Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Friday, January 30, 2015
Kentucky vs Alabama….1/31/2015
(Saturday 7PM) SEC Network
UK leads the series 103-37
Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC)
Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Head Coach: Anthony Grant
Career Record: 175-96 (64.6%) 8 Seasons
At Alabama: 99-71 (58.2%) 5 Seasons
2013-14 Record: 13-19
2013-14 SEC Record: 7-11
2013-14 Postseason: None
2014-15 SEC Record: 3-4
Alabama 82 Towson 54
Alabama 80 Western Carolina 74
Alabama 81 Southern Miss 67
Iowa State 84 Alabama 74
Alabama 76 Arizona State 71
Alabama 82 South Florida 71
Xavier 97 Alabama 84
Alabama 65 Tennessee Tech 53
Wichita State 53 Alabama 52
Alabama 69 Stillman 49
Alabama 60 Appalachian State 59
Alabama 56 UCLA 50
Alabama 76 North Florida 61
Alabama 65 Texas A&M 44
Alabama 56 Tennessee 38
South Carolina 68 Alabama 66
Kentucky 70 Alabama 48
Arkansas 93 Alabama 91 (OT)
Alabama 57 Auburn 55
Florida 52 Alabama 50
3 PT%-31.2% (6.4 PG)
Probable Starting Lineup:
Jimmie Taylor-F 6’10” Soph…………………….4.4 PPG
Michael Kessens-F 6’9” Soph…………………...6.9 PPG
Levi Randolph-G 6’5” Sr………………………..14.7 PPG
Rodney Cooper-G 6’6” Sr……………………….10.9 PPG
Ricky Tarrant-G 6’2” Jr………………………….13.1 PPG
Other Key Players:
Riley Norris-G/F 6’7” Fr…………………….…..4.7 PPG
Justin Coleman-G 5’10” Fr………………………5.0 PPG
Shannon Hale-F 6’8” Soph………………………7.6 PPG
This is a very key season for coach Anthony Grant who in his 5 seasons at Alabama has made only one NCAA appearance and had a very disappointing 13-19 record last season.
Coach Grant knows that he must get the Tide going in a very positive direction and hopefully get to the NCAA or he might be looking for another coaching job. Thus far, the Tide is off to a disappointing start with a 13-7 record and 3-4 in the SEC. After winning their first 2 SEC games, the Tide have lost 4 of their last 5….with 3 of those losses being by just 2 points.
Senior Levi Randolph leads the team in scoring, assists with 45 and steals with 30…..while Michael Kessons leads in rebounds with 110 and Jimmie Taylor leads in blocks with 37. Freshman Riley Norris leads the team in perimeter shooting hitting 14-30 for a blistering 46.7%….while senior Rodney Cooper is hitting 29-69 for an excellent 42.0%. Alabama is a good free throw shooting team hitting 73.5%….with the Tide’s 3 starting guards being outstanding shooters from the charity line. Randolph is hitting 83.2%….Cooper 84.2% and Tarrant 80.2% of their free throws.
Alabama lost badly to UK in Tuscaloosa 70-48 and now must face the Cats at Rupp arena. The Tide likely feel they are a much better team than the 22 loss to UK, but winning at Rupp arena is a rare occurance for any team.
3PT%-35.6% (5.8 PG)
Kentucky found Missouri to be a lot tougher on their home court as the Cats did win 69-53, but far from the 49 blowout previous win over the Tigers. As expected, Missouri played hard and were very physical and the much to closely called game turned into a foul fest with a total of 54 fouls called and made the game ugly.
UK did not play a great game, not even close, but they did make 27-37 foul shots which helped ensure a win. Game ball to the Harrison’s, especially Andrew, who scored 15 points on his aggressive drives to the basket making 9-11 free throws. Andrew also had 3 assists and 3 steals. WCS was missing in action for the 2nd game in a row as had only 2 points…missed all 4 free throws…grabbed only 3 rebounds with zero blocks. In fact, UK had only one block the entire game while committing 14 TO’s.
Towns struggled again finishing around the basket hitting only 3-8 in the paint as have most of UK’s big men. Johnson was only 2-6 in the paint, but Dakari did hit 4-5 free throws and grab 7 rebounds. It is very frustrating to see these very talented big men for UK have so much trouble putting the ball in the basket in the paint. Coach Cal has made it a priority in recent games to get the ball to the big men in the paint, but they have been disappointing in scoring around the basket.
