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Wednesday’s Top 10: Why didn’t Kentucky pummel Missouri?

cal

After a good night’s sleep (four hours) and a hearty breakfast of coffee and more coffee, I sit here at my desk, looking back at last night’s basketball game, wondering why.

Why did Kentucky not demolish Missouri on its home floor in a game the Tigers couldn’t even sell out? Why? Why was it a game until the final minutes?

Or should I say: How? How do you not bludgeon Missouri’s incompetent basketball team to make a statement with March right around the corner? Missouri has two SEC wins, seven all year. An elite team, which we believe Kentucky to be, should be up 20 at the under-16 timeout. But nope, last night Kentucky played down to its opponent and I had to read more than one text message asking, “Are we going to lose this game?”

And please save the “SEC road atmosphere” and “everybody’s Super Bowl” and “any road win is a win.” That’s what we say when the Cats survive 30+ points from J.J. Frazier in Athens or Vandy shooting the lights out in Nashville.

Kentucky played it tight against Missouri last night. MISSOURI. And Missouri sucks.

Let’s do this 10 thing…

 

1. The fight/hunger in this team is disappointing.

If I’m the 11th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats and I am up by only one point at halftime against Missouri, I come out with my pants on fire and try to hold them scoreless in the second half because I know my opponent shouldn’t even be on the same floor as me, let alone within one point. I’m telling myself, ‘I’m one of the best basketball players in the country and the guy across from me will be selling insurance in two years. Watch me embarrass him and remind him of that.’

To me, this Kentucky team lacks that drive to want to kill. That’s been the case in many games this season when they’ve gone up big and let teams creep back in (LSU being the most obvious). You have to want to beat teams to a pulp if you’re elite and you should be embarrassed by a one-point lead against Missouri. If you’re dominant, show it. Be dominant. Don’t play down to your competition and give them the pleasure of being in the game.

2. Bam Adebayo finally played like the Bam Adebayo we expected to see each night.

Hell of a game for the big fella — 22 points and a career-high 15 rebounds — after the conversation around him the last couple of days was his fall from NBA draft boards. It’s pretty hard to believe it was only his fourth double-double of the season, but it was a double-double nonetheless.

After getting wind of the negative NBA chatter around Bam and then watching Bam’s big night, Coach Cal said, “If someone passes on him in the draft this year, they should be f-f-fired.”

3. Malik Monk was cold for a second straight game.

Monk is 2-for-10 from outside in Kentucky’s last two games, both on the road. By my calculations, that means he is due to go the **** off against Florida in Rupp Arena on Saturday. (Please?)

4. This is one way to beat traffic:

court-storm2

Does Missouri get a fine for that? Maybe like a fraction of a fine?

5. Calipari admitted he deserved the technical foul, but wants you to know he did not swear.

It was a family-friendly technical, one could say:

“I can say this: I did not swear, but I did deserve it. I did deserve it, I’ll just say that. But I did not swear. I don’t swear. I was at mass this morning with all of the kids at the Catholic church, begging forgiveness knowing I was going to get a technical tonight. Please, in advance I’m asking for forgiveness.”

6. How about this jackass St. Louis sportscaster pulling the “Calipari cheats” card?

Uh, hey Martin, Missouri basketball is currently on probation for cheating.

7. Mark my words:

The high pick-and-roll offense will end Kentucky’s season in the tournament. Write it down, put it on your bathroom mirror, whatever — just mark it down. Kentucky will get pick-and-rolled out of the tournament by a team with a small, frustrating point guard…

… unless they are able to figure out how to defend it in the next couple of weeks. So figure it out, guys.

8. Tom Crean is finna be toast.

I think you and I will coach as many Indiana basketball games as Tom Crean next year as Crean is counting down the days until IU hands him his pink slip. The Hoosiers lost to Iowa last night to fall to 5-10 in the Big Ten and 15-13 overall, after beginning the year as the preseason No. 11 team.

I gotta be honest, though: I’m going to miss him. What if they hire a guy who doesn’t have a butt-cut or doesn’t make the best faces for internet memes or doesn’t cut down the nets every year or doesn’t kiss his son on the mouth? What will we do then?

9. Florida kept SEC race alive with 15-point win over third-place South Carolina.

Florida handled its business against the visiting Gamecocks last night to maintain the tie for first place. With the Gators and Cats sitting at 13-2 in league play with three to go, Saturday’s game in Lexington will likely determine the regular season champion of the SEC, as well as the No. 1 seed in Nashville.

10. Let me tell you about a couple of fun events coming up in Louisville next week…

First and foremost, the Bourbon Classic is next week and you should try to attend one of the many events throughout the week if you like the sweet nectar of the Bluegrass and you are able to pull it off. Check out BourbonClassic.com to read all about the Classic and to look into tickets. I highly recommend Friday night’s Classic Cocktail and Culinary Challenge, where you smash food and drink from some of the world’s best bartenders and chefs. Or there is the Pappy Van Winkle event on Tuesday for those of you who like drinking 10y, 12y, 15y and 20y Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. You really can’t go wrong attending any of it.

