As the Beauty and the Beast
begin their Search for Tomorrow
looking for that one Guiding Light
while All my Children spend
their time wondering though
the Days of our Lives being
the Young and the Restless hoping
that they won't be admitted to
their General Hospital as they wait
to see and hear the announcement
of UK's new basketball coach.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
- Gillispie unsure of future, but ready to get back to work
- Column: Gillispie may have saved his job with charisma seen today
- All-smiles Gillispie expects all of his 6 million
- Players speak out: Meeks supports department’s decision
- Column: New hire will know what not to do
- New coach will race UNC for 2,000 wins
- Correct decision: Former coach, player agree with Gillispie’s release
- Mixed emotions flood Big Blue Nation over Gillispie fire
- Barnhart: “This is not a place I thought we would be in”
- Traveling Men: The coaching carousel
- Orton and current players unsure of their future
- Possible Gillispie replacements
- VIDEO: Media chases Gillispie through Joe Craft Center
- 31 years of basketball for Billy Gillispie
- The Coach's Response and Looking Forward
- Gillispie says he has 'no regrets;' attorney expects big buyout
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
WT AdministratorThe entire Big Blue Nation is sitting on pins and needles awaiting a decision from Mitch Barnhart and Lee Todd concerning the future of Coach Gillispie. What issues are Barnhart and Todd likely considering?
- Gillispie's 2 year record of 40-26.....with very heavy weight on this past season of 22-13 and going to the NIT.
- Has the UK team and program moved forward in Gillispie's 2nd year?
- Have the players improved in their skill level and team play in Gillispie"s 2nd year?
- How impacful were Gillispie's first recruiting class of Miller, Harrellson, Galloway and Liggins? Did these recruits improve under Gillispie?
- How effective has Gillispie been as a bench coach.....team preperation.....strategy.....tactics.....motivation.....and game adjustments?
- What is the relationship between Gillispie and his players.....do they like, trust and respect Gillispie as a coach?
- How effective has Gillispie been on the recruiting trail since he has been at UK? Is he bringing in the right recruits...... do these recruits meet UK objectives in terms of significantly improving team talent....meeting team needs.....demonstrate good attitudes.....and able to achieve academically in the classroom?
- How has Gillispie performed in meeting his overall responsibilities as UK coach.....speaking engagements.....meeting with boosters.....representing UK in a positive manner with the media....or, in essence, being a good ambassador for the UK basketball program?
- Has coach Gillispie been cooperative with the AD and UK administrators?
- Has Gillispie done a good job in reaching out to the UK fan base?
I'm certain there are other issues that will be covered in evaluating coach Gillispie. I will let others answer the questions above as we all have different answers and would give different weights to each question.
I will say that I feel Gillispie relationship with his players will carry a lot of weight.....will certain players stay or go depending on whether Gillispie remains as coach. Also, if Gillispie is fired, will the recruits go elsewhere?
Rumors, as we all know, are everywhere. This is a huge decision for Mitch.....I can't see how Gillispie would be fired unless UK has a solid indication that Donovan, Calipari, Dixon or another very proven big name coach would come to UK.
None of us know all the answers to the questions above and I can't imagine Gillispie being fired without Barnhart and Todd feeling very strongly that Gillispie is simply the wrong guy to move the UK program forward based on all their intimate knowledge of the program under Gillispie.
Mitch knows his own job security will likely depend on his decision concerning Gillispie. Interestingly, if UK would continue winning in the NIT and perhaps win it, it would likely make any decision to fire Gillispie a bit more difficult, but not impossible.
We all want what is best for the UK program and let's hope that the correct decision is made!
Monday, March 23, 2009
WT Executive Moderator
Coach Billy Gillispie will be on the sidelines next year for the University of Kentucky. How do I know? Who is my source? Matt Jones, Alan Cutler, The Lexington Herald Leader and Larry Glover say he is (probably) gone.
Those who want CBG to leave go with, “Where there is smoke there is fire.” Let me ask, how much fire was there when Tubby left? If all these boobs mentioned above were so smart with so many sources, ”close to the program” why were they not reporting Tubby leaving. You know why, BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE FIRST DARN CLUE OR SOURCE.
