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We saw the worst version of Kentucky today

© Denny Medley | USATSI

© Denny Medley | USATSI

Today, we saw the worst of this Kentucky team. From horrible shooting to dumb decisions, the Cats’ flaws were on full display in Columbia, leading to Missouri’s 69-60 win, their first ever vs. Kentucky. Honestly, that score doesn’t even do the defeat justice; until the final few minutes, the Tigers dominated.

Let’s start with the biggest flaw and work our way down.

Poor shooting

Kentucky finished the day shooting a season-low 31%, but, amazingly, it felt way worse than that. The Cats just couldn’t make a shot, scoring only 18 points in the first half, the fewest in any half of the John Calipari era. Their 20% first half field goal percentage was the lowest since Kentucky lost at South Carolina in March 2014 (further fueling that comparison). The scoring droughts the team’s suffered all season extended to the entire game. Thankfully, the three-point shooting streak survived (thanks, Wenyen!), but the fact that it’s been in peril so many times this season further proves that Kentucky’s shooting is their Achilles’ Heel.

Dumb decisions

Freshmen will be freshmen, but it’s also February. I continue to be flabbergasted by the number of dumb decisions this group makes. From shot selection to stupid fouls, this team looked MILES away from the group that came back to beat West Virginia in Morgantown. Kudos to Cuonzo Martin’s defense and all, but Kentucky shot themselves in the foot time and time again, squandering opportunities to shift the momentum. Hamidou Diallo in particular burned the squad, most notably in the final minute when he fouled Mizzou’s ball defender in the backcourt when the guy only had four seconds to get the ball over the line. I feel like Calipari when I say, “Why???” but at the same time, I’m tired of blaming it on their youth.

All around, it was just bad.

© Denny Medley | USATSI

Out-toughed

“This team is soft” is a complaint that reared its ugly head today, and, unfortunately, with good reason. Cuonzo Martin clearly did his homework and told his guys to get physical with the Cats; it worked. Missouri just wanted it more and Kentucky sleepwalked through three fourths of the game. Yes, they rallied in the final minutes, but it was too little, too late. Where was that effort and fight to start the game? It’s as though this team only realizes they could lose once they’re down double digts with eight minutes to go, a nasty habit to still have only six weeks away from the tournament.

No Go-To Guy

After the best week of his career, Kevin Knox crashed back to Earth, finishing with only five points and three rebounds. A few days ago, it seemed Knox was this team’s savior, the go-to guy to free them from their flaws; however, with a Missouri crowd booing him for not picking the Tigers (an act so dumb it deserves its own post), Knox shrank. Jarred Vanderbilt chalked it up to a bad day, but I feel like a broken record when I say that, for Kentucky to be good, Knox must be good. Five points, three rebounds, and two turnovers in 25 minutes just ain’t gonna do it.

Now that I’m officially depressed, let’s finish with the only silver lining I can find.

This is a weird season in college basketball

I hate looking outside to soften a loss, but it’s worth mentioning that No. 4 Duke and No. 7 Kansas lost today as well, the Blue Devils to a St. John’s team that had lost eleven straight and Kansas to a 13-9 Oklahoma State team at home. Kentucky lost and it sucks, but this is a weird year in college basketball, so who the heck knows.

Right now, all I know is this: the comeback vs. West Virginia proves Kentucky can beat anybody. However, today’s loss proves that they can lose to anybody as well. Six weeks out, what I worry is, the win vs. the Mountaineers was the exception to the rule.

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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.

72 Comments for We saw the worst version of Kentucky today



  1. syrin23
    7:18 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    What this loss shows is Cal needs to recruit more solid basketball players, and fewer “Athletes”. Tyler Herro is going to thrive because he actually has basketball skill. This team will be lucky to get an eight seed or even make the tourney, and will lose to a team with no NBA players, but basketball players who hit open shots, pass and protect the ball. You know, the fundamentals that the athletes Cal keeps recruiting always seem to lack.



    • Luether
      7:49 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      My sources say that Cal will likely Jon Hood Herro…



    • JusSayin
      7:54 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      What makes you so sure Tyler Herro is so much better than all of the other recruits Calipari has brought in that you hate?

      You’ve seen two Ballislife mixtapes where he hit jumpers against Class AA competition. The same things we have for all the rest of the recruits that come here. Tyler Ulis, Brandon Knight, Kyle Wiltjer and Jamal Murray were pretty skilled coming out of high school.

      Some times those things translate… sometimes they don’t.



    • FACTS
      11:40 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Are you trying to say that those players didn’t play well in college. You on booty



    • JusSayin
      7:57 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Jon Hood couldn’t play. We all saw that with our own eyes.

