Friday, January 30, 2009

Kentucky vs South Carolina....A Preview

Lwcat
WT Administrator
Kentucky vs South Carolina 1/31/09
Saturday at 3PM
Raycom, ESPN Full Court

South Carolina

Location-Columbia, SC
Enrollment-27,065
Arena-18,000

Coach-Darrin Horn
Career Record-111-48 (69.8%) in 5 seasons
Career Record at South Carolina-This is his first season at SC

2007-08 Record-14-18
2007-08 SEC Record-5-11 (5th-East)

2008-09 Record-15-4
2008-09 SEC Record-4-2

South Carolina 89 Jacksonville State 76
South Carolina 86 Winthrop 63
South Carolina 75 USC Upstate 53
South Carolina 85 Gardner-Webb 70
Charleston 82 South Carolina 80
South Carolina 84 Princeton 58
South Carolina 72 Furman 48
South Carolina 90 North Carolina Central 43
South Carolina 80 Citadel 66
South Carolina 75 Presbyterian 56
Clemson 98 South Carolina 87
South Carolina 85 Baylor 84
South Carolina 78 Wofford 61
South Carolina 68 Auburn 56
LSU 85 South Carolina 68
Tennessee 82 South Carolina 79
South Carolina 70 Florida 69
South Carolina 82 Mississippi 71
South Carolina 86 Vanderbilt 76

SC STATS

Scoring-79.9
FG%-46.4%
3 Point FG%-38.2%
FT%-63.9%
Rebounds-36.3
Assists-11.6
TO’s-13.6
Steals-9.9
Blocks-4.2

UK STATS

Scoring-78.5
FG%-49.6%
3 Point FG%-34.7%
FT%-79.0%
Rebounds-38.8
Assists-17.0
TO’s-18.0
Steals-6.5
Blocks-7.3

Probable Starting Lineup

Dominique Archie-F-6’7” Jr……….PPG-11.5
Mike Holmes-F-6’7” Soph…………PPG-11.0
Sam Muldrow-C-6’9” Soph………..PPG-5.0
Devan Downey-G-5’9” Jr…………..PPG-19.6
Zam Fredrick-G-6’0” Sr……………PPG-15.6

Other Key Players

Brandis Raley-Ross-G-6’2” Jr……..PPG-6.8
Austin Steed-F-6’8” Soph………….PPG-4.8
Evaldas Baniulis-F-6’7” Jr…………PPG-7.7

Darrin Horn, after leading Western, Ky to the 2nd round in the NCAA, replaced Dave Odom as South Carolina coach for this season. In August, Horn took the Gamecocks to the Czach Republic, Slovakia and Austria for a four game basketball tour. Coach Horn pointed to the trip as being very important in terms of the practice time, understanding the new system and spending time with the team. Importantly, the Gamecocks return 4 starters and 7 letterman. South Carolina is led by their 2 terrific guards….Downey and Fredrick….who are the two top scorers. Downey is one of the very best players in the SEC….averaging 19.6 PPG…..and shooting a solid 47.2% from the field. Downey also leads the team in assists and steals. South Carolina has 4 players who average in double figures and 10 players who average 5 points or more. In addition, the Gamecocks are a good 3 point shooting team hitting 38.2%.....in fact, Baniulis has hit 35-66 3 pointers for a smoking hot 53%. Coach Horn loves to push the ball…..play uptempo….and Horn and Fredrick are quick guards who love this kind of play. South Carolina averages 80 PPG and get scoring from a number of different players which make them hard to defend. South Carolina comes into Rupp Arena with a 3 game SEC winning streak and Coach Horn and the Gamecocks will a very tough opponent for UK.

Kentucky comes back to friendly Rupp Arena after playing a disappointing lackluster game in losing to Ole Miss. The Cats were simply outplayed by Ole Miss in all facets of the game. Bottom line…..UK needs to regroup and dedicate itself to playing hard nose defense….something that was sorely lacking in Oxford. In South Carolina, UK faces a quick good shooting parameter team that is very good at penetrating and dishing off for 3 point shots. It will be critical for the Cats to significantly improve their poor parameter defense or it could be a long night. Coach Gillispie was obviously not pleased with the number of 3 pointers launched by the Cats in the Ole Miss game….particularly 7 such shots from Liggins who is not shooting even 20% from long range. UK must find a way to get Meeks free for more shots….and must find away to get more scoring opportunities for Patterson. In addition, Gillispie must soon get some consistent scoring from another backcourt player to help take the pressure off of Meeks. Miller and Porter appear to be the best backcourt shooters aside from Meeks, but they have been too indecisive on the offensive end….too often hesitating to take open shots or passing up open shots. Another possibility is to give Slone some minutes to see if he can find the range from long distance. Also, Billy might consider giving more minutes to Harrellson and see if he can add some offensive punch. Without other players scoring, it allows opponents to easily devise a defense to minimize scoring from Meeks and Patterson….while allowing other UK players, who have not demonstrated much offense, to take the shots.

The margin of error for this UK team is small and they must understand that without consistent tough aggressive defense, the Cats could easily lose to a number of remaining SEC teams. The Ole Miss game is a prime example of what happens when you don’t show up for a game and play good defense! UK is now two thirds through this season and unfortunately this team still has some major issues. The PG position is still a problem as Liggins has continued to struggle with poor decision making and too many mistakes while Porter has provided very little help offensively and is simply not a true PG. Miller is improving, especially defensively, but has not been able to deliver the hoped for offense thus far. Galloway, for unknown reasons, has seen very little time in games and has not had the impact that UK fans expected. Harrellson, with offensive potential, has seen his court time diminish greatly…apparently due to his defense. TO’s have remained a problem all year, although UK did only have 10 TO’s in the Ole Miss game. A lack of consistency on defense, especially parameter defense remains a major problem as does finding additional scorers to help Meeks and Patterson. How much success the Cats are able to achieve in the remaining SEC games, the SEC tourney and the NCAA will depend on how successful UK is in overcoming these various issues or problems.

The Gamecocks are the first of three home games….followed by Miss. St. and Florida. It is critical that the Cats win at Rupp Arena, but it won’t be easy. It is hoped that the loss at Ole Miss was a wake up call for these Cats and they will come to play Saturday with a smothering hardnose defense. I see the South Carolina game as a very tough contest, but playing at Rupp Arena should be enough to help the Cats earn a hard fought victory. GO CATS!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Few Observations on the Ole Miss Game

Lwcat
WT Administrator

First, give Coach Kennedy and the Ole Miss Rebel a lot of credit.....they played an excellent game and deserved to win. They flat outplayed UK!

Why the Cats lost:

  1. Defense was soft and once again the Cats gave up too many open 3 pointers as Ole Miss hit 10 3 pointers. Ole Miss is a team that was averaging 72 points PG, but lit up UK for 85!
  2. UK was out toughed on the boards and even though the stats show only a 5 rebound advantage for the Rebels....the difference appeared far greater as Ole Miss had too many put backs and key rebounds.
  3. UK was out hustled.
  4. Meeks was essentially taken out of the game by super defense from the Rebels. Jodie ended up with 21, but he hit two 3's in the last minute that were really meaningless as the game was over.
  5. In the last 10-12 minutes the Cats made a number of poor decisions with some key TO's and bad shots.
  6. Liggins, a 18.2% 3 point shooter shoots 7 3's hitting 1. overall, Liggins takes 16 shots from the floor....far too many.....and many were bad shots.
  7. Aside from Meeks, UK has no other true outside scoring threat. To date: Harris is shooting 20% from 3 point range on 3-15....Miller is 5-26 for 19.2%.....Porter is 11-41 for 26.8% and Liggins is 6-33 for 18.2%. Folks, these are simply horrible outside shooting stats!
  8. Patterson gets 12 shots and Liggins takes 16 shots......you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that the wrong player is taking too many shots and the right player isn't getting enough shots.
  9. We all wondered what would happen when Meeks was held in check by a strong defense or had an off shooting night.....well, we found out.....currently, no UK players are stepping up offensively.