Once again UK’s defense was solid for most of the game, but offensively the Cats still are a work in progress. In the previous Alabama game where the Cats prevailed 70-48, UK did have one of it’s best offensive games….hitting 50% from the field….making 8-17 perimeter shots…while nailing 16-18 free throws. Even though the game is played in Rupp arena, you can bet that the Tide will play hard and physical….and look for a huge upset. However, that’s not going to happen, but I do feel the Crimson Tide are a better team than they showed in Tuscaloosa and will play a much better game against the Cats.
Cats win by 10-15 points….GO CATS!
Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV
“I think we get a little bit spoiled every now and then. You know the numbers were fine. Points scored against us was fine. We had a couple of breakdowns that we typically don’t have, especially in pick-and-roll defense, where they scored, I think, six or eight points on that, which is pretty unusual against our team. But give them credit, they made adjustments to the first time we played them. When we were switching they were doing some things to us in the pick-and-roll game. But overall, to come back off the road and win by 16 in front of their biggest crowd they’ve had all year, it felt good.”
“Little bit of both. Little bit of both. Not only did it affect the ballhandler and the screener’s defender, but especially the guys off the ball where we try to, we call it tag. We’re trying to tag on the pick-and-roll to have help there and that helps wasn’t there, so it was almost more off the ball than it was on the ball.”
“Well, they played us all zone the first game and played their tandem matchup zone. I think they’ll mix it up a little bit this time with some man and some zone, and have us make shots. We did a good job in the first outing of getting the ball inside and playing inside out, which was really effective for us. It got them in a little bit of foul trouble. It got us into a good rhythm and we made shots that game and our players did a good job of following the game plan pretty well.”
“No, it wasn’t by design. I mean, if they’re open we want to shoot them, so from our standpoint, if they’re not forcing 3s we’ll take what they give us. Our big guys have been doing a good job of kicking it back out, probably could do it a few more (times), but we want our guys to be a little bit more aggressive going to the rim, especially Aaron (Harrison), and he showed that last night. In the last couple games he’s shown that. Against a zone could be different. Missouri played us all man-to-man. We just gotta go with how the game is flowing and take open shots when they’re there.”
“Yeah, I mean, give the players a ton of credit. They’re finding a way how to win games. It’s kinda neat that they can make their mark as a team. But they probably don’t even know it. It’s a good feeling to have, and we’re just going to try to keep stringing games along right now.”
“They’re definitely trying to be physical with him, there’s no question. He’s finding that out. I thought in the first half last night he played very very well, even though he had a turnover, I think, on the first possession of the game. (He) held his position much deeper into the paint. When he’s aggressive like that and goes and catches the ball with two hands and catches it in tight—we like that. We just don’t like when he fades away or he settles for getting post position of the block and that doesn’t do us any good and our spacing is terrible. But he knows ad he’s working at it. We need to have some type of presence inside, whether it be from Dakari (Johnson) or Karl(-Anthony Towns) or Willie (Cauley-Stein) or Marcus (Lee). Probably the first three more than Marcus, he’s more of an offensive rebounder type. But we’ll get that. For Karl it’s just a little of bit of confidence and understanding how strong you have to be to play on the blocks.”
“You’d have to ask a post player, I’m definitely not that. Don’t forget, he’s young. So I’m sure it’s a new thing playing against someone near or at the same size you are, not only in the games, but in practice every day when you’re going up against the bigger players on our team. It’s only going to help him and it’s helped our entire team because the practices have been competitive, it just has to translate into games.”
“No. You know what, he warmed up great, he had a great attitude, really good shootaround. He was aggressive and he pushed the ball. He was playing with confidence last night, maybe seeing the ball go in a couple times, even if it’s free throws. We really liked – his pace of game didn’t start great last night but toward the latter part of the first half and the second half he pushed the tempo a little bit more and was more aggressive and used his size to his advantage.”
“That’s probably the only drawback, but we’re going to face that in the SEC Tournament. We’re going to face it in the NCAA Tournament. We got back about 1:40 last night, so the guys probably got back to campus about 2 o’clock. We’re going to work out later today, show them some film and get ready for Alabama. But, these kids are used to playing AAU basketball where they play four or five times a day. That’s a good thing about playing as many players as we’re playing, they should be somewhat OK physically.”
On what the conversation was like at halftime …
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Video courtesy of Southeastern Conference
Kentucky vs Missouri 1/29/2015
(Thursday 9 PM) ESPN
UK leads series 7-0
Missouri Tigers (SEC)
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Head Coach: Kim Anderson
Career Record: 274-95 (74.3%) 12 Seasons
At Missouri: This is his 1st season.
