actually finishing plays,” and said the game was huge for the big man’s confidence.  When the matchups are in his favor, Dakari can be dominant down low, and even though he’s not as athletic as Willie, he did manage to get one of the slowest and lowest lobs in UK history tonight.

Alex didn’t play, he dunked

All we’ve heard lately is how well Alex Poythress has been playing in practice.  It’s been a major headline in the past few weeks, with Cal calling for Alex to carry that performance over to games.  Well, he did.  Alex looked like a totally different player tonight, with all five of his field goals dunks.  Alex finished with twelve points in what may have been his most complete game in recent memory.  Robic raved about Alex after the game, telling reporters that the sophomore’s confidence is at “an all-time high,” and Alex said that he’s happy to be making “the plays you always dreamed of” making at Kentucky.  Based on Alex’s performance tonight, James Young may have put it best when he said “I guess you could put him anywhere on the court you want and he’ll catch a lob.”

More second half, less first half on Saturday, boys.

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.

85 Comments for The Good and the Bad of Kentucky’s 85-63 win over Mississippi State

  1. mashburnfan1
    11:41 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    More bad- the twins had 7 turnovers and a combined 8 assist and made field goals. No title with these stats. Main concern is the turnovers are just lazy passes, stupid things that you hope by now would be corrected. Team only had 12 turnovers so that is a plus. I don’t care what Cal says about free throws it will cost teams their season in the tourney, just hope it does not cost us.

    • Syrin
      12:21 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Yep. If the coaches don’t HONESTLY evaluate their play, this team won’t go far. In fact, if you took the twins McDonald’s status away, made them white, and then gave them identical stats to this point, I doubt they’d get much playing time. It’s all based on high school rep.

    • Daniel
      12:25 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      The Team had 18 assists and 12 to’s and also won by 22 points just saying

    • Just saying
      12:54 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Both the twins made multiple field goals and had essential y the same stats as Hawkins except they both ran pg which naturally leads to more turnovers. I’m glad that people love Hawkins but he only looks better than the twins because we hold him to a different standard statistically.

    • bigblue091812
      7:24 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Please quit posting such dumbass comments, no way can you know anything about basketball

  2. Sam
    11:49 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Hawkins is awful. Gets loads of PT,…..and never does he have anything to show for it in the stat line. Stats DO NOT LIE!!!! He tries hard,..I’ll say that. But he is afraid to shoot the ball. They work for 32 seconds to get a shot,….. and Hawk is wide open, but refuses to shoot. They back off him and dare him to shoot. He is afraid. Same as last year’s team. That kills your offense. I wish he’d shoot and miss. At least we’d have a chance for a rebound and put back. But he allows 5 defenders to guard 4 of our players. That’s on Cal!!!!! Shoot the dang ball if your open. That’s NOT rocket science. If you’re too afraid to shoot,…you got no business being in the game. I don’t care how much you dive on the floor for the ball, or how GOOD your body language is. The Vols or Gators kick out buts at home tonight if we had played them like that. You got to play more than one half to beat a good team. 3 down at half with Hawk on the court. Second half before they put him back in we go up by EIGHT,..That’s an 11 point swing,..when we have 5 players who will actually have the courage to shoot the ball. I rest my case. Now,…ream me out. Most folks play little attention to STATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. How many games has Hawk scored 18 points? Irmc. Cal get the best players in the country. Now all he has to do is play them,..and tell them to shoot. We need more Dakari, Lee and Willis!!!!!!!!!!!! Way less Hawkins.