When you get out hustled, out rebounded, out toughed, shoot poorly from the field, have too many shots taken by the wrong players, play poor defense on the parameter, executed poorly on offense and simply get outplayed in every facet of the game.....guess what.....you lose.

This loss hurts because UK is a more talented and better team than Ole Miss who had a 10-9 record. This was a game UK needed to win, but, unfortunately, the Cats played poorly and lost a very winnable game.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kentucky vs Mississippi......A Preview

Lwcat
WT Administrator

Kentucky vs Mississippi 1/27/09
Tuesday at 7PM ( ESPN)

Mississippi

Location-Oxford, Miss.
Enrollment-17,325
Arena-8,910

Coach-Andy Kennedy
Career Record-66-37 in 3 seasons (64.1%)
At Mississippi-45-24 in 2 seasons (65.2%)

2007-08 Record-24-11
2007-08 SEC Record-7-9 (3rd-West)
2007-08 Postseason Record-3-1 (Lost in NIT semifinals)

2008-09 Record-10-9
2008-09 SEC Record-1-4

Ole Miss 65 Arkansas State 52
Ole Miss 89 South Alabama 71
Utah 83 Ole Miss 72
Ole Miss 82 Marshall 78
Ole Miss 78 UCF 46
Ole Miss 78 Morgan St. 70
West Virginia 80 Ole Miss 78
Ole Miss 78 New Orleans 65
New Mexico 103 Ole Miss 70
Ole Miss 85 Alabama State 81
Louisville 77 Ole Miss 68
Ole Miss 86 Florida A&M 63
Southern Miss 78 Ole Miss 59
Ole Miss 53 Nicholls State 41
Florida 78 Ole Miss 68
Ole Miss 74 Arkansas 65
Alabama 76 Ole Miss 73
South Carolina 82 Ole Miss 71

Ole Miss STATS

Scoring-72.5
FG%-43.2%
3 Pt FG%-34.4%
FT%-75.6%
Rebounds-35.8
Assists-12.0
TO’s-13.1
Steals-6.4
Blocks-3.3

UK STATS

Scoring-78.4
FG%-50.2%
3 Pt FG%-35.6%
FT%-79.0%
Rebounds-38.8
Assists-17.1
TO's-18.4
Steals-6.8
Blocks-7.5

Probable Starting Lineup

Murphy Holloway-F-6’7” Fr……PPG-8.8
DeAundre Cranston-F-6’9” Jr…..PPG-2.8
Zach Graham-G-6’5” Soph……..PPG-6.9
David Heurtas-G-6’5” Jr………..PPG-19.4
Terrico White-G-6’5” Fr………..PPG-9.1

Other Key Players

Malcom White-F-6’9” Soph…….PPG-5.6
Terrance Henry-F-6’9” Fr………PPG-4.9
Will Bogan-G-6’1” Fr…………..PPG-2.3

Certainly, this season has not gone the way Coach Kennedy has wanted for his Ole Miss Rebels or for himself. Ole Miss lost returning starter 6’5” Eniel Polynice to knee surgery after only a couple of games and then lost their top player and scorer….Chris Warren to a torn ACL after 11 games……he was averaging 19.6 PPG. The Rebels have only 9 scholarship players left for the season. Then on 12/18/08, coach Kennedy, while in Cincinnati, was charged with assaulting a cab driver….a charge Kennedy denies is true. Obviously, an event like that can potentially be a serious distraction to the coach and the team. Kennedy has been trying to plug the holes in his lineup and try different players, but replacing a Chris Warren is simply not possible. The result has been that a season once full of promise has become a nightmare season in which Kennedy tries to work his magic to salvage the season. Since losing Warren the Rebels are 3-6.and have dropped 4 of their first 5 SEC games.

Ole Miss has been competitive in all the SEC games with only a bad loss to LSU. The Rebels are led in scoring by David Huertas who is averaging 19.4 PPG. Huertas is shooting a solid 46% from the field and a very good 39.7% from 3 point range as he has hit 52-131. Terrico White is a decent 3 point shooter while averaging 9.1 PPG. Kennedy inserted DeAundre Cranston into the starting lineup recently and he has done a good job. Aside from Huertas, Ole Miss scoring will likely come from White, Holloway and Graham. While the Rebels are a wounded team, they still have some talent and will very likely be really charged up when UK arrives in Oxford. Kennedy is a good coach and it would be a huge mistake to take this Ole Miss team lightly!

UK comes off of a hard fought road win against Alabama. The Cats played great defense throughout most of the game and importantly, received some terrific defensive performances from subs….Miller and Liggins. Fortunately, it appears that Harris, who passed out at halftime of the Alabama game, will be OK…..although, there will be more tests run to ensure his health is OK. Unquestionably, Alabama really played some tough inspired defense on the Cats before a rare sellout crowd. UK struggled in the first half, but found their offense in the 2nd half for a nice win. Jodie Meeks continues to play at an incredible level and had another tremendous game…..both offensively and defensively. Perry Stevenson really picked up the slack on the frontline with Patterson in foul trouble…Stevenson played a great defensive game and led the Cats in rebounds while scoring in double figures. Perry Stevenson continues to play better and better as the season progresses. Importantly, UK continues to be a terrific free throw shooting team….one of the best in the nation. The one negative from the Alabama game was the 23 TO’s…mostly unforced….just poor decisions. I’m certain that reducing TO’s is a point of emphasis for coach Gillispie….and just when it appears the Cats are making progress in reducing TO’s……they backslide and throw the ball away again far too much. Importantly, Liggins, Miller, Harrellson and Galloway are playing much better defense and showing improvement as the season progresses. The Cats are still in need of more offense from players besides Meeks, Patterson and Stevenson, and I have a feeling that Miller, who appears to be gaining increased confidence, will soon start increasing his offensive production.

The Cats are 5-0 in the SEC and have won 11 of their past 12 games. Coach Gillispie has UK playing more consistent great defense and has increased his confidence in his bench…….and has indicated that Miller, Liggins, Harrellson and Galloway will likely be seeing more playing time.

If the Cats continue to play great defense and cut down on their TO’s, they should leave Oxford with a comfortable win against Ole Miss. GO CATS!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

SEC STANDINGS 1/25/09

East
Kentucky 5-0 16-4

Florida 4-1 17-3
Tennessee 3-1 12-6
South Carolina 3-2 14-4
Vanderbilt 1-4 12-7
Georgia 0-4 9-10

West
Mississippi St. 4-1 14-6
LSU 3-1 15-4
Alabama 2-3 12-7
Auburn 2-3 12-7
Mississippi 1-4 10-9
Arkansas 0-4 12-5

SEC Basketball Schedule 1/27-1/31/09

Tue, Jan 27:
Kentucky at Mississippi 7:00 pm
Texas Pan Amer. at Auburn 8:00 pm

Wed, Jan 28:
Georgia at Florida 8:00 pm
LSU at Tennessee 8:00 pm
Vanderbilt at South Carolina 7:00 pm

Thu, Jan 29
Alabama at Arkansas 9:05 pm

Sat, Jan 31:
Mississippi at Mississippi St 1:00 pm
Vanderbilt at Auburn 2:00 pm
South Carolina at Kentucky 3:00 pm
Arkansas at LSU 5:00 pm
Georgia at Alabama 7:00 pm
Florida at Tennessee 9:00 pm

Experiences from going to the UK/Bama game!

Sktech
WT Executive Moderator

I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the UK game in Tuscaloosa Saturday, which is 45 minutes from Birmingham.

Let me tell you, it was GREAT! It was the first UK ballgame ever for my 9-year old son and what a time to go. The game was good even though it was close. Let me tell ya, there is NOT a bad seat in Coleman Coliseum, it was nice seeing the players at a size other than "ant-sized". Anyway, I was with several friends and we about flipped out after halftime when Gillispie didn't come back out--we were worried. So after a quick cell call we found about Harris and I guess someone must've talked BCG out of going to the hospital with him because He reappeared soon after the 2nd half started.