Or if getting day drunk during a Cats game is more of your speed, Tin Roof Louisville is hosting its annual DanceBlue fundraiser during the Texas A&M game. Doors open at 10 am for the real savages and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to DanceBlue. IMG_3578.JPG

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

39 Comments for Wednesday’s Top 10: Why didn’t Kentucky pummel Missouri?



  1. Cousins Fake Tooth
    8:33 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Because they are not that good a team at the moment.



  2. catsarerunnin
    8:39 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    In my 55 years Kentucky has ALWAYS pummeled EVERY opponent it was supposed UNTIL last night. My God what is going on?????



  3. catsarerunnin
    8:40 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    *supposed to



  4. donjohnson
    8:40 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Why can’t we just root for them and see what happens instead analyzing every loss and appearently every win

    The only real concern is where we are seeded and the path. If we run into somebody with an electric offense then I’ll be concerned



    • Drew Franklin
      9:44 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Because we have a website and a sports radio show to run. Analyzing/discussing is literally why we exist.



    • 96ChampionBestTeamEver
      10:09 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Even Cal is questioning the team. Not enough fight in them. As he said a long ways to go. The only trouble is there is a long ways to go and not much time to get there. It’s not the end of the world but time to admit this is just not the team we thought it would be by now, in fact it has regressed.



  5. ukjaybrat
    8:45 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    “That one tips off at 2 pm and it is Senior Day for Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder.

    Drew, i think senior night is tuesday against vandy, not saturday.



  6. Booby Petrino
    8:46 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I wonder if other fan bases complain about a win like UK fans do. Do they bash their team for not winning by as much as the fans wanted? I’m happy these guys find a way to win, with the exception of 5 games this year. I don’t care how many we win by, a win is a win. Dissect it, cuss about it, whine about it all you want, I’ll be over here sipping my tea and be happy for the W.



    • ukjaybrat
      8:51 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      agreed. it was sloppy as hell. but a win is a win. especially on the road. nothing to complain about until they *actually lose* until then we still have a couple weeks to work out the remaining kinks



    • RealCatsFan
      9:41 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I’m glad that we won, but getting aggravated by the way we continually fail to play up to our potential. We as fans are smart enough to recognize well played basketball when we see it, and last night was not an example of that. I know they’re young, but it’s kind of disappointing to see us playing this poorly this late in the year, especially when we saw the potential of this team back in December.



    • Booby Petrino
      10:06 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I agree they aren’t living up to expectations, but I think sometimes we set expectations was too high for these kids. Being frustrated and talking about areas of improvement is one thing, but constantly bashing them for not living up to expectations that other people set for them is another.



  7. nmichave
    9:01 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    The kids can’t shoot and they don’t rebound well. If they made most of their shots, we’d blow every team out by 30. It’s not like they’re not getting the looks. The offense runs well.



    • RealCatsFan
      9:43 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      What did we have last night, like 4 assists? That tells me that we are not making that extra pass to get a clean look at the basket. We are taking a lot of contested shots, hence the poor shooting percentage.



    • Luether
      1:45 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Fox had 4 assists by himself. The Team had 10…



  8. Mathlete
    9:08 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    On that tweet from Martin Kilcoyne (whoever that is) – not only is Mizzou currently on probation for cheating, they don’t get the win even if the Cats were ever forced to vacate it. Officially, any vacated win is a game that one team lost and no one won.



  9. SoCalCat
    9:13 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Unfortunately, talented freshman are a double edged sword that give and take throughout the season. I think the weak defense is what is going to do them in this year, which is surprising given how athletic the team is this year. I think this weekend’s game against Florida will be the harbinger we’re looking for on just how far this team will go in March.



  10. Ohio Cat
    9:13 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Can we get the GIF of Cal saying “F**K” during the game last night right after his quote saying he doesn’t sware?



    • Skeps
      10:28 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Yep. You’re not a real fan if you critique and discuss weaknesses. We have to have Cal tell us what to think. A lot of the commenters on here dismiss critical thinking.



    • Skeps
      10:29 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Sorry, this was supposed to be in number 11



    • UK Big Board Update
      12:00 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      “sware”?



  11. AllBall
    9:23 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Finally, someone openly criticized our lack of pick n roll defense. Doesn’t look like it will get fixed Drew. We’ve had over three months and it’s autrocious.



    • TBW3011
      9:34 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Finally? Lol. It’s been said since November. And if it hasn’t changed yet it isn’t going to.



    • 96ChampionBestTeamEver
      10:15 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      But according to other comments on here you aren’t supposed to say that but rather just cheer on the team.



  12. ClutchCargo
    9:32 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    This team is what it is at this point in the season. I’m going to just enjoy the wins and deal with the losses.

    Also, I would contribute a couple of bucks to a Gofundme to help pay Crean’s salary if it would convince IU to keep him around. I love seeing those fans keep getting their hopes up that they have turned the corner and are relevant again.



  13. Jayy
    9:36 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t think there are many High School teams in KY with worst shooting guards than Fox and Briscoe. Half court defense is a lot easier when you don’t have to guard 3 out of the 5 (Fox, Briscoe, and Bam) at the 3 point line. It almost looked like we were shaving points with so many dumb turnovers.