    • You're kidding, right?
      12:02 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t know where to start. First of all, neither Dakari, Lee, nor Willis play Hawkins position (guard). Hawkins plays because we just aren’t that deep when it comes to talented guards, and the twins have struggled. Its the Harrison’s fault that Hawkins has to play so much. Maybe he should shoot more, but that’s on the coaching staff to give him the green light. He’s a selfless player which is hard to teach. Its easy to have him shoot more if that’s whats best for the team (and I agree it probably is). Hawkins knows the role he has been given is to play defense on speedy guards that the Harrisons and the rest of the team seem to let blow by. You should be very grateful to have him as a defender, but I guess you can’t see that cause all you seem to care about is offense. Fact is, Cal’s system relies on excellent defense. Give the kid a break. He’s doing exactly what he’s been told to do. Back to playing Dakari, Lee, and Willis: I agree Dakari should play more. But who do you take minutes from to give to Lee and Willis? Yeah, I didn’t think that’d be an easy question….

    • 2mites
      12:03 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Sorry but ANYONE with knowledge of basketball knows you cannot go by stats only. Hawkins infuses the team with energy and a toughness that this team needs to pick them up. If all you look at is scoring then I guess Randle had a terrible game. Wake up and actually watch the game.

    • Wake up is right
      12:07 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Not to mention Hawkins scored the first field goal of the game when all the scorers on the team were struggling terribly. Watch the game next time instead of just looking at the stat sheet..

    • Sam
      12:23 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      >>>Not to mention Hawkins scored the first field goal of the game when all the scorers on the team were struggling terribly.

      Wow!!! He scored the first field goal??????? Put him in the HOF!!!! Let’s see. He sort of played his typical game. Diving on the floor,..clapping his hands,..great body language. 23 minutes,..over half the game (40 minutes). 1 for 5 from the field. 0 for 2 from the 3 point line. 2 total rebounds. 2 total assists. 4 total points. His typical game. I did not say Cal should play play Dakari at guard. I said play the twins (2 players), Young, and even Polson,..that’s 4 GUARDS (which given 23 minutes will normally have better stats,..much batter,..for those 23 minutes). Hawkins tries hard. But if he is afraid to shoot a wide open shot,..then that allows 5 defensive players to guard our four offensive players,..disadvantage Cats. I don’t care if he can or can’t shoot. I only care that he WILL NOT shoot. It kills our offense.

    • No you didn't
      12:31 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      “I did not say Cal should play play Dakari at guard. I said play the twins (2 players), Young, and even Polson,..” -Sam

      You never said that. Read you post. You never said that. Quit making false claims.

    • Daniel
      12:35 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      @Sam wow Please change that opinion… it is so Stupid and wrong

    • Sam
      12:38 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      So,..where did I say play Dakari at guard???? I said,..give Dakari, Lee and Willis more PT. Hell,..give them 23 minutes, and let’s see what these boys could do. Two are five star players!!! . We have 4 guards other than Hawkins. That’s a fact. You can play all 5 of those guards and still give Dakari, Lee and Willis more PT. It’s possible. It is not mutually exclusive. There are a limited # of PT minutes in the game. I simply said play Hawkins less,…. and play Johnson, Willis and Lee more. But maybe you can’t read. I guess I forgot to allow for that “No You Didn’t”.

    • No you didn't
      12:45 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      You sir are the one you has trouble with reading comprehension. Who do you want to take minutes from to give to Lee and Willis? Answer that.

      You want to play Polson over Hawkins? Have you checked Polson’s scoring averages?? Didn’t think so.
      How can you not see Hawkins plays better defense that Polson?? Oh, cause that’s not in the stat sheet…

    • Sam
      1:02 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      So,..I don’t see a lot of defensive stats one way or the other on the sheet I am looking at (as both are negligible in the stat column), far as defense for the year. When it comes to offense,..I see where Polson is shooting .500 field goal % as compared to Hawk’s .333. From the three point line Polson has yet to miss one,..while Hawk is shooting 18%. Course you may not pay any attention to actual stats. Who do I take minutes away from to give more to Lee, Johnson and Willis??? Poythress and Willie. I like Willie,..and Poy to a lesser extent. But I also like Willis, Lee and Johnson. And they have not been given very much time whatsoever on the court. You can’t produce, if you are on the bench. Each to their own. But since Johnson and Lee are both 5 star players,..I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a little more PT, least 15 minutes per game,..maybe even 20. Or maybe even 23,….. like Hawkins got tonight.