2013-14 Record: 23-13
2013-14 SEC Record: 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: 1-1 NIT
2014-15 Record: 7-12
2014-15 SEC Record: 1-5
UMKU 69 Missouri 61
Missouri 56 Valparaiso 41
Missouri 78 Oral Roberts 64
Arizona 72 Missouri 53
Purdue 82 Missouri 61
Missouri 74 Chaminade 60
Missouri 65 Southeastern Missouri 61
Oklahoma 82 Missouri 63
Missouri 78 Elon 73
Illinois 62 Missouri 59
Xavier 74 Missouri 58
Oklahoma St. 74 Missouri 72 (OT)
Missouri 72 Lipscomb 60
Missouri 74 LSU 67 (OT)
Auburn 85 Missouri 79
Kentucky 86 Missouri 37
Tennessee 59 Missouri 51
Texas A&M 62 Missouri 50
Arkansas 61 Missouri 60
3 PT%-35.3% (6.7 PG)
Probable Starting Lineup:
Johnathan Williama III-F 6’9” Soph…………………..12.6 PPG
Jakeenan Gant-F 6’8” Fr……………………………….5.1 PPD
Namn Wright-G 6’5” Fr………………………………..5.7 PPG
Keith Shamburger-G 5’11” Sr………………………….8.6 PPG
Wes Clark-G 6’0” Soph……………………………...…9.6 PPG
Other Key Players:
Tramaine Isabell-G 6’0” Fr……………………………..4.7 PPG
Keanay Post-F 6’11” Sr…………………………………3.6 PPG
Montaque Gill-Caesar-G 6’6” Fr………………………..10.8 PPG
The Missouri AD and Tiger fans were shocked when coach Frank Haith left Missouri for Tulsa. The administration decided to then hire Missouri alum Kim Anderson who had led Central Missouri to a DII national championship. Coach Anderson took the reins of the Tigers this season having to contend with the departure of the team’s 3 leading scorers. On the plus side, Missouri had a recruiting class ranked 3rd in the SEC and top 20 by analysts.
Coach Anderson goes deep in his bench with 11 players averaging 10 plus minutes. Among the top 8 players 4 are freshmen and 2 are sophomores so this is a very young Missouri team. Johnathan Williams is the leading scorer and leads in rebounds. Namn Wright and Keith Shamburger lead in shooting from the perimeter with Wright hitting a blistering 44.4% and Shamburger a solid 36.5% while also leading the team in assist with 60. Wes Clark leads in team steals with 33.
Very rough start for Missouri with an overall 7-12 record and after winning their 1st SEC game they have dropped 5 straight including an 86-37 beat down by UK. In the UK loss, the Tigers shot a dismal 27.1% and made only 1-18 perimeter shots….while getting out rebounded 46-27. Missouri will very likely play much better at home, but it would be a huge mountain to climb to make up a 49 point loss!
3 PT%-35.7% (6.2 PG)
Kentucky got a payback win over a hardnose physical South Carolina team 58-43. The Cats matched the Gamecocks intensity and played great defense. However, the offense once again struggled, especially in the paint where UK’s big frontline continues to have trouble scoring and finishing in the paint. Frankly, it’s very disappointing to see the Cats very talented big men have so little impact offensively on the game more than half way through the season. Fortunately, UK is getting excellent production from Booker and the other guards have also contributed, but it is very dangerous to start depending on outside shooting to win tough games. I would hate to think where this team would be without the tremendous offense that Booker has provided….he is shooting a fantastic 50% from the perimeter…..51.2% overall….83.3% from the free throw line. Also, Booker has played solid defense!
In the South Carolina game UK was out rebounded 40-28 and grabbed only 3 offensive rebounds compared to 18 by the Gamecocks. Even in the Vandy game, UK barely out rebounded the Dores by 3 rebounds. Bottom line….UK’s frontline needs a lot of improvement on their offense and they need to start dominating the boards in games.
UK totally dominated Missouri at Rupp arena winning by 49 points. However, the Tigers will not be nearly as easy on their home floor and they will have their 2nd leading scorer, Montaque Gill- Caesar back in the lineup….as his injury cost him from playing in the Rupp arena game.
Missouri was totally embarrassed by UK at Rupp arena and you can bet that the Tigers will play super hard to make up for that embarrassment. UK must guard against being over confident after their very easy win over the Tigers. The Cats won’t beat Missouri by 49 points, but if they continue their great defense and intensity I see a 20 point win for UK. GO CATS!