      Him Skal Labissiere and Stacey Poole were the biggest false advertisements in Kentucky Basketball recruiting history. Right next to Jared Carter and Antwan Barbour.



    • syrin23
      8:08 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Because I watched his game tapes. he can pass, he can shoot he has fundamental skills this team lacks. What makes you think he won’t?



    • syrin23
      8:08 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      And if he does Jon Hood him, then he’s a terrible coach. Herro is higher rated with more athleticism.



    • JusSayin
      8:17 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      He can do those things in HIGH SCHOOL.

      Briscoe shot respectable from the 3 in High School.

      Harrow finished well around the rim in high school.

      Wiltjer blocked shots in high school.

      Things are a little bit different when the centers are 7’0 and the guards are 6’5.

      You don’t know till they step on campus.



    • JusSayin
      8:22 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      And stop saying Cal is going to “Jon Hood” him. Jon Hood simply wasn’t meant to be a star.

      But to your comparison of Herro… Hood and Herro were both consensus 4 star recruits. Some of them had them close to top 25 some around the top 40.

      And in terms of Herro being more athletic… Jon Hood was the state HIGH JUMP CHAMPION! He wasn’t untatheltic and I don’t see evidence that Herro is more athletic than him.

      Again… You never know till they step on campus. Quickly, Herro, and Keldon Johnson could all be great. They could all be mediocre. They could all be trash.



    • Rixter
      9:23 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Does that translate to “he’s white”?



    • FACTS
      11:42 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Wait no o dot agree



    • FACTS
      11:39 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Agree



    • jrdh13
      8:58 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Johnson ability will transfer because hes a hard worker, listen to his interviews that kid is going to hold every body accountable next year. Thats what this team is missing.



  2. Smyrna_Cat
    7:24 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Today was disappointing, but throwing this team under a bus won’t help. I am rooting for them to turn it around. We will see!!!



    • krautdog
      9:00 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      With Coach Cal – “it’s not over ’till it’s over”!



    • UKPROF
      1:23 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Can you spell N.I.T.?



  3. plumloopy
    7:25 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    I realize when I start watching a game with this team that I’m actually dreading it. I can’t explain why but it’s like I know it will be painful… even the wins are a good dose of pain. The last non-painful game might have been Louisville.



    • bluebew
      7:46 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      ^^^ THIS. Only think I would change is , the ONLY non-painful game might have been Louisville.



    • KYcats11
      8:05 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Virginia Tech



    • KYJelly
      10:06 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      I think it’s more of you preparing yourself for the Cardiac Cats. It’s always gonna be closer than it should be



    • Dysfunction
      10:28 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      I feel the same way. There are so many fundamental lapses and sloppy play that either Cal has not coached them to pass, rebound, and defend for the last 5 months (doubtful–he’s been preaching it and has turned other freshman to the light) or these kids are a combination of poor followers or low basketball IQs. If I see one more drive into traffic for a desperation off-balance floater/brick….

      My brother coined a name for the team we saw today:

      The Unwatchables

      Still, if I can cling to a fool’s hope every football season, I can stick with our Championship-winning coach think the end. I hope these young men take his lessons to heart and bring back the player-driven late night workouts of years past. #WhoUp?



    • henderblue
      10:53 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      If you can’t stand to watch it, then why do it? Why don’t you tune in to ice skating then, snowflake?



    • FACTS
      11:43 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Ha agree



  4. Condo1122
    7:39 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    This post brought to you by an advertisement, lame.



  5. makeitstop
    7:43 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Yea they are no fun to watch. Not because they lose but bc they play such poor basketball and often seem so indifferent. Today they embarrassed us on network TV. Last year’s squad was fun, great personality, blazing speed, volume scorers… year before w Ulis and Murray, u could love those guys, and the KAT team was just awesome. These guys, meh. Hard to like. Smarter play and more effort would be much appreciated by the fan base. As it is, bring on Spring Football.



    • EdC
      11:23 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      I can’t say this team really is fun to watch or that I see any real upside for this year but why would we fans be embarrassed?



  6. DH1967
    7:46 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    I can’t understand why Caliper didn’t put pressure all game on a team that doesn’t have a true point guard. Missouri couldn’t handle the pressure. We would have speed the game up and beat them by 20.



    • jrdh13
      8:37 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Because we dont prepare for other teams we only worry about UK



    • catdaddyd
      4:33 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      When they do have a guy trapped they back off. Several times there was a guy in the backcourt all by himself, fakes a pass and we retreat.



  7. Luether
    7:48 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    My sources insist that there are worse games yet to come. This Team is simply overrated and immature…



    • Condo1122
      8:45 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      I’ll trust your sources, as long as you mean your eyeballs.