    • Sam
      1:26 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Btw,..the stats I was looking at were only through the first 13 games. That’s all I could find when comparing the stats for Hawkins and Polson. I don’t think either has had any big scoring games since,..that I can recall.

    • BravoBigBlue
      6:41 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      @Sam – Your “logic” makes you sound like a Louisville fan. You’re entitled to your opinion. But really you should just shut up and stop embarrassing yourself.

    • bigblue091812
      7:30 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      WOW, what an idiot. I remember when UK beat Kansas for the championship in 2012 he shooting % was awful and he was the MOP. In watching the MSU/OSU game the other night a sub off the bench that scored 3 points (1 field goal and he was 1-4 from the ft line) but his 9 minutes on the floor is why MSU was able to win that game in overtime. It was his hustle, leadership, diving on the floor and defense. WOW, not much of a stat line but was the MOP at the end of the game when it counted.

    • theWilkman
      9:46 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Sam just stop, man. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

  3. BigBlue
    11:54 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Shut up

  4. Sam
    12:09 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    >>>Sorry but ANYONE with knowledge of basketball knows you cannot go by stats only.

    Yep. You got that right. You go by stats only and you have 7 players that only score 3 points per game (ala Hawkins). When the game ends you have 7 times 3,..21 points. You’re 100% right. If you go by stats, you only score 21 points. Simply brilliant. Then let’s not go by stats. Heh.

    • Mike
      12:20 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      There is a thing called synergy. Look it up and you will understand why Hawkins has been integral.

    • Sam
      12:29 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      >>>There is a thing called synergy.

      At the end of the game, how many points does that count for I’m wondering? If it counts for 5 points per synergy,.. then add those to the 4 he scored and he got NINE tonight. Synergy huh? They should include that in the stat line. “They outscored you by 10 points!!!” “Yeah,….but our synergy outscored them by 12. We win by two!!!!!” “Wait,..where does the scoreboard show “synergy”????? I must have missed that.”

    • Why, please Why?
      12:34 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Why, why is it so hard for Sam to see the importance of defense?

    • Sam
      12:45 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      >>>Why, why is it so hard for Sam to see the importance of defense?

      Why? So, many steals did he have? That’s an important part of defense! How many blocks did Hawk have? As that is too an integral stat in a defensive line. I love Willie,..he blocks shots. He alters shots. He’s a huge asset when it comes to defense. So,..again. How many total blocks, altered shots and steals did Hawk have in his 23 minutes,…him being such a great defender???? How many fouls did he commit? 4??? I think maybe so. You got me. I must admit. He had a great defensive stat line.

    • are you forreal??
      12:49 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Blocks are a last line of defense that aren’t expected from a 6 foot guard. About one half of Hawkins’ fouls were B.S. calls

    • bigblue091812
      7:38 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      If SAM was a player he’d be like Archie, me me me me, look at what I did in the game. He doesn’t understand that basketball is a team sport with every players score 25 pts a game, I guess that would be great, using his 7X3 formula we should be scoring 175 pts a game. No one needs to focus on shutting down a fast point guard or rebound. Randle had one of his worst scoring games of the year but had 14 rebounds, he and young had 24 between them and the whole MSU team had 28. SAM, that’s called being a team player, not worried if you score 25 points like a Russ Smith or Marshall Henderson even if you have to take 25-30 shots to get them. Henderson has led the SEC in scoring for 2 years and look where Ole Miss has gone, Loserville will lose 8-12 games this year but don’t worry SAM it won’t be Smith’s fault, you can bet your ass he’ll get his points.

