Oddly enough, a game of basketball broke out today in Rupp Arena. True to their billing, the Gamecocks came out ravenous, sensing an opportunity to hang a third straight loss on UK in their home gym. The play was silky and fearless, as both teams shot over 50% from the field. The Cats appeared to be on the verge of making school history in the ‘L’ column, when Sparks and Rondo nailed two of the most improbable 3’s this side of Brice Drew. Refreshing to see such a well played contest, and even more quenching to see the Cats save their season. The King “Cock” himself, Dave Odom, must be wondering how his team didn’t escape with the win.
Some notes and observations:
Rondo: Even before his game-winning, off balanced heave, the Sophomore played one of his most solid games in a while. Only 2 tunrovers, 9 points, and excellent defense. He finally let the game come to him, and chose his spots perfectly.
Sparks: Good to have you back old man. No other player is as comfortble in Kentucky lore as Sparks. It’s amazing how his flair for the dramatic can make you forget about his previous tribulation. The 35-footer aside, he played tough on D, committed only 2 TO compared to 5 assists, and provided the toughness necessary to pull out such a slugfest.
Morris: 12 points in 17 minutes is good. Three rebounds and 5 fouls is not. We need you on the floor big man, and we need you to put a body, not your arms, on someone. If you are going to foul, make sure you knock em on the floor. A little more Jamaal Magloire, and a lot less Mr. Rogers.
Perry: I’m still nerveous everytime he’s in the game, but he excelled today by not pretending to be athletic. He simply made his open shots and grabbed a few clutch rebounds. Definitely deserves a lot of credit for being UK’s biggest player on the court for much of the second half, and holding his own. Do this next week and I might have relent my displeasure.
Sims: I’ll assume his back is still bum.
Crawford: Talk about a player who is finally understanding his role, and his game. He’s a good shooter, but not a 3 point specialist. Today he slashed and used his freakish elevation to contribute 15 points on 7-10 stroking. His 6 rebounds didn’t hurt either.
Bradley: 3-4 from the field for 8 points. Another solid performance off the bench, but hey, that’s just smoove being smoove.
Obrzut: Maybe it’s the Prozac, but you have to hand it to Woo. Six boards in 8 minutes. That’s all we need big fella…
Kinsey: This guy will be in the NBA. Great size and can fill it up from anywhere.
Odom: Does anyone else think he would make a great movie villian? He’s got that look and personality that just make you hate him, kind of like a Robert Wuhl or the guy who played the Dean in The Nutty Professor. Oooo, weasily indeed.
Tubby: Going with four guards and Bobby Perry? A glowing tribute to the honored Rupp’s Runts indeed. Almost as glowing as a comemorative bottle of Maker’s.