But we need a coach to come in here and get his players motivated. It’s his fault he can’t do it. Any of you read Donovan after they got beat in the SECT? “I can't seem to get the players to step up, to be fully committed.” He is a two time NCAA championship coach. Many of the ones calling for CBG’s scalp want Billy D. Yet, he thinks his kids need to step up or be fully committed.
“Well, if he stays then Meeks and Patterson leave.” Maybe, but I sure wonder why the most vocal player in his corner now days is one Patrick Patterson? No source needed for that, its out in the main stream media.
Well you say, “Where is Meeks?” Granted he has been quieter than Pat. While I have no source could it be that Jodie is somewhat jealous of Pat? Sans, the UT game was UK better with the ball going to Pat or Jodie forcing three’s and driving into double/triple teams? As a matter of fact it seems UK opened most games with the ball going inside. Wonder?
Well you say, “Mike Casey and Jay Shidler think he needs to go.” Where are the interviews with Bret Bearup, Rex Chapman, Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley. Guess what, one source even told me that Rondo thinks things will be better with Billy? Wonder why Matt Jones and the Herald don’t have interviews with these guys? Because it’s not their agenda!
Well you say, “They are not prepared.” Does anyone remember the LSU game when Pat says coach drew up LSU’s last play only to have the team not execute what they were told in the huddle? What about in the SECT when Trent Johnson spoke highly of UK’s game plan and defense when coming off the floor at half-time? You know what the same source told me…get ready some of you will not like this…I’ll give you the email quote,” Not that it means anything, but Pitino privately said Billy's teams are better-prepared than Tubby's. One of my cousins heard him say it at a UL function.” OMG!!!
Well you say, “It’s not the talent.” What about recent statements from Albert Jackson, UGA and David Huertas, Ole Miss saying the talent is down and its easy to stop two because they can’t shoot. What about Jackson saying the only one who can rebound is Pat? Don’t worry ye’ of little faith. Matt Pilgrim and Daniel Orton will help there.
The fans like the criticism CBG gets from the media, but they get their panties in a wad when the media blasts them. Mike Wilbon and Brent Musberger are the recent two to take shots at the ridiculous, spoiled and sanctimonious UK fan base. Believe it, like it or not this is how the fan base is viewed. Outing a coach after two years who was given a roster with not a lot of talent and no time to fix it only cements these arguments. See, no source at all. Just some common sense.
Monday, March 16, 2009
WT Executive Moderator
We've all seen the posts before. Someone states that lack of talent is the problem and inevitably somebody else is going to respond with either "we have two All-Americans" or "we have the talent to be better than this," or likely both. In this post I am going to present a viewpoint that supports the "lack of talent" argument.
Let's start with something nearly all of us agree on, we lack a good point guard. Sure, this is definitely a problem but it goes deeper than that. One of the most important abilities of any good player is that they are able to make others around them better. Not only do we lack a point guard with the ability to do this but I'm going to take it a step further and say we don't have a single player on this team that can do this and yes I'm aware that I'm including Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson in that.
Patterson and Meeks are stars for sure, but they don't make others around them better, do they? Meeks, when he is shooting well can easily draw two defenders and on occasion even three. The same thing can be said for Patterson. In theory that should help, but it doesn't. If Meeks is hitting his shots the rest of the team doesn't step up and take advantage of it. Instead what we see is at least three other players watching the Jodie Meeks show while not accomplishing anything.
I will go on a limb, one that I don't think many will disagree with me on and say that Patterson is this teams best passer. Unfortunately, Patterson is not passing the ball to himself. He is forced to pass it to teammates that are quite frankly turnover prone due to their lack of a good basketball IQ. Whether it is Porter throwing the ball away or missing a layup, Harris or Meeks dribbling the ball off of their foot or Stevenson dropping a pass they all have something in common; turnovers and missed opportunities. The pass from Patterson is often times a lost cause because of their inability to make something happen when they get the ball.
Is Porter the most talented point guard we have on our roster? Honestly I don't know but I'm going to venture to say yes and here is why. Gillispie often times has Liggins and Galloway on the bench, keeping it nice and warm. Both of these players have had stellar games that fans have pointed to as proof that they are the answer to Kentucky's point guard issues. Keep in mind that Michael Porter has also had some very good games and been a key component in victories.