Here's the highlight of the day: We went around to the back of the arena after the game and caught the players and coaches as they were loading the bus! So we got to meet and get pictures (Well, my son and friends got to be in the pictures--I took the pictures for them) with the following players and coaches:

Liggins, Miller, Harrellson, Stevenson, Coach Cox, and Coach Gillispie. I got to shake hands with all of them as well. I must say that my favorite was Coach Cox. He was very down-to-earth. Gillispie was in a hurry because they were trying to get on the road, but I appreciated the time that he spent taking pictures and signing autographs with the 20 to 25 fans that were around. Patterson refused photos or autographs and I'm not sure why. He could have be frustrated with fouling out, or maybe he didn't want to hold up the bus. I also got to meet Patterson's Dad and told him that I was glad we had Pat on the team.

What a great day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Kentucky vs Alabama....A Preview

Lwcat
WT Administrator

Kentucky vs Alabama 1/24/09 Saturday-3PM....
TV: Raycom, ESPN Full Court
Stream: Yahoo.com

Alabama

Location-Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Enrollment-23,878
Arena-15,316

Coach-Mark Gottfried
Career Record-266-148 (64.3%) in 13 seaasons
Record at Alabama-198-124 (61.5%) in 10 seasons

2007-08 Record-17-16
2007-08 SEC Record—5-11 (5th-West)

2008-09 Record-12-6
SEC-2-2

Mercer 72 Alabama 69
Alabama 89 Florida A&M 48
Oregon 92 Alabama 69
Alabama 78 Chaminade 56
Alabama 58 Saint Joseph’s 48
Alabama 64 Alabama A&M 56
Alabama 61 Louisiana 44
Texas A&M 86 Alabama 78 (OT)
Alabama 75 Tennessee State 66
Alabama 82 Chattanooga 63
Alabama 66 Yale 63
Alabama 86 Quincy 58
Alabama 88 Georgia Tech 77
Clemson 66 Alabama 59
Alabama 65 LSU 59
Mississippi State 83 Alabama 74
Auburn 85 Alabama 71
Alabama 76 Mississippi 73

STATS

Scoring-72.7
FG%-44.6%
3 Pt FG%-29.7%
3 Pt. FGPG—4.7
FT%-69.2%
Rebounds-39.4
Assists-10.4
TO’s-13.6
Steals-7.3
Blocks-4.7

Probable Starting Lineup

JaMychal Green-F-6’9” Fr……..…PPG-8.8
Justin Knox-F-6’9” Soph……..…..PPG-5.7
Brandon Hollinger-G-5’11” Sr…….PPG-2.8
Alonzo Gee-G-6’6” Sr………..…..PPG-14.3
Senario Hillman-G-6’1” Soph…….PPG-13.6

Other Key Players

Mikhail Torrance-G-6’5” Jr……….PPG-9.3
Yamene Coleman-F-6’9” Jr……….PPG-3.8
Demetrius Jemison-F-6’7” Jr………PPG-2.3
Andrew Steele-G-6’3” Fr………….PPG-3.5

Unfortunately, the career of Alabama’s talented guard Ronald Steele is over. Steele has been fighting injuries through most of his career at Alabama. The Crimson Tide have also been hurt by the loss of Richard Hendrix, 265 lb. center, who left early after last season for the NBA. However, the Crimson Tide are not without talent…..Gee, Jemison and Hollinger are returning starters. The leading scorers for Bama are Gee and Hillman with both being the only players scoring in double figures….but, neither player has shot a good percentage over all or from the 3 point line. Only, Torrance is shooting well from 3 point hitting 43%. The leading rebounders are Gee, Green and Knox. Hillman leads the Tide in steals. Alabama will be tough on their home court in Tuscaloosa…..and they have a nice win over Georgia Tech and a tough OT loss to Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide will be ready for the Cats.

UK comes off of a lackluster victory over Auburn. The Cats finally decided to play some great defense in the 2nd half and pulled out a hard fought win in the final few minutes. Once again….Meeks and Patterson had great games and Perry Stevenson also added a solid game. Unfortunately, the Cats took a step backwards in handling the ball…..committing a disappointing 22 TO’s….most all were unforced. Importantly, UK was great on the boards and at the FT line.

There is continuing concern regarding the Cats taking care of the ball…..TO’s are lost scoring opportunities and can lead to future losses if the Cats don’t start eliminating silly unforced TO’s. In addition, UK continues to win with virtually all the scoring coming from Meeks and Patterson….with some scoring help from Stevenson. It is living on the edge offensively when a team is essentially getting all their scoring from 2-3 players. It will be increasingly important for Miller, Porter, Harris, Liggins and others to start adding some offense to the Cats lineup. The problem for Gillispie has been the defensive mistakes made by the subs coming off the bench that have lead to easy baskets by the opponents. Certainly, Gillispie would like to have more minutes played by several subs, but they must execute much better on the defensive end. It is not unlikely that some future SEC defenses, as they focus on Meeks and Patterson, will occasionally have success in limiting the scoring of UK’s big guns. Somehow…someway…..UK must get some consistent offensive scoring from other players.

The Cats must play better defense against Alabama, especially at the 3 point line…..and the Cats must significantly reduce their TO’s….otherwise they could be in trouble against a hungry Crimson Tide team defending their homecourt. I like the Cats in a close game at Alabama. GO CATS!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Kentucky vs Auburn....A Preview

Lwcat
WT Administrator

Kentucky vs Auburn 1/21/09-Wednesday-9PM
TV: Raycom, ESPN Full Court
Stream: Yahoo.com

Auburn

Location-Auburn, Alabama
Enrollment-23,547
Arena-10,500

Coach-Jeff Lebo
Career Record-172-127 (57.5%)
Record at Auburn-57-64 (47.1%) in 4 seasons

2007-08 Record-14-16
2007-08 SEC Record-4-12 (6th-West)
2008-09 Record-11-6

Auburn 75 Missouri State 60
Mercer 78 Auburn 74
Auburn 83 George Washington 71
Auburn 61 Bethune-Cookman 46
Dayton 60 Auburn 59
Northern Iowa 67 Auburn 61
Xavier 81 Auburn 74
Auburn 78 Louisiana-Monroe 55
Auburn 75 Tuskegee 32
Auburn 58 Virginia 56
Auburn 77 Alabama State 72
Auburn 82 Alabama A&M 40
Auburn 77 Southeastern Louisiana 65
Auburn 78 Tulane 53
South Carolina 68 Auburn 56
Florida 68 Auburn 65
Auburn 85 Alabama 71

STATS

Scoring-71.6
FG%-43.8%
3 Point FG%-31.9%
3-Point FG made per game-7.3
FT%-59.9%
Rebounds-37.1
Assists-14.6
TO’s-15.1
Steals-10.5
Blocks-3.6

Probable Starting Lineup

Tay Waller-G-6’2” Jr…………......PPG-12.6
DeWayne Reed-G-6’1” Jr………...PPG-13.4
Korvotney Barber-F-6’7” Sr………PPG-12.9
Rasheem Barrett-G-6’5” Sr……….PPG-6.9
Quantez Robertson-G-6’3” Sr…….PPG-6.8

Other Key Players

Lucas Hargrove-F-6’6” Jr…………PPG-7.9
Frankie Sullivan-G-6’1” Fr………..PPG-7.1
Johnnie Lett-F-6’9” Jr……………..PPG-3.3

The Auburn Tigers come into Rupp Arena with a 11-6 record and only wins over Virginia and Alabama were anything resembling signature wins. The Tigers did play Florida very tough losing by only 3 points, but are now 1-2 in the SEC. On the plus side, the Tigers are a very experienced team starting 3 seniors and 2 juniors. On the negative side, Auburn has a small front line with little depth. Former UK recruit, 6’7” Korvotney Barber has turned out to be an excellent frontline player for the Tigers averaging 12.9 PPG while shooting 56% and leading the team in rebounds with nearly 9 RPG. Make no mistake, Barber is one of the top SEC players and he can be a load to handle. Guards DeWayne Reed and Tay Waller are the other double figure scorers averaging 13 and 12 points respectively. Both Reed and Waller are the primary 3 point shooters with each hitting a very respectful 36%. Robertson and Reed lead the Tigers in assists and steals. Auburn, despite being small overall, is athletic and quick. Auburn is not a good shooting team with only Barber hitting over 50%. In addition, the Tigers are a poor free throw shoot team hitting only 60%. Coach Jeff Lebo is in his 5th season at Auburn and is hoping to improve on last season 14-16 record that was marred by key injuries, especially to Barber who missed 2/3 of the season. Lebo, who has an overall losing record at Auburn, knows that he must start getting the Auburn program going in a more positive direction if he is to remain coach very long. Certainly, this season will be a tough challenge for Lebo and the Tigers as they hope to start getting some much needed SEC victories.

