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“You could say they deserved to win, but welcome to Kentucky”

Raise your hand if you thought Kentucky really deserved to beat Vanderbilt tonight — not Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, not Quade Green, not Kevin Knox, but the entire team as a whole.

Thought so. The Cats got really lucky to come away with a win tonight, but thanks to Shai, they fought through a West Virginia hangover and stole the W, avoiding what would have been their worst loss thus far; according to Kenny Payne, that’s just the Kentucky way.

“In the end we kept fighting. I mean my hat goes off to them because they played so hard and you could say they deserved to win, but welcome to Kentucky,” Payne said, smiling.

The litany of errors is long and depressing, especially when you consider it came against the worst team in the league; however, the fact that these young Cats came up with a win is enough for tonight. Payne insisted the coaching staff will not let tonight’s issues slide.

“I’m not happy at all,” Payne said. “I’m sure Coach Calipari is not happy at all. We are thankful we won the game, but the coaching staff’s not happy because we’re trying to trend in a direction. We’re trying to build this team up to play a certain way to be ready for SEC tournament play, to be ready for an NCAA run and to be honest with you, the way we played that first half, tentative. Not aggressive. Not communicating on defense. Defensive lapses, you’re going to get beat if you’re playing tournament basketball like that. So are we content? Not at all. Will we be harder on the players? Believe me, we will.”

For now, let’s just be grateful we avoided a really bad loss.


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.

11 Comments for “You could say they deserved to win, but welcome to Kentucky”

  1. gobble gobble
    12:59 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

    I think they deserved to win. They may have gotten lucky, but I don’t think they didn’t deserve it.

  2. UKinIN
    6:24 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

    You deserve to win when you outscore the other team. It really is that simple.

    • kjd
      7:32 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

      No, it’s thank you Vandy for a bone head foul at 2 seconds to go.

    • Booby Petrino
      7:54 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

      No, it’s thank you Jarred for hustling for the ball, and thank you Shai for hitting the free throws.

    • ClutchCargo
      8:40 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

      A few things had to happen just the way they did for the good guys to win. If everyone in white doesn’t keep that bricked FT bouncing around, JV doesn’t hustle his ass off to save it back in, and it goes to a wide open Knox instead of SGA, there is no foul and it’s game over. We see it in football all the time: the great programs find a way to win, even when they don’t necessarily deserve it.

  3. Al B. Frank
    8:01 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

    I just kept thinking back to Vandy’s coach giving that speech before the game, about how 5 minutes of focus, even thirty minutes wouldn’t be enough. They would have to focus for 40 minutes. Turns out, they should’ve focused for 45.

  4. ScratchtheMascot
    8:07 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

    They absolutely deserved that win. Never should have been down 14 to begin with, but the fought their way back like they should have. Vandy hit big shots to keep them up, missed free throws they should have made, and made mistakes that allowed us to capitalize. We hit better timed shots and free throws when we needed them. We kept our cool and Vandy freaked out. Credit to our guys for finishing.

  5. 4everUKblue
    8:21 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

    Games like this and the WV game will be valuable experiences come tourney time. Go Cats!

  6. rockatao
    8:58 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

    I still don’t know what to make of this team. They certainly did not deserve to win this game. With 20 seconds left in the game, UK probably had less than 1% probability of coming away with that victory. Looking at the remaining schedule, Ole Miss at home is likely the only sure win. Every other game will be a dogfight against teams better than Vandy.

    • Eazy
      10:15 am January 31, 2018 Permalink

      Same probability at WV when we were down 17. It shows we have some fighters for sure. And with stars like Knox and Alexander we can make a run in March. Lot of parity on college basketball this year.

  7. TB112162
    5:27 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

    They didn’t deserve to win they missed free throws and they made a stupid foul with 2 seconds left we kept fighting and took advantage of the opportunity to win the game.