  5. haha
    12:13 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Sam isn’t a troll and actually takes himself serious. Complete idiot

  6. Just wow!
    12:14 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    I wonder why UK is paying Coach Cal so much money? I bet they could hire this Sam guy for half of Coach Cal’s salary! LOL

  7. Syrin
    12:18 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Andrew is the 3rd, maybe 4th best PG on this team. When you factor in his poor shooting, lazy play (he WALKS the ball up the court MOST possessions), lack of defense, turnovers, then you realize for whatever physical advantages he may have, he’s a liability. If the coaches don’t learn that, then this team will not win. This team started winning this game when Hawkins got in, played defense, pushed the flow of the offense, etc. Andrew is just an offense killer. Let’s pretend we didn’t see that WIDE OPEN AIR BALL on the three. His lack of assists, turnovers, and Tubby ball style of offense will be the death of this team. I’m sure he’ll get better, but this is not the year. Play Hawkins, Polson and Aaron at point before Andrew.

    • Daniel
      12:23 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      I’ll pretend he did because he came right back and hit a clutch one in the 2nd half to give our team a 6 point lead

    • Just saying
      12:57 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      There is a reason Cal for all his raving never puts Hawkins in at point and if Polson was a viable starter we would have seen it last year.

    • Syrin
      1:35 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      And that reason is hype coming out of high school. Best PG in the country goes 2-7, 2 assists, 4 TO’s, no steals and is like throwing thick tar into the engine of the offense. When Hawkins is in the ball moves, the tempo is pushed, and the energy is there. Those aren’t measurable stats except in the fact when Andrew got the time, we went down by 10. Enter Hawkins and we win going away. It’s not just this game. Andrew is the laziest guard we’ve seen in some time. Lazy passes, walks up the court, doesn’t get back on D. No effort, no excuses. Dicky V called him lazy. one of the announcers without naming a specific player said Cal thinks some of his players are lazy on D which explains the lack of steals. gee, I wonder who that was in reference to.

  8. mike
    12:21 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    All of the bad mouthing poser fans one here, have no clue about basketball or being part of the BBN. Go get you a cardinals t-shirt from down the road, and a Petrino autograph this weekend. Heck write a song about catching a Cardinals game maybe it will catch on. BBN for life….I BLEED BLUE..#IBB

    • Daniel
      12:27 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      well said there… no point in getting in arguments over a 22 point win lol

    • Syrin
      1:36 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Ah, a typical IU fan. You think crappy play means we can beat 6 quality teams in a row in March. Yeah, you are a wealth of b-ball knowledge.

  9. JTurn4
    12:25 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Sam has as good of a knowledge of basketball as Pitino and Petrino do of faithfulness.

  10. el hombre juan
    12:33 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    I dont know what game everybody else watched, but the one on my tv showed a team that is finally starting to come together. Despite an off shooting night and a pitiful 4-20 from behind the arc, the cats managed to defeat the dogs by 23 and cover the spread. I saw hustle out there tonight. I saw ball movement, crisper passing (aside from one cross court lob I can think of.) I saw people without the ball moving on offense, something which has been extremely stale up until now. They just seemed to be working a lot harder instead of playing like a bunch of strangers in a pickup game.

    Andrew had a 2/4 to margin, but I can really only recall one out two wtf moments as opposed to about two or three every other minute. I believe tonight they we a bit rusty and off, but it certainly looks to me like this team is finally starting to gel.

    • Big Dave
      12:55 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Well said. The offense looked more like an actual offense tonight.

    • Syrin
      1:40 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      You’re kidding right? DId you see Andrew WALK the ball up the court at least 10 times? Did you see him make lazy passes? How about all those steals? Yeah, he had none. How about getting back on D? Oh yeah, he watched them fast break all over us the first half AGAIN. The play is there from the guys who come in to replace him.

      If you think we can play like that against a truly mediocre teams and win 6 games in a row in March against QUALITY teams, you’re an IU fan. Did you see any highlights of the Wichita St. game? How about the OSU-MS game last night, or Arizona. Those teams would WHACK this team if Andrew plays 25+ minutes.