Billy Gillispie’s Cats are fresh off another SEC win defeating Georgia in Athens with great defense. Unquestionably, the hallmark of a Gillispie team is that it play hard nose defense and there is ample evidence that this UK team is buying in totally to Gillispie’s philosophy. Frontline defense against Georgia was tremendous, especially Patterson and Stevenson who contributed most of the 11 blocks. Overall, it was UK’s defense that graded out to a solid A against the Bulldogs. The offense, while there were periods of success, struggled a times, especially in the 2nd half. Again, it was Meeks and Patterson that were the big offensive guns, but, importantly, Stevenson also made a nice offensive contribution. Aside from those 3 players, there were only 3 FG’s by the rest of the team.

As great a players as Meeks and Patterson are, it is more than likely that one or both will have an off game, or games, offensively as the season progresses and there must be other UK players ready to step up and score points. Porter is playing terrific basketball for the Cats, but he needs to take some of the open shots he occasionally gets in games. Miller, has great potential offensively, and hopefully, as his confidence increases, he will step forward and make some significant offensive contributions. Liggins, is really not a 3 point shooter, and he needs to look for scoring opportunities closer to the basket. Harris, occasionally, shows some offense, but he isn’t consistent and is not a proven 3 point shooter. Bottom line, it is always a bit dangerous when any team must depend on one or two players for the bulk of their offense. Let’s hope, other UK players start increasing some much needed offense to compliment Patterson and Meeks. While the Cats have improved their ball handling and decision making, the 18 TO’s against Georgia were far too many. Reducing TO’s is improving, but there is still room for lot’s of improvement.

UK comes back home to Rupp Arena with a 3-0 SEC record and two important road wins.

Last year, the Cats went 8-0 at home in the SEC and I’m sure Gillispie would very much like to hold serve at home again this season. There is much to be optimistic about as this UK team has shown significant overall improvement in recent games. The challenge going forward is for UK to continue to play great intense defense. Auburn comes into Rupp Arena hungry for an upset and the Cats, which enjoy a decided frontline advantage, must not get over confident. Auburn nearly defeated Florida and comes into Lexington fresh off of a victory over Alabama.

I look for the Cats to play another solid defensive game and take advantage of the smaller Tiger team on the interior…..UK adds it’s 4th straight SEC victory! GO CATS!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kentucky vs Georgia.....A Preview

Lwcat
WT Administrator

Kentucky vs Georgia 1/18/09 Sunday 12PM
TV: ESPN Full Court, Raycom,
Stream:Yahoo.com, ESPN360

Georgia

Location-Athens
Enrollment-33,405
Arena-10,523
Coach-Dennis Felton
Career Record-175-134 (56.6%) 10 Seasons
Record at Georgia-75-80 (48.4%) 5 seasons

2007-08 Record-17-17
2007-08 SEC Record-4-12 (6th-East)
2007-08 Postseason Record-NCAA-0-1

2008-09 Record-9-8

Georgia 72 Upstate 48
Loyola (IL) 74 Georgia 53
Georgia 61 Eastern Michigan 60
Georgia 55 Presbyterian 47
Georgia 54 Santa Clara 48
Georgia 98 Mississippi Valley State 57
Western Kentucky 67 Georgia 63
Illinois 76 Georgia 42
Georgia 67 Virginia Tech 66
Georgia 74 Wofford 73
Texas A&M-CC 80 Georgia 79
Georgia 98 North Carolina A&T 68
Georgia 72 Kennesaw State 52
Missouri 83 Georgia 76
Georgia Tech 67 Georgia 62
Tennessee 86 Georgia 77
Vanderbilt 50 Georgia 40

STATS

Scoring-67.2
FG%-43.0%
3 Point FG%-34.8%
FT%-62.6%
TO’s-17.1
Assists-13.8
Steals-8.1
Blocks-4.8
Rebounds-38.6

Probable Starting Lineup

Howard Thompkins-F-6’8” Fr………PPG-13.7
Terrance Woodbury-G/F-6’7” Sr…....PPG-13.8
Albert Jackson-F/C-6’10” Jr…….…..PPG-4.3
Corey Butler-G-6’3” Sr……………...PPG-7.2
Zac Swansey-G-6’1” Soph…………...PPG-6.1

Other Key Players

Dustin Ware-G-5’11” Fr……………..PPG-5.9
Chris Barnes-F-6’7” Soph……………PPG-4.4
Travis Leslie-G-6’4” Fr………………PPG-7.9
Jeremy Price-F-6’8” Soph……………PPG-6.8

The Georgia Bulldogs welcome the Cats to Athens as they attempt to break a 4 game losing streak….including a 0-2 record in the SEC. Georgia returns only two starters from last year’s NCAA team…Woodbury and Price. Cat fans well remember last year’s SEC tournament, that was marred by a tornado in Atlanta, that sent UK from the Georgia Dome to an almost empty nearby arena where Georgia defeated the Cats….. and then went on to win the SEC tourney. Georgia’s successful SEC tournament very likely saved Dennis Felton’s job at Georgia. This season has not gone well, thus far, for the Bulldogs as they have a lackluster 9-8 record with zero wins over a worthy opponent. Still, Georgia has played some recent opponents fairly tough losing to Missouri by 7 points….Georgia Tech by only 5 points and held a 10 point lead over the Vols before collapsing and losing by 9 points.

Coach Felton has played 9 players that average 16 plus minutes per game…..six of the nine players are freshmen and sophomores. Freshman Howard Thompkins has cracked the starting lineup and is essentially tied for the Bulldog scoring lead averaging 13.7 PPG. Thompkins is shooting a solid 47% from the field and a terrific 43.2% from the 3 point line while also leading the team in rebounds at 6.6 PG. Senior Terrance Woodbury is the other leading Georgia scorer averaging 13.7 PPG. Corey Butler is the leading 3 point shooter hitting 25-55 for a sizzling 45.5%. Thus far this season, the Bulldogs have not been a high scoring team averaging only 67 PPG….in addition, they have averaged 17 TO’s PG and shot a very poor 62.6% from the FT line. Despite the Bulldogs struggling start this season, they are always tough in Athens on their home court. You can bet that Dennis Felton will have his team sky high to not only get a must needed SEC win, but to knock off the marquee SEC team….the Kentucky Wildcats.

In contrast, Kentucky is coming off their very best win of the year defeating Tennessee 90-72 at Knoxville and are celebrating not only that terrific win, but the fantastic record breaking performance of Jodie Meeks who scored a UK high 54 points! The Cats have won 8 of their last 9 games losing only to Louisville at Freedom Hall by a last second long 3 pointer. Unquestionably, UK is continuing to improve in all facets of the game, especially in handling the ball better and reducing TO’s. The cats are averaging 80 PPG……shooting 50% from the field…..and an eyepoping 79.3% from the free throw line. This team has to rank among the very best free throw shooting team in UK history!

As far as 3 point shooting goes, unfortunately, only Meeks has been hot from the parameter hitting 44.4%. The Cats need Porter and Miller to contribute more scoring from the parameter and they both have the potential to be much better 3 point shooters.

