Pictured below: A cock we can't beat
Well that was certainly a surprise. I had thought of the South Carolina game as a potential loss earlier in the season, but when they dismissed their big guy and Archie went down with an injury I changed my mind. Devan Downey is officially the "Cat killer" now. Darrin Horn is now 3-0 against the Cats. I don't wanna jump on the bandwagon of Cat fans who dismiss the loss as a good thing. It can be a learning experience, no doubt. However, winning with clutch play late in the game could have been a good learning experience too. In the long term I do think this loss will turn out to be a good thing if they respond the right way, but man I wanna win em all. I'm still pleased with the way the Cats have played this season. Their 19-1 record is better than I thought it would be at this point. Below are some of my thoughts about the game.
-Patrick Patterson needs to immediately go through the process of changing his name to Waldo because I don't know where the heck he is. How in the world can you have a young team in a tight road game and your veteran first team all american takes 4 shots? Why has Patterson seemed to disappear the last few games? I think he's lost in the offense. He doesn't seem to be comfortable when it gets into a halfcourt game. He gets most of his points now off of jumpers and running the break, but I assume he is still pretty potent in the post if he wants to be. Is Cal just not wanting him down there demanding the ball or does Pat just not do it? I thinks it's probably a little bit of both. I don't mean that Cal doesn't want Pat to post up. I just think he's that confident in Cousins that he wants that to be the first post option. I also think that's a damn good option, but there's room for Pat to do a little "down low" work as well. This is Patterson's team. It's time someone told him to act like it.
-Still on the Patterson topic. When there was just under a minute left in the game Patterson got 2 big offensive rebounds. Why was he so hellbent on getting the ball out to Wall around the 3 point line? Take that ball and put it in the hoop big fella. He almost threw the second one away he was trying so hard to get rid of it. It was almost like he was in a panic. I also don't know why they were so dead set on getting a 3 up. It was a 4 point game and a 2 would have been fine. I would have thrown it to Boogie. He was pretty much unstoppable.
-I know you can look at any close game and point out a few plays that could have changed the game, but there were 2 plays in this one that pretty much let me know that this wasn't the Cat's night. Dodson's breakaway missed layup was the first one. Dunk the ball!!!!!! The second was that Downey "and 1" with 2 seconds on the shot clock. Did Liggins actually foul him on that play or was it a good acting job? The replay wasn't clear, but it didn't look like a foul to me.
-First let me put this in bold letters: I DO NOT think the refs cost UK the game. Now with that said, the refs in the SEC are horrible. They seem to get worse every year. Terribly inconsistent. They make as many bad calls in the Cats favor as they do against them. I repeat: I'm not trying to say that the refs cost us the game. I just wanted to voice my overall displeasure with their work. That offensive goaltending on Orton was especially bad. Why can they go to the monitors 15 times a game to see if somebody's foot is on the line on a 3, but they can't go look and see if the ball was on the rim on that play? That may not be the ref's fault. It's probably just a rule. I'm not really sure what's reviewable and what's not. Tom Eades, if you're reading this, let us know in the comments section. By the way, you suck too.
-These Cats have got to slow down some during the game. They are so addicted to turning every single rebound into a fast break that it leads to costly and unnecessary turnovers. If Wall or Bledsoe would just come to the ball sometimes instead of streaking down the court the Cats would commit at least 5 fewer turnovers per game. We make way too many risky outlet passes because our guards wanna get run outs. I love playing fast and I love our speed. I just wish they would not try for the long outlet so often.
-John Wall has got to start "bringing it" the entire game. I don't mean that he lacks effort. We've all witnessed it several times this season where he goes on a tear for a few minutes like he needs to remind us that he's the best player in the building. I wish he would start the game off with that "take over" attitude and keep it until the final buzzer. Hopefully these guys know now that they can't just turn it on when they want to and still win.
-I just typed something about Wall being the best player in the building. Is that even true anymore? Big Boogie is staking his claim to that title in my opinion. With all due respect to Matthew Pilgrim, Cousins is a beast. He makes plays that most centers just can't make. Plus he's keeping his composure lately and not getting into foul trouble as much. He also hustles more than anybody else on the team. It blows my mind that these mock drafts have him going in the teens. If a team picks Ed Davis or Cole Aldrich over Cousins, they should shoot their GM on the spot. I truly believe that Cousins and Wall should be the top 2 picks in the draft, and I'm starting to wonder which one will be #2.
-Devan Downey didn't do anything unexpected. He actually didn't even reach his SEC scoring average. He shot 9-29. The Cats got beat by giving up too many offensive rebounds and getting outhustled. That's just my opinion. I'm not trying to discredit Downey's performance. He's a great player. He's probably the best guard in the SEC this year. He's not gonna be the best long term, but this year he probably is. He made some BIG TIME plays in the game tonight. The fact that he's a midget makes it even more miraculous.
-I got on Facebook earlier and saw a few taunts from opposing fans. It's great to know we're back and have everybody's attention. Marnie Smith posted that "the Cats can't handle being #1". Some dude replied that "UL can't handle being #47, stay humble". Pretty classic. When the roles were reversed last year (Cats sucked, Cards didn't) I don't remember Cat fans taunting UL after they lost a game. I'm sure it happened in places. I just don't remember it being all over sites like Facebook. Kentucky is 19-1. That's an awesome record. They will still be a top 5 team. Calm down Card fans. We're still better than you.
-Be proud of the Cats. They started the year off great and were bound to stumble at some point. In Billy G's first season UK won 18 games. We've already passed that mark this year. In his second season we won 19 games during the regular season before winning one in the SEC tourney and 2 in the NIT. We've already tied that regular season mark this year. The program has come a long way in a very short time. Enjoy this team and don't get too down about 1 loss to a bunch of cocks.
-That's all. Please don't forget to read the blog in mid-June. We hope to have John Littlepage's first post by then. Have a nice day!!!!!!