Gillispie says he plays the guys that he thinks give us the best chance to win. While Liggins and Galloway often times find themselves on the bench for most of the game I don't believe they sit on the bench in practice. In the short stints on the floor from these two I have seen far more disappointment in their play then I have seen things to compliment. Some say it's because they get yanked as soon as they make a mistake. Maybe, but what if Gillispie sees them making the same boneheaded mistakes the entire practice that I see in the 1-2 minutes at a time that they play? Of course this is complete speculation on my behalf but remember that Gillispie sees these three young men play on a nearly daily basis and we don't. In my humble opinion this is just as likely as Gillispie simply being stubborn.
The last thing I'd like to point out on "talent" is the play of Patterson and Meeks. Right about the time we started tanking, and bad is the same time Patterson injured his finger. I'm not a statistical guru so I can't tell you his shot percentage before and after the injury but from watching the games it was night and day. Patterson's shot percentage decreased considerably which is understandable with that big bundle or wrap around two of his fingers thus making one of our "All-Americans" far less dominant.
Jodie Meeks during this time frame also hit a rough patch. Meeks almost always "willed" his way to 20+ points but anybody that watched the game could see it was a different Jodie Meeks that set a couple scoring records earlier in the season. As one of our opponents noted, a team is not that difficult to defeat when you only have to defend two of their five players. In this stretch, the top two of those five seemed to be hindered. Credit some of that to our opponents and in Patterson's case credit some of that to his injury.
Again, all of this is simply my humble opinion. If you disagree with any or all of it feel free to leave a comment.
WT Executive Moderator
I disagree with the statement "Billy can't coach." How many times has he won coach of the year honors. He was a basket short of going to the elite 8. The point is he CAN coach. I will agree that this year he did a poor job at it for no apparent reason. I don't think the reason is that he forgot how to coach over the summer.
Another important fact to note is that when we think coach has called a really bad play in important situations the players have often said that wasn't the play coach called, rather the players failed to execute the said play.
I think the real root of the problem is our teams basketball IQ. Meeks and Patterson are gifted no doubt. Miller also seems like he has a good handle on things. Outside of that I don't believe this team has the basketball IQ to run with any of the big dogs. What I see when I look at our roster and how they play and the decisions they make over and over is an average SEC team and we ended the season right where we should have with this group. It IS possible that a lot of our players have reached their ceiling and coach simply has nothing left to develop.
With another coach we may have gotten a few more wins here and there and made the tournament. However; after all the dust settles and we see a few more upgrades to the roster Billy G will emerge as the coach we all originally thought he was.
Another thing is we lost Bradley, Crawford and Jasper from this team. three players that could handle the ball fairly well and two of which were a threat for 3 pointers. We replaced them with Liggins, and two JUCO players. JUCOs rarely become very successful. To me that sounds like disaster so after reflecting I'm not as upset as I originally was. One more year for Billy and maybe even two. There is a reason we had a coaching change and we may have been a bit mislead by the knowledge of Billy G's quick turnarounds.
In short, Billy deserves another year with his recruits that don't comprise of mainly JUCOs. We have another point guard coming in and a top 25 big man to hopefully take the pressure off of Patrick and Hood to hopefully help Meeks with scoring. I ask you all for one more year. Could I be wrong? Of course, but I think the benefits of the risk outweigh the implications of a knee jerk firing of our head coach after two seasons.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Can Gillispie Rebuild the UK Program?
As we all know, when Billy Gillispie was hired 2 years ago, there was great joy throughout the Big Blue Nation. Gillispie was known as a hard driving coach that had turned around UTEP in 2 years and Texas A&M in 3 years. We all remember when Gillispie defeated Louisville in Rupp arena in the NCAA. Importantly, BCG was known as a relentless recruiter and the talent level at UK had seriously fallen in Tubby’s last 2-3 years.
Under Tubby, UK had lost 25 games and was unranked in his last 2 years…..but, more disturbing was the knowledge that the overall talent being recruited into the UK program was not going to change things. So, Tubby, left for Minnesota and UK, selected Billy Gillispie after Billy Donovan decided to stay in Florida.
The Gillispie Record
Now after two years under Gillispie, the Cats have a record of 38-26….a 59.3% winning percentage……you have to go back before Rupp to find a lower percentage. In the SEC, the Cats are 39-27. As we all know, UK has suffered bad losses to inferior opponents as well as a staggering 10 home losses at Rupp arena. Under Gillispie, UK has remained unranked (except for one week this season) and finished the season losing 9 of it’s last 12 games. Last season, the Cats lost in the 1st game of the SEC tournament and the 1st game of the NCAA tournament…..and this season they won one game in the SEC tourney before losing to LSU. Now the final blow, UK fails to make the NCAA and will play in the NIT.