Harris returning to health is a big plus for the Cats and Darius Miller appears to be getting increasingly comfortable on the floor and regaining his confidence. While Meeks and Patterson will continue to be the two main scorers, Harris, Miller and Porter need to increase their overall scoring to provide more balance to UK’s offense. Both Meeks and Patterson will continue to be the focus of opposing defenses….especially Jodie Meeks….after his great game in Knoxville. Hopefully, Liggins fully embraces the UK system and gets on the same page as Coach Gillispie. The Cats will need the talent, both offensively and defensively of Liggins, to maximize their success this season.

While the Cats are definitely showing overall significant improvement, there is still more improvement needed…..both offensively and defensively. On the offensive end, UK needs to get more touches for Patterson and garner more parameter scoring from other players, aside from Meeks. On the defensive end, the Cats need to do their best to play 40 minutes of lock down defense and must do a better job in guarding opposing 3 point shooters. This UK team is still a team in progress and there is a long way to go in this SEC season, but there is much to be optimistic about as we see how far this team has progressed thus far this season.

Importantly, the Cats must not take any SEC opponent for granted despite their record. The Bulldogs will be tough on their home court, so the Cats must be ready to play from the opening tipoff. I look for a UK victory over Georgia….and, hopefully, the Cats continue to show improvement in their overall game. GO CATS!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Meeks UK's NEW single game scoring leader


FIRST HALF

  • 19:09 – Baseline drive (2)
  • 16:50 – 3-pointer from the top of the key (5)
  • 13:08 – 3-pointer from the wing (8)
  • 10:05 – 3-pointer from the wing (11)
  • 8:28 – 3-pointer from the top of the key off Patrick Patterson screen (14)
  • 7:23 – Lay-in on the break (16)
  • 5:34 – 3-pointer from the wing off Michael Porter assist (19)
  • 5:13 – Two free throws (21)
  • 2:37 – Drive in transition, plus free throw (24)
  • 1:39 – Two free throws (26)

SECOND HALF
  • 19:25 – Pull-up jumper just inside 3-point line (28)
  • 18:15 – Leaner in lane (30)
  • 17:55 – 3-pointer from wing in transition (33)
  • 16:37 – 3-pointer from the win (36)
  • 13:54 – Two free throws (38)
  • 8:42 – Two free throws (40)
  • 7:06 – 3-pointer from the top of the key at the shot clock (43)
  • 5:25 – 3-pointer from the corner off inbound pass (46) [Ties 3 pt shots made in a single game for the 2nd time in 2008-09 season with 9 3 pters made in a single game]
  • 4:47 – Step back 3-pointer from wing (49) [Breaks Tony Delks(1996)/Jodie Meeks(2008,2009) 3 pt shots made in a single game by hitting 10]
  • 4:11 – Three free throws (52)
  • 1:31 – Two free throws (54) [Breaks Dan Issel's 53 pts record for most pts in a game by a UK player. Dan's record was set on 2/7/1970 against Mississippi.]

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kentucky vs Tennessee....A Preview

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Kentucky vs Tennessee 1/13/09
Tuesday at 9PM (ESPN)

Tennessee

Enrollment-26,400
Arena-21,678
Coach-Bruce Pearl
Career Record-394-108 (78.4%) in 16 years
77-24 (76.2%) in 3 seasons at Tennessee

2007-08 Record-31-5
2007-08 SEC Record-14-2 (1st-East)
2007-08 Postseason-2-1 (Lost in Sweet 16)

2008-09 Record-10-4

Tennessee-114 Chattanooga 75
Tennessee 91 Tennessee-Martin 64
Tennessee 76 Middle Tennessee State 66
Tennessee 78 Siena 64
Tennessee 90 Georgetown 78
Gonzaga 83 Tennessee 74
Tennessee 87 North Carolina-Ashville 69
Temple 88 Tennessee 72
Tennessee 80 Marquette 68
Tennessee 79 Belmont 77
Tennessee 89 Louisiana-Lafayette 62
Kansas 92 Tennessee 85
Gonzaga 89 Tennessee 79 (OT)
Tennessee 86 Georgia 77

STATS

Scoring-84.3
FG%-45.5%
3 Point FG%-30.8%
FT%-69.4%
TO’s-15.0
Assists-17.6
Rebounds-43.1
Steals-7.2
Blocks-4.0

Probable Starting Lineup

Tyler Smith-F-6’7” Jr…………PPG-17.7
Cameron Tatum-F-6’6” Fr PPG-10.4
Wayne Chism-C-6’9” Jr…. . PPG-12.4
Bobby Maze-G-6’2” Jr…. .PPG-9.9
J. P. Prince-G-6’7” Jr….. PPG-10.3

Other Key Players

Emmanuel Negedu-F-6’7” Fr…..PPG-2.4
Josh Tabb-G-6’4” Jr…. .PPG-3.4
Scotty Hopson-G-6’7” Fr…. . PPG-8.6
Brian Williams-C-6’10” Soph…..PPG-5.5

Tennessee suffered some very key losses from last season’s NCAA team. Losses that include Chris Lofton, JaJuan Smith, Jordan Howell, Ramar Smith and Duke Crews represent a significant loss of experience and talent. However, the Vols did return Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism from the starting lineup and added some solid new freshmen such as Tatum and Hopson. In the preseason SEC schedule, the Vols have nice wins over Georgetown and Marquette, but have lost to Gonzaga twice and Kansas. In addition, the Vols barely survived a game against lowly Belmont winning by 2 points. In short, Tennessee has been up and down thus far this season…..playing very well at times, but also having bad games. Unquestionably, the Vols are a talented team, but lack a lot of experience, as so many new players are now starting and getting playing time. Thus far at Tennessee, Bruce Pearl has a terrific 3 year record as he has added significant new talent, new life and lots of enthusiasm for a Vols program that has long played second fiddle to Pat Summitt. This is no longer true as the increased attendance at men’s basketball now prove.

The Vols are led in scoring by Tyler Smith who is also a solid rebounder and defensive player….. and Smith is easily one of the best SEC players. Junior Wayne Chism is second in scoring and leads Tennessee in rebounds averaging 9 per game. J.P.Prince is shooting a nifty 51.1% from the field while playing solid defense and has 16 steals thus far this season. The best 3 point shooters are Hopson hitting 41.5% and Bobby Maze hitting 35.5%.....however, it’s Cameron Tatum who launches the most 3 pointers hitting 25-76 for a respectable 33%. Bobby Maze leads the team in assists with 55 and also has 22 steals.

Tennessee is always tough to beat in Knoxville and this year will be no different. Pearl will have the Vols ready for UK and you can bet the arena will be packed with Tennessee fans.

UK has started the SEC season on the right foot with a nice win over Vandy at Lexington. The Cats appear to be showing significant improvement in cutting down on TO’s, but their parameter defense continues to allow far too many open looks from the 3 point line. In addition, UK has had too many poor starts, as was evident against Vandy, in which they have to overcome early game deficits. Also, the Cats must improve their game intensity on defense throughout the game, as defensive letdowns can easily cost the Cats dearly…..we saw Vandy reduce a 20 point lead to 6 points near the end of the game. The margin for error in each and every SEC game will be small, especially in road games….and the Cats must strive toward playing hard nose defense for 40 minutes.

It was great to see a healthy Harris return to action and play a solid offensive and defensive game. As expected, defenses are focusing on trying to shut down UK’s two primary scorers, Meeks and Patterson….so, it was a real plus to get some scoring from Harris, Stevenson and Harrellson. It was terrific to see the great defensive play of Liggins in the second half of the Vandy game, but, hopefully, Liggins can start contributing more on the offensive end. Miller, although he is still struggling offensively, did play better defense and garnered 6 rebounds…..still, UK fans are waiting for this talented UK freshman to gain his offensive confidence.