    • el hombre juan
      4:15 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Hmm….sure looked to me like on MOST possessions the WHOLE TEAM was getting the ball to the other end pretty quick. Something we haven’t really seen until now. Not saying pg play is perfect but it is certainly getting better. And oh, you’re right…I MUST be an iu fan because I liked the way uk played tonight???

      Is it march yet? No. Didn’t think so. It’s January and the team looks a helluva lot better than December. How about the 18-12 assist to turnover ratio? I’m talking about Kentucky, AS A TEAM (not Andrew Harrison’s stat line or whoever else’s for that matter) is looking way better.

    • BBN
      8:51 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Just a small note, UK won by 22 and barely missed covering the spread. Great 2nd half though.

  11. Just saying
    1:00 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Must we do this Point Gaurd bashing every year? Haven’t we seen this movie before? Every freshman PG struggles. Ask Kasey Hill at Florida. He is obviously getting better as evidently the UofL game. If you think Polson is the answer in the long run then you know nothing about basketball no disrespect to him.

    • Sam
      1:14 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Personally I don’t think Polson is the answer ether. Nor do I think Hawkins is. I do like Polson better than Hawkins though. No,..I think the answer at guard is Andrew & Aaron Harrison and James Young. You can play any combination of two of them for your guards. They all can shoot and are not afraid to take a shot,..ala Hawkins. They are all three FIVE STAR PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cal thinks you should only have a rotation of 7 or 8 players,..and I tend to agree with him on that. That being the case,..those three along with 4 (or 5) forwards/centers should work fine in a 7 or 8 man rotation. If 2 of those three guards should get in foul trouble,..then I would go with Polson next. You might go with Hawkins next. Each to their own. I would not give Hawkins 23 minutes,..when his stat line is almost non-existent, after game. Again,…personally I like a little production in my stat line if a player is going to get a lot of PT.

    • Syrin
      1:42 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      You’re wrong. What was the main problem with Wall, Knight, Teague? They played TOO hard, TOO fast, tried the really hard passes. They had to learn to slow it down.

      Watch tonights game. Andrew will NEVER be accused of playing too hard. He WALKS the ball up the court, never creates a fast break, gives up a ton of fast break points and has some of the laziest passes we’ve seen from a guard in a LONG time. At least Polson keeps the ball moving, pushes the tempo, gets back on D. He can at least hit FT’s and gets a steal or 2 a game, something Andrew doesn’t do. Andrew is thick tar in the UK engine. Perfect if you like Tubby ball.

    • el hombre juan
      4:26 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      You LIKE to CAPS dont YOU. Look at every single team we’ve had the past few years at the beggining of the season. Lazy careless passes that make you want to pull your hair it. We play freshman, they are used to getting away with that junk in hs. It’s starting to go away though just like every other team around this time of year. Just accept the first 15 or so games are going to be sloppy. They will get it together they are already making strides go get your vision checked dude.

      Polson is slow as a one legged sloth. He can stroke the three ball, protects the rock, and knows how to run a play or two but is a huge defensive liability. Andrews not the best pg in the country, but give him more time before you go break your skull jumping off the bandwagon. You people did the same crap with knight and Teague. Polson is definantly not an answer to any question being asked right now.

  12. haha
    1:06 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    I’m really getting tired of people acting like the Harrison twins shouldn’t play. First of all AARON Harrison is not the same as Andrew and has been our best player many nights even Cals admission. Second of all, are we forgetting that Andrew has played well recently especially against Louisville and UNC? Honestly people get ideas in their heads and just will not let them go.

    • Sam
      1:20 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      I concur with you on this. The twins are fine. Andrew needs to play with more confidence. But they are both MUCH better than Hawkins. No comparison. At the end of the game, they normally at least show up in the stat line,..unlike Hawkins. Aaron has been GREAT a lot this year, and will only improve with time. Andrew does need to start being a little more consistent. And he needs to shoot more wide open shots. But I’ll take him any day of the week over Hawk,… or even Polson (who I like). Jmo.