Of the 4 recruits, Gillispie brought in this season….only one, Darius Miller, has been an impact player. A key question is have these players been properly developed by Gillispie? Other key questions involve the development of the team and individual players under Gillispie.
Obviously, Gillispie inherited a team that was certainly not up to UK standards in talent. Also, Gillispie did finish his first season with a 12-4 SEC record….and won coach of the year in the SEC. In addition, Gillispie has won coach of the year with his previous teams.
There are two primary voices among UK fans and on WT….1) Billy simply hasn’t had the talent or time to achieve the results UK fans expect. 2) Billy did have the talent to have achieved a much better record in a weak SEC this season and the team took a disturbing step backwards.
Unquestionably, Gillispie is bringing in some improved talent next season with Orton, Hood, Pilgrim and Vilarino….and perhaps another recruit or two. Everyone acknowledges that Gillispie is an extremely hard working coach and is committed to upgrading the talent on UK.
As I write this, rumors are flying everywhere.
However, the decision on Gillispie’s future lie with Mitch Barnhart and President Todd. Only they know what is occurring in practice and whether Gillispie’s coaching tactics, methods, recruiting and player development are taking the UK program in the right direction. None of us know the true relationship between Mitch and Gillispie….are they on the same page or are there serious differences between the two.
It is important to remember that the UK program is the crown jewel of Kentucky…..UK is heavily invested in returning this program to elite status. The Cats lead the nation in basketball attendance virtually every season….they have build a 30 million dollar state of art practice facility…..and they have paid coach Gillispie over 2 million dollars to turn the UK program around. Unfortunately, this season has been a huge disappointment to everyone and shaken the faith that many UK fans have in coach Gillispie.
There is no question in my mind that UK does not want to fire Gillispie after just 2 seasons…..unless they have fully evaluated the entire program under Gillispie and truly believe that he simply is not the right coach to restore UK’s greatness. There are serious ramifications for firing Gillispie after 2 years….a negative press toward UK’s decision…..having to pay off Gillispie several million dollars…..the likelihood of players leaving the program and committed recruits going elsewhere. It is a huge decision and I don’t believe that Gillispie will be fired unless he completely refuses to cooperate with Mitch regarding suggested changes or if Mitch is so fed up with Gillispie coaching that he decides to cut his losses now rather than after another bad year.
Another possibility, of course, is that Gillispie is simply not happy at UK and he and Mitch reach some sort of settlement….and Gillispie leaves on his own.
Mitch is looking at a UK program that has a record over these past 4 years as the worst in UK history…..82-51…..think of it…..51 losses in the past 4 years and only 39-27 in the SEC……not even ranked in the top 25 in 4 years. There is increasing concern regarding Gillispie being a good fit for UK and his ability to retore the program to greatness. It's fair to say that if Gillispie is the coach at UK next season, that the program must show significant improvement or Mitch will have no choice but to make a change in the head coach at UK.
I still have faith in Mitch and President Todd to make the right decision regarding the future of the UK program. Whatever decision they make….I will support!