  14. TBW3011
    9:36 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    How many PG’s have a career high against Fox this year? I know of 3 off the top of my head. His defense is inexcusable. Total lack of focus. Locks down, plays great d for 5 seconds and then stands straight up, relaxes, and gets blown by. Closes on shooter late repeatedly. Should be embarrassed enough by it to change at this point.



  15. kaintuckterrif
    9:44 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    This team is not that distinct from another group of highly touted freshmen from 2013-2014, who turned it on in the tourney only to lose in the championship game to Uconn. However, with that said, it is still difficult to understand Cal’s insistence on starting/playing Isaiah Briscoe when there are guys on the bench who are playing better? Briscoe may actually do better coming off the bench? 



  16. playmorezeppelin
    9:55 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    That St. Louis reporter forgot to cite his sources for that super-original zinger he stole. A fan in Missouri’s student section had a sign that read “This win/loss won’t count in 5 years.” It was clearly visible during Bam’s post game interview. If you’re not crafty enough to make up your own banter, at least steal it from a team who didn’t just have wins discounted.



    • Blue Jesus
      12:06 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      AND, technically, they wouldn’t get credited with a win. The other week when Boeheim was approaching his 1,000th win including the ones vacated, Bilas and others pointed out they could still celebrate the 1,000 losses he handed other teams, even if the NCAA wouldn’t allow Syracuse to declare the W over Virginia his 1,000 win.

      So: sorry Missouri, even if this season were erased from the books, you’d still have lost the game!



  17. Al B. Frank
    11:17 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Just before that doofus ran on the floor, Monk was dribbling the ball with us up by 10 with about 8 seconds to go. Simply waiting to run out the clock. UK could have tried to score again on their last possession, but didn’t.

    Yet Terrence Phillips of Missouri thought it was necessary to try to steal the ball from Monk in that situation. To what end? Why? You’re not going to make up 10 points in 8 seconds.

    Maybe it’s just me. That kind of stuff just irritates me.



    • Luether
      1:48 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      It’s just you…



    • jboy3403
      2:59 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I agree. Poor sportsmanship. But it’s no different than a coach calling timeout when he’s eight behind with 11 seconds to go.



  18. AllBall
    11:17 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Yes finally. To openly say or question anything about the team or Cal usually gets categorized as trolling or non fan. I for one think its okay to critique, discuss, and ask for more. Yes winning is winning but accepting mediocrity isn’t what makes you a blueblood program.



    • UK Big Board Update
      12:03 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Critiquing and bashing are two separate things, and something some of our fans have trouble distinguishing from one another.

      See Booby Petrinos’ 6-iii comment. Well said.



    • catsarerunnin
      12:23 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I will gladly take 23-5 “mediocrity.



  19. Blue Jesus
    12:15 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Not to say this team plays with incredible heart–I don’t think they do–but the biggest issue I see is just that teams have figured out the playbook on Kentucky. Get three guys back after a miss to limit transition; let Briscoe, Fox, and Hawkins shoot; double Bam; and keep five sets of eyes on Monk at all times. We still win most of these games because we’re more talented and of course we’re game planning for the opposition’s strengths, too. But barring a Monk explosion we’re not all that dangerous in the half court, and our defense, while improved, isn’t going to win us games on a terrible offensive night. And it’s t-shirt super bowl night every time we go anywhere.

    That’s why I like the idea of making Briscoe the sixth man and giving Mulder a bigger role. Fox driving and dishing would be all the more effective if he’s surrounded by three shooters (Monk, Mulder, and Gabriel/Willis), and Bam rebounding and distributing out of double teams on the block.



  20. jboy3403
    3:07 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    There seems to be one guy on every team that wants to show he’s just as good as Kentucky’s future pros. They’ll probably have the biggest, rowdiest home crowd of the year, a television audience, maybe even Dick Vitale, and a less than enthused opponent in Kentucky whose players have probably read on KSR how they should beat this team by 50, because the other team is worthless. Said player has probably read the same remarks and wants to show everyone otherwise, and explodes for their season high in points. I won’t even include the extra benefits that TV Teddy can provide.



  21. meeksfor3
    3:37 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    IU at 80/1 odds to win it all? If you played the tournament 8,000,000 times and let IU have a bye the first 3 rounds they wouldn’t win it all.



  22. UKfanman01
    10:20 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    UK fan base at its finest:
    Tubby Era- 51-58 Vandy/UK “Oh my Gawd Tubby ball is so boring, he doesn’t win a lawt”
    Gillespie Era- 111-105 VMI/UK “At least we scored 100, we couldn’t do it under Tubby”
    Gillespie Era- 80-70 Gardner Webb/UK “Is Gardner Webb their point guard or forward?”
    Gillespie Era- 66-60 Georgia/UK “That SUMUNUH BI*** said it’s just basketball… get the pitch forks”
    Cal Era- 72-62 UK/Mizzou “THIS BASKETBALL TEAM SUCKS DONKEYS!!! WE ONLY WON BY 10! FIRE THIS ONE AN DONE COACH, KEEP US OUT OF THE TOURNEY, THE SKY IS FALLING”