    • Syrin
      1:47 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      So you think Andrew going 6-16 from the floor, 50% from the line with 2 assists and 3 TOS while getting TORCHED on defense is going to win us 6 games in a row in March against quality teams? Did you like those 6 fast break points we had that were not created by Andrew? You’re drinking the Kool Aid.

    • Sam
      1:56 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      So,..Syrin. You think Hawkins is better than Andrew Harrison then???? Hilarious. You think the NBA scouts would agree with you?? Just wondering. You think Andrew Harrison will not play in the NBA and Dominique Hawkins will?? You think Hawkins’ stat line for the year over all is better than Andrew’s??? You think Cal is wrong for starting Andrew over Hawk???? Simply brilliant analysis. It speaks for itself.

    • Syrin
      1:36 pm January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Hey F’tard. Andrew isn’t going to get drafted in the first round by any team other than someone desperate and/or willing to hope he develops. There not much need for a slow PG who gets no assists, no steals, slows down the offense, plays no D, can’t shoot, and misses FT’s. The NUMBERS are on my side, and if you llook at where Andrew is expected to be drafted versus where he was, again, the numbers support me. Even potential recruits notice Hawkins play, not Andrew the sloth.

  13. Louisville1Cal5
    1:26 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    So, in unrelated news, Louisville still sucks, more details coming soon.

  14. bigbluebear
    1:36 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Sam, have you ever played basketball before? Do you know ANYTHING about the sport? There is no stat line for great on ball defenders outside of steals, that force players from shooting or denying a passing lane…

    • Sam
      1:50 am January 9, 2014 Permalink


      Yep,….played all my life. And when I played I never really worried about going up against guys that could play a little D,..but could not score. No,..I worried about the players who could put 30 points on the stat line of the scoreboard when I went up against them. Hawkins in no Aaron Craft for Ohio State. He plays decent defense. But he can’t (or won’t) score and/or rebound, alter and clock shots, whatever,..and the opposing team can back off him and put 5 players on the other four Wildcats. It’s one thing to play Willie,..who is not a big scorer. But Willie’s defense and rebounding is good enough to make up for his lack of offense. The freshman Hawkins’ defense is NOT that good!!! You may think so. I disagree. You got to have folks that can score and will actually have the courage to shoot the ball,..especially at the guard position. Maybe you don’t have to have that from a rebounding shot blocking and altering 7 footer. So,…yes. To answer your question,… I played a lot of bball in my day.

    • el hombre juan
      4:33 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Hawk is a fine backup. I agree he’s an offensive liability if they are gonna back off him though. If he’s open he needs to shoot otherwise he shouldnt play. They were packing the lane when he was out there. But watch this kid legs on d. He’s got the hips of a good cornerback.

  15. Plenty
    1:47 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Sam sounds just like that fair weather fan niaps. Always complaining about something, even in a good win. We started rusty after a long break and still won by 22. Will you ever be happy. SAM FOR COACH OF THE YEAR. Lmao!

    • Syrin
      1:51 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Good win? If that was Wichita State, we would have lost by 20. Reality doesn’t change because you’re addicted to hopium.

    • Louisville1Cal5
      1:56 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      We are not Louisville, we wouldn’t lose by 20 to Witchia State, we would win by a comfortable margin easily. Not impressed with them at all.

  16. blahblah
    1:55 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Syrin: hates Andrew Harrison because he thinks he is lazy and a bad pg even though this is the same thing that happens every year with our pgs.

    Sam: hates Dominique Hawkins because he thinks he doesnt produce on the grounds that what he does isn’t measurable by data.

    It suffices to say that they are both wrong for different reasons. No need to read any further.

    • chicken little from kfc yum!
      4:36 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      The sky its falling

    • Melvit
      7:33 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      *, it’s

    • Syrin
      1:38 pm January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Again, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. Andrew is the first LAZY PG we’ve had. All the other guards played poorly from trying TOO hard. They had to learn to slow it down. Andrew can’t slow it down without becoming mistaken for a glacier.