Game Teams Time (ET)/TV Audio Stats
[W3] Miss. State vs. [E1] Tennessee 1:00 p.m. / CBS SEC Live!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Second Round - Friday, March 13
Game Teams Time (ET)/TV Audio Stats
[E4] Kentucky vs. [W1] LSU 1:00 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
[W3] Miss. State vs. [E2] South Carolina 3:15 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
[W4] Alabama vs. [E1] Tennessee 7:30 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
[E3] Florida vs. [W2] Auburn 9:45 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Kentucky vs Mississippi
3/12/09 Thursday at 1pmEST/NoonCST
TV: Raycom, ESPN-Full Court
Video Stream: Yahoo.com
Career Record-66-37 in 3 seasons (64.1%)
At Mississippi-45-24 in 2 seasons (65.2%)
2007-08 SEC Record-7-9 (3rd-West)
2007-08 Postseason Record-3-1 (Lost in NIT semifinals)
2008-09 SEC Record-7-9
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 85 Kentucky 80
Ole Miss 67 Mississippi St. 63
Vanderbilt 71 Ole Miss 61
LSU 73 Ole Miss 66
Ole Miss 81 Tennessee 65
Ole Miss 69 Georgia 47
Auburn 77 Ole Miss 64
Alabama 90 Ole Miss 69
Ole Miss 98 Arkansas 91 (OT)
Mississippi St. 82 Ole Miss 80
Ole Miss STATS
3 Pt FG%-34.1%
3 Point FG Per Game-7.0
3 Point FG%-35.2%
3 Point FG Per Game-5.8
Probable Starting Lineup
Murphy Holloway-F-6’7” Fr……PPG-8.5
DeAundre Cranston-F-6’9” Jr…..PPG-3.1
Zach Graham-G-6’5” Soph……..PPG-8.6
David Heurtas-G-6’5” Jr………..PPG-18.2
Terrico White-G-6’5” Fr………..PPG-13.5
Other Key Players
Malcom White-F-6’9” Soph…….PPG-7.2
Terrance Henry-F-6’9” Fr………PPG-4.3
Will Bogan-G-6’1” Fr…………..PPG-2.4
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 had 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. Despite losing Polynice and Warren, coach Kennedy has fashioned a winning 17-14 record.
Ole Miss has been competitive in all the SEC games with only a bad loss to Alabama. The Rebels are led in scoring by David Huertas who is averaging 18.2 PPG. Huertas is shooting a decent 42.2% from the field and a solid 35.8% from 3 point range as he has hit 76-212…….in addition, Huertas leads the team in assists along with Terrico White who is a threat as a 3 point shooter hitting 34.9% while averaging 13.5 PPG. Freshman 6’7” Murphy Holloway leads the team in rebounds while providing good scoring at 8.5 PPG along with Soph 6’5” Zach Graham contributing 8.6 PPG.
The Rebels have already defeated UK and will be looking to repeat that feat in the opening game of the SEC Tourney. Ole Miss’s only road to the NCAA is winning the SEC Tourney. They will be very ready for the Cats.
UK enters the SEC Tourney on a 4 game losing streak and losers of 8 of their past 11 SEC games. The Cats now know that the only way they can avoid the NIT is to win the SEC Tourney…..a very challenging task for a team that has had very little success the last half of the season. The key question is…..how badly have all these losses affected the team’s confidence and will to compete? Very few Cats are playing well and even UK’s leading scorer, Jodie Meeks, has not had good games recently.
On the plus side, UK remembers very well that Georgia ran the table in the SEC tourney and garnered a surprising bid to the NCAA. Can UK find it’s mojo and duplicate Georgia’s surprising feat of last season? Well, it all starts Thursday afternoon in Tampa against the Ole Miss Rebels….take one game at a time…..it’s still possible…..and the Big Blue Nation will be hoping that a new UK team emerges from the ashes of this season and dedicates itself to play tough, smart confident basketball. When the Cats take the floor….there is always hope…..and UK fans will be cheering the Cats on to victory. GO CATS!
Monday, March 09, 2009
Game Teams Time (ET)/TV Audio Stats
G1 [E4] Kentucky vs. [W5] Ole Miss 1:00 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
G2 [W3] Miss. State vs. [E6] Georgia 3:15 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
G3 [W4] Alabama vs. [E5] Vanderbilt 7:30 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
G4 [E3] Florida vs. [W6] Arkansas 9:45 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
Second Round - Friday, March 13
Game Teams Time (ET)/TV Audio Stats
G5 G1 Winner vs. [W1] LSU 1:00 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
G6 G2 Winner vs. [E2] South Carolina 3:15 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
G7 G3 Winner vs. [E1] Tennessee 7:30 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
G8 G4 Winner vs. [W2] Auburn 9:45 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
Day Three - Saturday, March 14
Game Teams Time (ET)/TV Audio Stats
G9 G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner 1:00 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
G10 G7 Winner vs. G8 Winner 3:15 p.m. / Raycom SEC Live!
Finals - Sunday, March 15
Game Teams Time (ET)/TV Audio Stats
G11 G9 Winner vs. G10 Winner 1:00 p.m. / CBS SEC Live!
