A few notes for Sunday…
First and foremost, congrats are in order for Chuck Hayes. The Rockets announced yesterday that they have extended the former wildcat’s contract for the remainder of the season. You just can’t say enough about this guy’s heart. It’s all too evident on the floor this year, that we miss #44 a lot more than we expected. Just goes to show, you can be undersized and possess a jump shot the equivalent of Charles Barkley’s golf swing, good things do happen to good people.
Matt Jones is exactly right (you were expecting differently?) in highlighting the importance of this game. An ‘L’ today could really throw a monkey wrench into what momentum, if you want to call it that, UK has garnered the last three games. With Florida, UT, and LSU figuring to be very tough outs, the Cats must conquer the 2nd tier SEC clubs, like Arkansas.
Arkansas Coach Stan Heath has made little secret all week that he plans to pound away down low. With Morris playing D like he’s machetti-ing through Costa Rica, Thomas or Woo will have to contribute more than fouls and awkward lay-ups. The saddest stat of the season may have come last week agaisnt Auburn, a team that plays nobody over 6’7. My grandmother, sweet as can be, had as many rebounds as Morris and Thomas, COMBINED. Yep, zero. That has to change, or the Cats will be sharing a flight to MSG with Pitino’s squad.
Arkansas is very athletic, and very long. They are also streaky and impatient. Hopefully Sparks will hit some shots early, because it’s going to take his maximum effort to D this team up.
That being said, every year during the Arkansas game I’m reminded how thankful I am to not have to look at Nolan Richardson anymore. That guy made Larry King look suave, and resembled the alligator in which his boots were made from.