  17. also.....
    5:05 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Can we add Joe Dean Jr.’s insistence on calling the backboard the “banking board” to the list of BAD????!!!

  18. buckster1
    6:04 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Sam and Syrin what is wrong with you two? Wow. Calm down, Hawkins and the Harrisons are FRESHMEN. Cal uses Hawkins to infuse ENERGY. Not his stat line. You may not like it, but when Hawkins comes in the rest of the team immediately start playing with more energy. Hawkins may not score or block or steal many balls. However the rest of the team does when he is in. The Harrisons are inconsistent right now. Wow hard to believe from freshmen. They will be fine by march. Hawkins is most likely a 3 to 4 year player. You will love him by the time he leaves, you can count on that. I think the Harrisons are 2 year players. They may be 1 year players, there is plenty of basketball left. Take something and calm down. (Sam try to think of the bigger picture, the boxscore is not the total answer)

  19. Off topic
    6:45 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Tards are hiring Gene Chizick as their DC.

  20. bigblue091812
    6:49 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    SAM, I hope your a LOSERVILLE troll, I’d hate to think a CATS fan could be so stupid.

  21. Well Crap
    7:32 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Went to the game last night and asked the wife to DVR the game for me to watch, but the channel she taped was in standard def. Does anyone know of a HD replay of the game that I can watch? Finally upped the ante and got HD installed at the house and was really looking forward to enjoying a decent replay of the game. 🙁

    • Cubs_1908
      8:55 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      ESPN3 is replaying the streaming feed in HD – in case this becomes your only option.

  22. Melvit
    7:35 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    I feel like Alex has earned more playing time over Randle. I know a lot of people think Randle is the next coming of Mashburn, but Alex just is a better over all player right now. IMO, none of these freshmen are ready for the pros.

  23. Erupption Zone Anger Management
    7:41 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Stone Cold Willow needs to come see us. A grown man should act that way and especially because he didn’t get on camera!

  24. tuxedo park
    8:23 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Cal is playing Hawkins a ton so he can get some experience under his belt for next year.

  25. kycatman
    8:25 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Sam and Syrin, WOW!!! REALLY!!!! You two are a piece of work and an absolute wealth of knowledge when it comes to basketball. Have either of you ever heard the word intangibles? I didn’t think so because if both of you are basing your opinions of Hawk and Andrew on “won’t shoot the ball”, “walks the ball up the floor” no stats bla bla bla, you’re both pretty dag gone stupid!!! I realize that opinions are just like butt holes in that everybody has one, but sometimes its just best to keep them to yourself so you don’t look like an idiot!!! I mean really!!! GO CATS!!!!!!!! GO CAL!!!!!!!!

  26. Tune into Matt's post game
    9:16 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Matt complained last night because the first two callers were negative about a 22 point win and then you write a blog that starts with the negative. You want fans to rally around this team then quit beating them down. They are freshman and still learning Cal’s system. They had not played a game in 10 days. The second half is more of what I expect after Camp Cal.
    Three things caught my eye: 1) when we got a defensive rebound the points were taking off and looking up court to make a play. 2) The offense was much more in sync. 3) Dakari uses his lower body very well to get position and make his offensive move.
    Cats did well last night…GO CATS!!

  27. UKBlue1!
    9:18 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Great game for Young, Johnson and Poythress. If Alex plays like this the rest of the year, we are going to be tough at tourney time. The Twins are improving. I remmeber a lot of people on Knights Ass after Wall played at UK. The twins are both on par with him. I will take it. Our PG situation is a lot better than last year. Andrew is probably going to be better than Teague. Hawkins is working out real well for being a 2-3 Star PG. Things are looking better. 10 weeks from today is NCAA. I think we are on Par for the course for a good run.

  28. KevinM
    9:23 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    The twins still showing too much emotional distress. They have been used to having things go so well that they aren’t adjusting as fast as Cal would like. We can’t wait on them to get it.