Tennessee 19-11 10-6
South Carolina 21-8 10-6
Florida 22-9 9-7
Kentucky 19-12 8-8
Vanderbilt 19-11 8-8
Georgia 12-19 3-13
LSU 25-6 13-3
Auburn 21-10 10-6
Mississippi St. 19-12 9-7
Mississippi 16-14 7-9
Alabama 17-13 7-9
Arkansas 14-15 2-14
Friday, March 06, 2009
Kentucky vs Florida 3/7/09
Saturday at 2PM (CBS)
Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Career Record-320-135(70.3%) in 14 seasons
At Florida-285-115 (71.3) in 12 seasons
2007-08 SEC Record-8-8 (4th East)
2007-08 Postseason: 3-1 (Lost in NIT semifinals)
2008-09 Record- 21-9
2008-09 SEC Record-8-7
Florida 80 Toledo 58
Florida 81 Bradley 58
Florida 64 Southern Utah 50
Syracuse 89 Florida 83
Florida 86 Washington 84
Florida 86 UMKC 65
Florida 73 Florida A&M 58
Florida State 57 Florida 55
Florida 94 Florida Gulf Coast 60
Florida 89 UCF 61
Florida 88 Georgia Southern 81
Florida 74 WU 45
Florida 78 Stetson 57
Florida 68 North Carolina St. 66
Florida 95 Longwood 69
Florida 78 Ole Miss 68
Florida 68 Auburn 65
Florida 80 Arkansas 65
South Carolina 70 Florida 69
Florida 94 Vanderbilt 69
Florida 83 Georgia 57
Tennessee 79 Florida 63
Florida 97 South Carolina 93
Kentucky 68 Florida 65
Georgia 88 Florida 86
Florida 83 Alabama 74
Florida 82 Vanderbilt 68
LSU 81 Florida 75
Tennessee 79 Florida 75
Mississippi St. 80 Florida 71
Florida STATS | Kentucky STATS
Scoring 78.8 | Scoring-76.2
FG%-48.4% | FG%-48.4%
3 Point FG%-37.3% | 3 Point FG%-35.6%
3 Point FGPG-8.3 | 3 Point FGPG-5.9
FT %-68.5% | FT %-78.1%
Rebounds-34.4 | Rebounds-37.4
Assists-17.0 | Assists-16.2
TO’s-12.0 | TO’s-17.5
Steals-8.2 | Steals-6.8
Blocks-2.8 | Blocks-7.0
Probable Starting Lineup
Nick Calathes-G-6’6” Soph………PPG-18.2
Alex Tyus-C-6’8” Soph…………..PPG-12.4
Chandler Parsons-F-6’9” Soph…...PPG-9.9
Dan Werner-F-6’7” Jr…………….PPG-8.8
Walter Hodge-G-6’0” Sr………….PPG-8.7
Other Key Players
Erving Walker-G-5’8” Fr………….PPG-9.8
Kenny Kadji-F/C 6’10” Fr……..….PPG-4.7
Ray Shipman-G/F 6’4” Fr…………PPG-3.8
Florida has lost 5 of their last 7 SEC games, including 3 straight losses. The Gators who played in the NIT last season are trying to avoid the same fate this season as they attempt to win their last regular season game against visiting UK. Florida is led by all SEC guard Nick Calathes who leads the team in scoring, assists and steals. Calathes is one of several Gators who shoot the 3 ball very well…..Calathes is hitting 41.3%.....Erving Walker 41.4%......Walter Hodge 39.2% and Dan Werner 36.0%. Alex Tyus is the team’s 2nd leading scorer at 12.8 while also leading the Gators in rebounds. However, Calathes, Parsons and Werner also do a good job on the boards. This is a talented Florida team, but a very young team…..starting 3 soph., a Jr. and senior Walter Hodge…..plus the 3 primary subs are all freshmen. This will be senior day at Florida and the UK game will exceedingly important to Billy Donovan’s Gators chances for a NCAA bid. Certainly, Florida will want to payback the Cats for defeating them on Meeks 3 pointer 68-65.
Kentucky travels to Gainesville still reeling from a humiliating loss at Rupp arena on Senior Day to last place Georgia. In fact, the Cats have now lost 7 or their last 10 games and like Florida….they are riding a 3 game losing streak. Unquestionably, the Georgia loss was very damaging to UK’s RPI and NCAA chances. However, there is still a slim possibility for UK to still make the NCAA if they defeat Florida and at least make it to the championship SEC tourney game….in fact, the Cats may still have to win the SEC tourney to make the NCAA….a lot, of course, depends on how other teams fair in their remaining games.