    • runningunnin.454
      9:26 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      No, man…..his sources are auditory hallucinations quite common with schizophrenia.



    • KYcats11
      10:59 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Haha



    • Rabbi Li
      11:37 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      3 rats and a stray cat that keeps alive off licking his TV dinner trays.



    • cap1815
      12:52 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Why don’t you do is all a favor and hang yourself in you mom’s basement



  8. makeitstop
    7:55 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Before people write Cal off though keep two things in mind: Coach K was washed up 2 rings ago and 3 years ago Cal came one missed shot clock violation from going 40-0 w the greatest team of all times (would’ve cost K one of those rings and maybe he would’ve retired!) sometimes the guys just don’t quite pan out…ask any breeder at Keeneland. Re-load.



  9. kambone
    7:59 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    How are we not gonna make the tournament



  10. Gus Chiggins
    8:00 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    There is no upside to this team. It is what is. We will watch bad basketball for the remainder of the season. There will be a few games we show flashes, but in the end we will get knocked out by a good fundamental team in the sweet 16.



    • FACTS
      11:46 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Ummm…. idk. I don’t agree with you



  11. DelrayCat
    8:07 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    If Bruce Pearl or Tony Bennett (Virginia’s coach) were coaching this team…we’d be top 5 and have no more than 3-4 losses…fact.
    Cal = great recruiter….terrible coach.



    • 4everUKblue
      8:17 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      If Bruce Pearl were coaching this team we would be under investigation. How many teams has he been fired from now? If Tony Bennett were coaching this team we’d no better off. He has no experience in coaching a team this young. Maybe you didn’t hear K, the god of all basketball and coach of the number one recruiting class and most talent by far, lost to an unranked team on an 11 game losing streak.



    • 4everUKblue
      9:03 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Oh and Kansas lost at home to unranked Oklahoma St. Wonder if they want Bruce Pearl or Tony Bennett? I bet dUKe fans are calling for K’s replacement too, they didn’t make it out of the sweet 16 last year with the most talent in the country.



    • Rixter
      9:42 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      And you’re being that on Pearl and Bennett’s history of taking all-freshman teams on deep runs?



    • EdC
      11:27 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Conventional wisdom is that Cal is a great recruiter. I get that assuming one believes recruiting is getting the highest number of McDonalds all Americans or ESPN 100s or whatever. Isn’t it the coach’s job to recruit a team with a team filled out will all the skills needed? Is he doing a good job of that really?



    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      12:08 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      EDC to answer your question, yes. Yes he is.



  12. drock
    8:36 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    This ad is brought to you by an ambulance chaser. The ads littered all over this site is out of hand.



    • Irish son
      10:03 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Would you rather pay to read the information? Moron



    • drock
      8:37 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Honestly I would rather pay. Idiot. When the ratio of ads to content is 10:1 it’s out of hand.



    • sp
      8:41 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      I would pay too. Making this a pay site would keep some idiots away as well.



    • Irish son
      1:33 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Then your both as stupid as I thought. Must be uneducated



  13. 4everUKblue
    9:06 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Did any of you haters happen to notice how many ranked teams got beat by unranked teams today? Couldn’t take time away from hating Cal to check other scores?



    • kjd
      12:29 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t care who else won or lost. That has no bearing on our team’s performance. We continue to play poorly. We continue to show poor fundamentals. We continue to make bad decisions. This team’s shortcomings are greater than its strengths. Our frustration is going to be more common than our celebration with this team, IMO.



    • 4everUKblue
      8:02 am February 6, 2018 Permalink

      I agree with what you said but I still back my team and my coach. I get that you don’t care who else won or lost but the fact remains, it is not just UK, it is widespread among the elite programs.



  14. SanDiegoCats
    9:07 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    God people need to chill out. Let’s improve before end of season



  15. sincitycat
    9:21 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Go Big Blue!



  16. runningunnin.454
    9:34 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Bad day for ranked teams today….anybody can beat anybody.
    On another thread, I said it’s due to parity,
    and someone said “Parity my ass team can’t shoot” HA HA HA HA HA HAHAHA I loved that.



  17. CombatMedic_98
    10:29 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Briscoe was a J-O-K-E…maybe a 2-3 Star Caliber…BLUF, Tyler Hero will rewrite the record books at UK next year. Kinda like Trae Young is at Oklahoma. We should have had Trae Young this year period. Looks like his high school stats carried over to college. Sure wish someone humbled themselves and offered him a scholarship. We might be ranked in the top ten!



  18. SanDiegoCats
    10:29 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    We play Tennessee Tuesday. Let’s see how that goes. Chill out over obsessive UK fans



  19. runningunnin.454
    10:31 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    More big time hilarity. No 5 Mich State beats Indiana.
    Indiana is now 12-12 and 5-7 in conference, and
    Dan Dakich says “big win for Michigan State” ha ha ha, hysterical.