    Its more on Andrew than Aaron, and that’s one way you can tell the two apart. But Young is simply carrying us while we woek through these issues. Thank goodness for JY coming to UK.

  29. stevem
    9:41 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    This group has a glaring lack of basic fundamentals and is not a Final Four team. Ft’s will be their ultimate undoing.

  30. bung
    9:58 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    overall I would say rebounding and assists won the game…but twins only shoot 3-12 and have more t/o than assists, and they “forget” to run…we get beat on fast break points again. 3 guards shoot 11/30… 3 bigs shoot 14/16…guards need to turn some shots into assists and run after every defensive rebound…we would be hard to handle

  31. Obummer
    10:13 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Thought they played pretty good when they got going. I would have liked to have seen Willis or Paulson come in more for Hawkins and try to open the offense up more, they werent even guarding Hawkins. This was another night that he could have played Willis and Lee more, we saw more of Lee, but they need more game experience and tonight was the night for that to happen….. SO I DONT WANT TO HEAR CAL SAY THEY WILL GET MORE MINUTES….

    I think the main reason they got off slow was all the early substitutions that were made. Its hard to get into a good flow when you are in for two minutes and they pull you and put you back and put you back in! This team has some wrinkles but by March watch out!

    • Sam
      11:06 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Best post of the night/morning. I TOTALLY agree with everything you say here.

  32. Obummer
    10:16 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Oh and the media needs to get off JR’s ballzsach and get on James Young…… he is the only consistant player on this team so far! And i think Matt Jones asked the question early in the year which player you would want to have the ball at the end of the game………. JAMES YOUNG!

    • PhilUK18
      11:04 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      Young is the only consistent player? Are you kidding? I love Young too, but Randle has been a model of consistency this season and only played maybe 2 “bad” (still decent, just below his standard) games

    • DS
      11:09 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

      JY is great and all but the kid still shoots under 40%.

  33. The Great
    10:31 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Young, Hawkins, and the Harrison’s – our primary ball handlers, combined to go 15-20 from the charity stripe! You can’t tell me the EXTRA focus on free throws this week, as announced during the game, did not help.

  34. Jambone
    11:25 am January 9, 2014 Permalink

    UK is one of the worst 3 point shooting teams in the nation yet Cal lets them jack up 20 threes, making 4….an impressive 20%. It’s the same every game. have they shot 40% from the 3 one time this year? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Keep letting ’em sling it Cal. Maybe Papa Harrison will persuade them not to transfer!

  35. FranklinKYGuy
    1:45 pm January 9, 2014 Permalink

    First of all, Cal’s defense isn’t about creating turnovers. It’s about forcing the opponent to take one low percentage shot and grabbing the board. What I see from Hawkins is that he’s not a defensive liability. He doesn’t create a lot of steals, but he’s not getting beat either, and on offense he cuts and moves without the ball. Last night when everyone was standing around, Hawkins came in and was simply moving without the ball on offense. Suddenly, the entire team started cutting and attacking more instead of settling for jumpers. You don’t see that in a stat line. Not every player is going to fill the box score. Hawkins does play his role well. He’s not perfect, but he gives good minutes without turning it over and giving up a lot of points. Andrew Harrison is coming along really well. He’s not out of control, and doesn’t try to do anything fancy. His defense still has lapses, but it has improved drastically.

    If you look around the college game, it’s crazy right now. The undefeated teams are still that way at the moment because of their weak schedules to this point. Carolina is 0-2 in the ACC and hasn’t even played the good ACC teams. Kansas is struggling, Duke is struggling. (At least by their fans definitions) The fact is, there is more balance in college than at any other time. If you play a team in the top 150, a blowout is no longer a given. I like where the team is right now. They are turning a corner. If you triple team Randle earlier in the season, you beat us. Now a triple team of Randle only provides someone else with an opportunity to score 20+.