UK’s overall performance against Vandy was good in spots, but lacking at other times during the game. For UK to defeat Tennessee and win on the road in the SEC, they must continue to improve and make good progress both offensively and defensively. The Cats must play much better against the Vols if they hope to leave Knoxville with a victory. A win on the road against the Vols would be a huge plus for the Cats. This UK team has a great chance to defeat Tennessee on Tuesday and I believe they can achieve their second SEC victory of the year. GO CATS!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Kentucky vs Vanderbilt....A Preview

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Adminstrator

Kentucky vs Vanderbilt 1/10/09
(Saturday at 2PM)
TV: Raycom, ESPN Fullcourt
Streamfeeds: ESPN360, Yahoo

Vanderbilt

Enrollment-6,378
Arena-14,316
Coach-Kevin Stallings
Career Record-293-179 (62.1%) in 15 seasons
At Vanderbilt-170-116 (59.4%) in 9 seasons

2007-08 Record-26-8
2007-08 SEC Record-10-6 (3rd-East)

2008-09 Record-11-3

Vanderbilt 74 Morehead St. 48
Illinois 69 Vanderbilt 63
Vanderbilt 65 Middle Tennessee St. 57
Vanderbilt 83 Central Arkansas 62
Vanderbilt 72 Drake 57
Vanderbilt 71 Virginia Commonwealth 66
Illinois-Chicago 74 Vanderbilt 55
Georgia Tech 63 Vanderbilt 51
Vanderbilt 78 Alabama A&M 55
Vanderbilt 71 South Florida 52
Vanderbilt 83 Tennessee Tech 63
Vanderbilt 68 Furman 49
Vanderbilt 84 St. Francis (PA) 55
Vanderbilt 78 Massachusetts 48

STATS

Scoring-71.1
FG%-45.6%
3 Point FG%-34.8%
FT%-73.7%
Assists-13.7
TO’s-14.6
Steals-6.1
Rebounds-37.4
Blocks-4.9

Probable Starting Lineup

Darshawn McClellan-F-6’7” So……PPG-3.0
Jeffery Taylor-F-6’7” Fr……………PPG-12.5
A.J. Ogilvy-C-6’11” So……………PPG-16.5
Jermaine Beal-G-6’3” Jr………...…PPG-11.8
Brad Tinsley-G-6’3” Fr……………PPG-10.4

Other Key Players

Festus Ezeli-C-6’11” Fr……………PPG-4.5
Lance Goulbourne-G/F-6’7” Fr……PPG-7.0
Steve Tchiengang-F-6’8” Fr…….…PPG-3.0
George Drake-G-6’4”Jr……………PPG-4.6

Kevin Stallings brings his Vanderbilt Commodores into Rupp Arena riding a 6 game winning streak having just defeated U Mass. Stallings has done a solid job at Vandy and this year has had to replace prolific scorer Shan Foster as well as very good role players in Alex Gordon and Ross Neltner from last year’s 26-8 NCAA team. This season the Commodores are led by 6’11” A.J. Ogilvy who leads the team in scoring and rebounds.
Jermaine Beal, the other returning Vandy scorer from last year’s team, leads the team in assists and is red hot from the 3 point line hitting 47.1% on 24-51. Brad Tinsley, the other Vandy 3 point shooter, is hitting a solid 42.7% on 32-75. This is a young Vandy team often starting two freshmen, two sophomores and one junior…..plus three of their key subs are freshmen. It’s difficult to gauge how good Vandy is as they don’t have a single signature win….yes, they did defeat U Mass, but U Mass is a 5-8 team thus far this year.

Importantly, however, Vandy has four starters in double figures….they have two very good 3 point shooters….they are a good free throw shooting team…..and thus far they have handled the ball pretty well with the starters averaging only 9 TO’s per game. You can be certain that Coach Stallings will have his Commodores ready to play the first SEC game in Lexington.

Kentucky starts the SEC season with an 11-4 record having lost a heartbreaker to Louisville on a last second long range 3 pointer. The Cats showed a lot of moxie continually battling back from various deficits throughout the game and tying the Cards with less than a minute to go. Still, the Cats lost and now they must put the Louisville game and the preseason SEC schedule behind them. This home Vandy game is almost a must game for UK, because of how difficult it is win in Nashville. The Cats are now in need of wins….not moral victories…..as UK will need to have a successful SEC season if they want to make the NCAA.

Kentucky continues to be led by Meeks and Patterson…..Mr Outside….and Mr Inside. These two terrific players are the “Lighting” and “Thunder” that are carrying the Cats thus far this season. You can bet that SEC teams will be devising various strategies to minimize the scoring of Meeks and Patterson. That is why, it is increasingly vital that other UK players increase their offensive contribution to take some of the defensive pressure off of Meeks and Patterson. In the last game, Michael Porter contributed 8 points hitting 2-4 from 3 point range. If Porter continues to start and play lots of minutes, it will be increasingly important for him to be more offensive minded and start nailing some 3’s. Fortunately, the Cats have some talented players that have good offensive potential when they gain the necessary confidence. Harris, Miller, Liggins and Harrellson fit that criteria. It would be a huge step forward for the UK offense if one or more of these three players started to consistently contribute offensively. Perry Stevenson had a very solid game against the Cards playing great defense and getting some key buckets, but Perry needs to step up his offense as well. It’s possible that in selected game situations that UK fan favorite, Landon Slone, might come in a provide an offensive spark from the 3 point line.

I’m certain Coach Gillispie has been searching for the best starting unit and the best rotation that will give the Cats the best chance for victories. Thus far, BCG has had to deal with far too many inconsistent performances from too many players and that has, no doubt, delayed establishing a set starting unit and rotation. Still, as the SEC season starts, Billy will likely have to roll the dice and come up with a lineup and rotation….we will see!

Too many turnovers are still a problem for UK…..as they committed 21 TO’s against Louisville. For UK to have a successful SEC season, they must play rock solid defense…especially on the parameter….they must minimize TO’s and make better decisions on the court with the ball……and UK must find additional scoring to help Meeks and Patterson. Let’s hope the Cats get the SEC season off to a great start against Vanderbilt. GO CATS!

A look at the SEC teams non-confernce records

After reading some fans comments on how well some think UK will finish in the SEC and with conference play to start this coming weekend I went back and looked at each SEC teams schedules and records. After reviewing each teams schedule and seeing how they are playing going into conference play, to be honest there is only 1 team that really concerns me and they're in the WEST and thats Arkansas. Tennessee is the only SEC team ranked, but they have showed me nothing so far that concerns me. JMO..

Take a look at each teams schedule and then click the schools name to see how the teams fair against ranked teams and the ranked teams did against other teams.

Standings going into SEC play..

East
Florida 0-0 13-2
South Carolina 0-0 11-2
Vanderbilt 0-0 11-3
Kentucky 0-0 11-4
Tennessee (15) 0-0 9-4
Georgia 0-0 9-6

West
Arkansas 0-0 12-1
LSU 0-0 12-2
Alabama 0-0 10-4
Auburn 0-0 10-4
Mississippi St. 0-0 10-5
Mississippi 0-0 9-5

EAST
Florida Gators 13-2
Date Opponent Result
Fri, Nov 14 Toledo W 80-58
Sun, Nov 16 Bradley W 81-58
Thu, Nov 20 Southern Utah W 64-50
Mon, Nov 24 at Syracuse L 83-89
Tue, Nov 25 Washington W 86-84
Sun, Nov 30 Mo. Kansas City W 86-65
Tue, Dec 2 Florida A&M W 73-58
Sun, Dec 7 at Florida St. L 55-57
Wed, Dec 10 Fla Gulf Coast W 94-60
Sat, Dec 20 at UCF W 89-61
Mon, Dec 22 Georgia Southern W 88-81
Sun, Dec 28 Winthrop W 74-45
Tue, Dec 30 Stetson W 78-57
Sat, Jan 3 N.C. State W 68-66
Tue, Jan 6 Longwood W 95-69
Sat, Jan 10 Mississippi 6:00 pm