It is increasingly apparent that most opposing teams have been having success in preventing Meeks from having a big game against them. They are in Meeks grill all game long and while Meeks is scoring…he has not hit his 25 point average in 9 games since his 54 points against the Vols. If you take the last 10 games excluding the Arkansas game…Meeks is shooting only 41.3% from the field and is only 31-90 in 3 point shooting for 34.4%. Very revealing stats show that in Meeks last 4 SEC games he is shooting only 7-29 from the 3 point line for a very poor 24.1%. All of these percentages are far below Meeks season averages. While SEC defenses have done a much better job containing Meeks, Meeks, himself, has contributed to these low numbers by taking and forcing bad shots…..now Meeks has even been struggling with open looks from the perimeter. Jodie Meeks has had a spectacular year and has often carried the Cats in games, but now that Meeks points and shooting percentages are down….the Cats have not been able to replace his great offense. There is a lot of truth in….as Meeks goes…so goes the Cats! Fortunately, Patterson, with his finger healed, has been increasing his offensive production, but finding consistent scoring from other Cats remains a huge problem.
Certainly, this has been a very disappointing season for UK and it’s virtually impossible to predict the mindset of the players as they face Florida. UK unfortunately hasn’t shown up and played well in recent vital games like South Carolina and Georgia. Obviously, losing 7 of 10 games is not a great confidence builder for any team and the $64 question is how will the players respond and play against the Gators after a very demoralizing loss at home against Georgia. Fortunately, they are playing a team in Florida that has also been losing games recently.
UK fans will learn Saturday if there is still a burning desire for these Cats to defeat Florida and make a great run in the SEC tourney. Our confidence in this team is shaken, but it isn’t gone. All UK fans will be hoping and cheering for this UK team to come together and play their hearts out against Florida and end the regular season on a very positive note. It’s a huge game and an NCAA bid is a definite possibility for the winner. I know Cat fans are disappointed with this season, but I also know that Cats fans will never give up on the Big Blue. I remain hopeful that UK pulls out a big win against the Gators! GO CATS!
Here's the SEC Standings as of 3/6/09 and each SEC teams final regular season opponent.
Tennessee 19-10 10-5 | 3/8 Alabama
South Carolina 20-8 9-6 | 3/7 @ Georgia
Florida 21-9 8-7 | 3/7 Kentucky
Kentucky 19-11 8-7 | 3/7 @ Florida
Vanderbilt 18-11 7-8 | 3/8 Arkansas
Georgia 12-18 3-12 | 3/7 South Carolina
LSU 25-5 13-2 | 3/7 @ Auburn
Auburn 20-10 9-6 | 3/7 LSU
Mississippi St. 18-12 8-7 | 3/7 @ Mississippi
Mississippi 16-13 7-8 | 3/7 Mississippi St.
Alabama 16-13 6-9 | 3/8 @ Tennessee
Arkansas 14-14 2-13 | 3/8 @ Vanderbilt
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Kentucky vs Georgia 3/4/09
Raycom, ESPN Full Court
Career Record-175-134 (56.6%) 10 Seasons
Record at Georgia-75-80 (48.4%) 5 seasons
2007-08 SEC Record-4-12 (6th-East)
2007-08 Postseason Record-NCAA-0-1
2008-09 SEC Record-2-12
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
Kentucky 68 Georgia 45
Mississippi St. 67 Georgia 61
Florida 83 Georgia 57
Alabama 75 Georgia 70
LSU 80 Georgia 62
South Carolina 79 Georgia 68
Tennessee 79 Georgia 48
Georgia 88 Florida 86
Auburn 71 Georgia 59
Mississippi 69 Georgia 47
Georgia 61 Vanderbilt 57
Arkansas 89 Georgia 67
Georgia STATS | UK STATS
Scoring-64.7 | Scoring-75.9
FG%-41.4% | FG%-48.6%
3 Point FG%-33.7% | 3 Point FG%-35.2%
3 Point FG Per Game-6.2 | 3 Point FG Per Game-5.8
FT%-62.8% | FT%-77.5%
Rebounds-37.4 | Rebounds-37.8
Assists-13.1 | Assists-16.2
TO’s-17.3 | TO’s -17.7
Steals-7.6 | Steals-6.4
Blocks-3.8 | Blocks-6.8
The Georgia Bulldogs have lost 14 of their last 16 games…..including 11 straight loses. In the SEC, Georgia is a miserable 2-12. This disappointing season has cost Dennis Felton his job as head coach. The Bulldogs did demonstrate that there is still some bite left when they defeated Florida 88-86, but now they are simply playing for pride and the possibly of duplicating last season’s miracle run in the SEC tourney.