  20. UKFaninNY
    11:56 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    On the bright side, should be awesome next year!



  21. UK_fac_boi
    12:00 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    These comments are as dumb as this “Hammer” commercial.



  22. ScoggDog
    6:53 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    It is futile for us, the fans, to get more upset than the players about the losses.



  23. UKLugo
    8:28 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Dont be so hard on these guys. Take it easy and enjoy the ride. (Sarcastic eye roll).



  24. jrdh13
    8:41 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    I have no clue how anybody but sga and vando think they should go to the league. They cannot dominate far smaller far less athletic guys at this level. I always thought you grind at the level your at, begin to dominate and then you move up.



  25. BallDontLie
    8:55 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    All the personality disorders come out in full force in the comment sections after losses.



  26. jrdh13
    8:56 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Also, how do these guys walk around campus like there poop dont stink. THEY SUCK! From the moment theyve walked on campus theyve been labeled the next greatest thing. If I were them id be scared to show my face around campus, other than shai because he is much better than i personally thought



  27. Bull Filmer
    9:18 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Rough year. Don’t quit. Never give up.

    “All you slingers and fiends hide behind your rocks
    Put down your guard I’m not here to box
    This is no showdown so throw down your guns
    You see it doesn’t matter where you come from
    You could be from park ave or from a park bench
    You could be a politician or a bitchy princess
    But if you’re lookin’ for a fist and you’re lookin’ to unite
    Put your knuckleheads together make a fist and fight
    Not to your death and not to your grave
    I’m talking about that freedom fight like a brave
    Fight like a brave
    Don’t be a slave
    No one can tell you
    You’ve got to be afraid

    If you’re sick-a-sick’n’tired of being sick and tired
    If you’re sick of all the bullshit and you’re sick of all the lies
    It’s better late than never to set-a-set it straight
    You know the lie is dead so give your self a break
    Get it through your head get if off your chest
    Get it out your arm because it’s time to start fresh
    You want to stop dying the life you could be livin’
    I’m here to tell a story but I’m also here to listen
    No I’m not your preacher and I’m not your physician
    I’m just trying to reach you I’m a rebel with a mission

    Fight like a brave
    Don’t be a slave
    No one can tell you
    You’ve got to be afraid
    Fight like a brave
    Don’t be a slave
    No one can tell you
    You’ve got to be afraid

    I’m here today to pump up the uplift mofo party plan
    A plan based on a band, a band based on a plan
    There should be no in the land of lands
    It’s a Hollywood jam
    You say you’re running and you’re running and you’re running afraid
    You say you ran across the planet but you couldn’t get away
    The fire in your brain was driving you insane
    You were looking for a day in a life that never came
    So don’t tell me that I’ve got to take a number
    ‘Cause I’ve been to that doctor and believe me that’s a bummer
    Here’s a one of a kind convention of the mind
    And don’t forget to mention that it doesn’t cost a dime
    Come as you like and leave any time
    And one more thing you know it doesn’t have to rhyme

    Fight like a brave
    Don’t be a slave
    No one can tell you
    You’ve got to be afraid
    Fight like a brave
    Don’t be a slave
    No one can tell you
    You’ve got to be afraid
    Fight like a brave
    Don’t be a slave
    No one can tell you
    You’ve got to be afraid
    Fight like a brave
    Don’t be a slave
    No one can tell you
    You’ve got to be afraid
    Fight like a brave
    Don’t be a slave
    No one can tell you
    You’ve got to be afraid”

    Songwriters: Michael Peter Balzary / Jack Irons / Anthony Kiedis / Hillel Slovak (G*D rest his soul)
    Fight Like A Brave lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, MoeBeToBlame
    Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Album: The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
    Released: 1987



  28. TB112162
    9:45 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    It looks like We beat West Virginia and theteam has thought that was all we needed that was great but it was one half looks like to me they thought all they had to do was put on the uniform and that would be enough to win but it’s not and UKProf if we lose them all you will be right but we wont and mean did you see Florida put up 50 were not the team not playing with any consistency it is nation wide



  29. henderblue
    12:45 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    That’s a long sentence. Allow me to break that down…we beat West Virginia. The team thinks that they can walk out on the floor now, and that’s all they have to do. UKProf will be right if we lose the rest of our games. But we won’t. Man, did you see Florida put up 50? We are not the only team playing inconsistently. It’s nationwide



    • 4everUKblue
      8:05 am February 6, 2018 Permalink

      At last Henderblue, someone who is sane and educated. I sure hope UKProf is not really a Prof. at UK…..UNCheat maybe.