South Carolina Gamecocks 11-2
Date Opponent Result
Fri, Nov 14 Jacksonville St. W 89-76
Sun, Nov 16 Winthrop W 86-63
Sat, Nov 22 South Carolina Upstate W 75-53
Tue, Nov 25 Gardner-Webb W 85-70
Fri, Nov 28 at Charleston L 80-82
Tue, Dec 2 at Princeton W 84-58
Fri, Dec 5 Furman W 72-48
Tue, Dec 16 N.C. Central W 90-43
Sat, Dec 20 Citadel W 80-66
Tue, Dec 23 Presbyterian W 75-56
Tue, Dec 30 (20) Clemson L 87-98
Fri, Jan 2 at (19) Baylor W 85-84
Mon, Jan 5 Wofford W 78-61
Sat, Jan 10 Auburn 7:00 pm

Vanderbilt Commodores 11-3
Date Opponent Result
Sun, Nov 16 Morehead St. W 74-48
Thu, Nov 20 Illinois L 63-69
Mon, Nov 24 Middle Tenn. St. W 65-57
Wed, Nov 26 Central Arkansas W 83-62
Sat, Nov 29 Drake W 72-57
Sun, Nov 30 VCU W 71-66
Wed, Dec 3 Ill. Chicago L 55-74
Sat, Dec 6 at Georgia Tech L 51-63
Wed, Dec 10 Alabama A&M W 78-55
Tue, Dec 16 South Florida W 71-52
Sat, Dec 20 Tennessee Tech W 83-63
Mon, Dec 22 Furman W 68-49
Wed, Dec 31 St. Francis (PA) W 84-55
Sat, Jan 3 at Massachusetts W 78-48
Sat, Jan 10 at Kentucky 2:00 pm

Kentucky Wildcats 11-4
Date Opponent Result
Fri, Nov 14 Virginia Military L 103-111
Tue, Nov 18 at (1) North Carolina L 58-77
Sat, Nov 22 Delaware St. W 71-42
Mon, Nov 24 Longwood W 91-57
Fri, Nov 28 at Kansas St. W 74-72
Sat, Nov 29 at West Virginia W 54-43
Wed, Dec 3 Lamar W 103-61
Sat, Dec 6 (21) Miami (FL) L 67-73
Sun, Dec 7 Miss. Valley St. W 88-65
Sat, Dec 13 Indiana W 72-54
Sat, Dec 20 Appalachian St. W 93-69
Mon, Dec 22 Tennessee St. W 102-58
Sat, Dec 27 Florida Atlantic W 76-69
Mon, Dec 29 Cent. Michigan W 84-52
Sun, Jan 4 at (18) Louisville L 71-74
Sat, Jan 10 Vanderbilt 2:00 pm

Tennessee Volunteers (15) 9-4
Date Opponent Result
Sat, Nov 15 Chattanooga W 114-75
Tue, Nov 18 Tenn-Martin W 91-64
Fri, Nov 21 at Middle Tenn. St. W 76-66
Thu, Nov 27 at Siena W 78-64
Fri, Nov 28 (21) Georgetown W 90-78
Sun, Nov 30 (9) Gonzaga L 74-83
Wed, Dec 3 N.C. Asheville W 87-69
Sat, Dec 13 at Temple L 72-88
Tue, Dec 16 (24) Marquette W 80-68
Sat, Dec 20 Belmont W 79-77
Mon, Dec 29 LA Lafayette W 89-62
Sat, Jan 3 at Kansas L 85-92
Wed, Jan 7 Gonzaga L 79-89 OT
Sat, Jan 10 at Georgia 12:00 pm

Georgia Bulldogs 9-6
Date Opponent Result
Fri, Nov 14 South Carolina Upstate W 72-48
Mon, Nov 17 Loyola Chicago L 53-74
Tue, Nov 18 at East. Michigan W 61-60
Fri, Nov 21 Presbyterian W 55-47
Mon, Nov 24 Santa Clara W 54-48
Tue, Nov 25 Miss. Valley St. W 98-57
Tue, Dec 2 at West. Kentucky L 63-67
Sat, Dec 6 at Illinois L 42-76
Tue, Dec 9 Virginia Tech W 67-66
Sat, Dec 20 Wofford W 74-73
Mon, Dec 22 Texas A&M C.C. L 79-80
Sun, Dec 28 N.C. A&T W 98-68
Wed, Dec 31 Kennesaw St. W 72-52
Sat, Jan 3 Missouri L 76-83
Tue, Jan 6 at Georgia Tech L 62-67
Sat, Jan 10 (15) Tennessee 12:00 pm

WEST
Arkansas Razorbacks 12-1
Date Opponent Result
Fri, Nov 14 SE Louisiana W 91-87
Thu, Nov 20 UC Davis W 68-59
Sat, Nov 22 at Missouri St. L 57-62
Wed, Nov 26 at South Alabama W 79-77
Sat, Nov 29 Florida A&M W 86-61
Wed, Dec 3 Texas Southern W 80-61
Wed, Dec 10 N.C. Central W 98-70
Wed, Dec 17 Austin Peay W 89-80
Sat, Dec 20 Stephen F. Austin W 67-51
Sat, Dec 27 Northwestern St. W 95-56
Tue, Dec 30 (4) Oklahoma W 96-88
Sat, Jan 3 North Texas W 86-75
Tue, Jan 6 (7) Texas W 67-61
Sat, Jan 10 Mississippi St. 8:05 pm

LSU Tigers 12-2
Date Opponent Result
Sat, Nov 15 Jackson St. W 79-65
Thu, Nov 20 Alcorn St. W 77-45
Sun, Nov 23 Northwestern St. W 91-60
Fri, Nov 28 Centenary W 64-58
Sun, Nov 30 Troy W 92-57
Tue, Dec 2 CSU Fullerton W 84-63
Sat, Dec 13 Grambling St. W 87-41
Wed, Dec 17 Nicholls St. W 68-56
Sat, Dec 20 at Texas A&M L 61-72
Mon, Dec 22 McNeese St. W 62-59
Sat, Dec 27 Washington St. W 64-52
Wed, Dec 31 LA Lafayette W 81-79
Sat, Jan 3 SE Louisiana W 90-61
Tue, Jan 6 at Utah L 61-91
Sun, Jan 11 at Alabama 1:30 pm

Alabama Crimson Tide 10-4
Date Opponent Result
Sun, Nov 16 Mercer L 69-72
Wed, Nov 19 Florida A&M W 89-48
Mon, Nov 24 Oregon L 69-92
Tue, Nov 25 at Chaminade W 78-56
Wed, Nov 26 at St. Joseph's W 58-48
Tue, Dec 2 Alabama A&M W 64-56
Sun, Dec 7 LA Lafayette W 61-44
Sat, Dec 13 Texas A&M L 78-86
Wed, Dec 17 Tennessee St. W 75-66
Mon, Dec 22 Chattanooga W 82-63
Sun, Dec 28 Yale W 66-63
Tue, Dec 30 Quincy W 86-58
Sat, Jan 3 Georgia Tech W 88-77
Tue, Jan 6 at (12) Clemson L 59-66
Sun, Jan 11 LSU 1:30 pm

Auburn Tigers 10-4
Date Opponent Result
Fri, Nov 14 Missouri St. W 75-60
Wed, Nov 19 Mercer L 74-78
Sat, Nov 22 Geo. Washington W 83-71
Tue, Nov 25 Bethune-Cookman W 61-46
Fri, Nov 28 at Dayton L 59-60
Sat, Nov 29 at Northern Iowa L 61-67
Wed, Dec 3 at (14) Xavier L 74-81
Sat, Dec 6 LA Monroe W 78-55
Wed, Dec 17 Tuskegee W 75-32
Sat, Dec 20 at Virginia W 58-56
Mon, Dec 22 Alabama St. W 77-72
Mon, Dec 29 Alabama A&M W 82-40
Wed, Dec 31 SE Louisiana W 77-65
Sat, Jan 3 Tulane W 78-53
Sat, Jan 10 at South Carolina 7:00 pm