Georgia is led in scoring and rebounding by senior Terrance Woodbury and solid freshman Howard Thompkins. Woodbury has taken most of the 3 point shots, but is hitting only 32.8%. Thompkins leads the Bulldogs in 3 point shooting hitting a solid 37.7% and also leads the team in blocks with 28. Unquestionably, freshmen Thompkins and Dustin Ware who is the 3rd leading team scorer and 2nd best 3 point shooter are 2 very good young players to rebuild the Georgia program around.
A quick look at Georgia stats for the year reveals a team that does not shoot well….hitting only 41.4% from the field and scoring only 64.7 PPG. In addition, the Bulldogs are a poor FT shooting team hitting only 62.8% and are also plagued by too many TO’s averaging 17 PG. Despite Georgia’s poor record and shortcomings, any team that doesn’t take the Bulldogs seriously can be in trouble. Ask the Florida Gators who smoked Georgia in their first game winning 83-57 only to lose the rematch by 2 points. Georgia does have 4 players who shoot a good number of 3 point shots and if they get hot…..the Bulldogs are capable of springing an upset.
The Wildcats are coming off a good performance against 18th ranked LSU losing a heartbreaker in the last seconds. This came after a complete embarrassment at South Carolina. This UK team has now lost 6 of their last 9 SEC games and remains a very inconsistent team. As coach Gillispie recently remarked…” I don’t know what UK team will show up”. We are now at the very end of the season and it is not good news that after 29 games the coach doesn’t know what to expect from this UK team. One thing is for certain, the Georgia game is an absolute must win game…..a loss at home to Georgia would bury any NCAA hopes for the Cats…..barring winning the SEC tourney.
Thus far, many UK fans feel this team has underachieved, but there is still time to end this season on a very positive note….defeat Georgia and Florida….and win at least 2 SEC tourney games…..and make the NCAA. The vast majority of UK fans, despite some misgivings and some loss of confidence in coach Gillispie, are still behind Gillispie and want to see him succeed. They want the UK program restored to greatness and realize that coach Gillispie deserves at least a full 3 seasons as head coach before he is fully evaluated. It would be terrific for the Cats to end this season on a very positive note…..and coupled with some talented recruits coming on board at UK next season……next season could finally be a breakthrough season for UK.
But before we get too far into the future, it starts Wednesday at Rupp Arena…..UK must defeat Georgia and take it one step at a time. This team must find consistency in it’s performance! I truly believe that UK’s players now realize that they can still control their destiny if they play hard….and play smart….and start with a win over Georgia. I predict a solid UK win over the Bulldogs. GO CATS!
Here's the SEC Standings as of 3/3/09 and each SEC teams opponents for the remaining SEC Schedule..
Tennessee 18-10 9-5 | 3/5 @ South Carolina, 3/8 Alabama
South Carolina 20-7 9-5 | 3/5 Tennessee, 3/7 @ Georgia
Kentucky 19-10 8-6 | 3/4 Georgia, 3/7 @ Florida
Florida 21-8 8-6 | 3/4 @ Mississippi St., 3/7 Kentucky
Vanderbilt 17-11 6-8 | 3/4 @ LSU, 3/8 Arkansas
Georgia 11-18 2-12 | 3/4 @ Kentucky, 3/7 South Carolina
LSU 25-4 13-1| 3/4 Vanderbilt, 3/7 @ Auburn
Auburn 19-10 8-6 | 3/3 @ Alabama, 3/7 LSU
Mississippi St. 17-12 7-7 | 3/4 Florida, 3/7 @ Mississippi
Alabama 16-12 6-8 | 3/3 Auburn, 3/8 @ Tennessee
Mississippi 15-13 6-8 | 3/4 @ Arkansas, 3/7 Mississippi St.
Arkansas 14-13 2-12 | 3/4 Mississippi, 3/8 @ Vanderbilt