Mississippi St. Bulldogs 10-5
Date Opponent Result
Sat, Nov 15 Centenary W 77-55
Mon, Nov 17 LA Monroe W 78-49
Wed, Nov 19 North Alabama W 102-61
Sat, Nov 22 Fair. Dickinson W 84-58
Tue, Nov 25 at St. Bonaventure W 76-71
Fri, Nov 28 at Washington St. L 52-63
Sat, Nov 29 Texas Tech L 73-77
Sat, Dec 6 Alabama St. W 76-67
Wed, Dec 10 Charlotte L 64-70
Sat, Dec 13 South Alabama W 79-60
Thu, Dec 18 at Cincinnati L 63-75
Mon, Dec 22 at Nicholls St. W 74-68
Tue, Dec 30 San Diego L 61-64
Sat, Jan 3 Houston W 82-65
Mon, Jan 5 West. Kentucky W 95-67
Sat, Jan 10 at Arkansas 8:05 pm

Mississippi Rebels 9-5
Date Opponent Result
Fri, Nov 14 Arkansas St. W 65-52
Tue, Nov 18 South Alabama W 89-71
Fri, Nov 21 at Utah L 72-83
Sun, Nov 23 Marshall W 82-78
Wed, Nov 26 UCF W 78-46
Sat, Nov 29 Morgan St. W 78-70
Wed, Dec 3 West Virginia L 78-80
Sat, Dec 6 at New Orleans W 78-65
Sat, Dec 13 at New Mexico L 70-103
Mon, Dec 15 Alabama St. W 85-81
Thu, Dec 18 at (9) Louisville L 68-77
Mon, Dec 22 Florida A&M W 86-63
Tue, Dec 30 at Southern Miss L 59-78
Sat, Jan 3 Nicholls St. W 53-41
Sat, Jan 10 at Florida 6:00 pm

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Kentucky vs Louisville....A Preview

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Kentucky vs Louisville 1/4/09
(Sunday at 4pmEST/3:30 pmCST)
Freedom Hall
TV: CBS & Clark Kellogg doing the commentary
Series: UK leads 26-13

Louisville

Enrollment-22,000
Arena-18,865
Coach-Rick Pitino
Career Record-521-191 (73.2%) 22 seasons
At Louisville-169-67 (71.6%) in 7 seasons

2007-08 Record-27-9
2007-08 Big East Record-14-4 (T-2nd)
2007-08 Postseason Record-3-1 (Lost in NCAA Elite Eight)

2008-09 Record-8-3

Louisville 79 Morehead St. 41
Louisville 81 S. Alabama 54
Western Ky. 68 Louisville 54
Louisville 83 Indiana St. 43
Louisville 91 Ohio U. 56
Louisville 78 Lamar 56
Louisville 94 Austin Peay 75
Louisville 77 Mississippi 68
Minnesota 70 Louisville 64
Louisville 82 UAB 62
UNLV 56 Louisville 55

STATS

FG%-43.2%
3 Point FG%-34.7%
FT%-64.5%
Rebounds-41.9
Assists-17.5
Turnovers-13.1
Steals-8.8
Blocks-6.3

Probable Starting Lineup

Terrence Williams-F-6’6” Sr……PPG-11.6
Earl Clark-F-6’9” Jr……………..PPG-13.1.
Samardo Samuels-C-6’8” Fr…….PPG-14.7
Preston Knowles-G-6’1” So……. PPG-7.3.
Jerry Smith-G-6’1” Jr……………PPG-7.7

Other Key Players

Edgar Sosa-G-6’1” Jr……………PPG-5.0
Andre McGee-G-5’10” Sr……….PPG-5.5

The Louisville Cardinals are coming off a tough loss to UNLV as the UK Wildcats arrive at Freedom Hall for the annual showdown for bragging rights in the state of Kentucky. The Cards started the season ranked 3rd in the nation, but have fallen significantly in the ratings after losses to Western Ky.,Minnesota and now UNLV. Certainly, no one expected Pitino’s Cards to match UK’s 3 losses when the two teams got together, but Louisville has simply not found the consistent play that Pitino wants for this talented team. The strength of Louisville is easily found on their frontline with Samuels, Clark and Williams. These 3 very talented players are the leading scorers, all averaging in double figures, and also the leading rebounders for the Cardinals. All 3 players are also garnering the most playing time averaging around 30 minutes per game. The problem for Louisville appears to be at the guard position where Pitino has played 4 guards this season with none averaging over 20 minutes per game. Jerry Smith and Preston Knowles are starting and both are hitting over 40% from the 3 point line….in fact, Knowles has a heady 47% from the 3 point line. However, Pitino seems to be searching for better play from the guards in running the offense and on defense. Overall, the Cards are shooting a decent 43.2% from the field, but shooting consistency from different players has at times been a problem. Louisville, so far, has struggled from the free throw line hitting only 64.5%. As expected from Pitino teams, the Cards do a lot of pressing and are averaging almost 9 steals per game. You can bet that Louisville will start pressing UK when the Cats get off the bus and they will keep that pressure on the Wildcats for 40 minutes. The Cardinals are always tough at Freedom Hall and Pitino will have Louisville ready to play a hard nose game. While the 3 losses suffered thus far by Louisville are surprising, one shouldn’t underestimate this very talented Cardinal team. Pitino is one of the very best coaches in America and he will have the Cards playing a high octane game against the Cats in order to prevent an unthinkable two consecutive losses at Freedom Hall. Despite what Pitino might say….defeating UK is a very high priority for Louisville!

Kentucky, arrives at Freedom Hall with a very respectable 11-3 record, but the Cats need a signature win….and what better place for that signature win then against their great rival on their home floor. Coach Gillispie has experimented with a variety of lineups and the result has been to develop a very deep bench. Meeks and Patterson continue to carry the scoring load while Coach Gillispie continues to try and find a consistent 3rd scorer, especially another consistent parameter scorer to compliment Meeks. It’s increasingly obvious that Louisville and coming SEC opponents are going to devise defensive strategies to minimize the scoring of Meeks and Patterson. That’s why it’s so important for other UK players to step up and help with the scoring. The Cats would love to see Darius Miller find his confidence and pick up his offensive game. Porter has been struggling shooting from the 3 point line and it would be a great help if he could start nailing some of the open looks he gets in games. Liggins, while not a good 3 point shooter thus far, has shown the ability to get in the paint and to the basket for close in shots. In the past two games, walk on Landon Slone has excited UK fans with his inspired solid floor play and also his hitting some 3’s in the last game. No one knows what role Slone will play in future games, but he is a possibility as a long range shooter. On the frontline, Josh Harrellson has demonstrated solid shooting ability and Perry Stevenson has provided some frontline scoring punch.

A key to success against Louisville will obviously be UK’s ability to handle Louisville’s press and minimize turnovers. In addition, the Cats will need to get the ball inside to Patterson on a frequent basis….and, of course, Meeks will need to have a good game shooting the ball.

This is a very important game for Kentucky…..not only for bragging rights, but it would be a tremendous confidence builder for this young talented bunch of Cats as they prepare for the SEC schedule. If the Cats can handle the press and shoot the ball well…..they should be in this game to the very end with a good chance of victory. GO CATS!

Cats 2009 Liberty Bowl Champions

Congrats to UK and Coach Brooks on another post season win and for making history with their third straight bowl win. The state of Tennessee has been good for the Cats in the post season with 2007 Music City Bowl Champs, 2008 Music City Champs & 2009 Liberty Bowl Champs. The Cats end the season 7-6 and its plain to see that Coach Brooks knows what he's doing when it comes to rebuilding or building a football program. Coach Brooks has set the standard for the football program and next season with the players returning, this team of hard knocks seem to be headed in the right direction and hopefully the Cats can stay injury free as we the fans look for and expect bigger things from the UK football program in 2009 and beyond.