First of all, thanks to Campbellsville University for coming into Rupp Arena and fearlessly taking on the much bigger and more athletic Wildcats. The Tigers were full of hustle, effort, and teamwork, and they helped contribute to forcing the Wildcats into 23 turnovers and making them look quite a bit less impressive than their press clippings have been.
Well, John Calipari said it would look ugly early, and he was not kidding. This was as ugly as the north end of a south-bound camel, and take it from a guy who has seen that far closer than anyone would want to, that's ugly. No ice cream there, and no ice cream here tonight.
This is a big, big "but." This is a euphoric "but" rather than a damning one. This team was more fun to watch at its worst than last year's team was at it's best, excepting Meeks' lights-out performance at Tennessee. This was an ugly game, but it was incredibly beautiful in that this was clearly the kind of team that can crush people into the dust when they finally figure it out. It is a thing of beauty to see a team that clearly has no clue still recognize that they are so superior to the other team that it really doesn't matter what the other team does.
Ugly, yes, but like a nasty, hairy caterpillar that you know will turn into a beautiful butterfly. More thoughts after the jump.
- Kentucky only managed a 10-rebound advantage against a much shorter team. That's a real problem that needs attention.
- UK really looked out of shape at times to compete in this style. No surprise, at this point.
- 3-14 from three. Well, we knew this was going to be a problem.
- 50% from the field against this team is not satisfactory.
- Eric Bledsoe is a lot better than I expected. He is not far behind Wall. I do hope is ankle is okay.
- Patrick Patterson was very quiet, and I have no idea why. This is a guard-oriented offense, but 4 points and 5 rebounds? What the heck?
- Maybe it was because he came in late, but Perry Stevenson just went nuts. 11 points and 2 rebounds in six minutes? That's off-the-charts efficiency.
- Darnell Dodson took a few too many shots for my taste. He's good, but I thought he put up some pretty questionable shots. But I did love his energy on defense.
- Darius Miller was great on defense, but he must involve himself more in the offense.
- Seven rebounds for Daniel Orton. I liked his game, I wish he had gotten in better offensive position.
- Jon Hood did okay, but I expected a bit more.
- No DeAndre Liggins. Could he be in the doghouse already?
- You would have thought that Josh Harrellson would have been more of a factor against such a small team.
- Ramon Harris? What can I say, he did what he always does -- maximum effort and doing the little things.
- DeMarcus Cousins can be so much better than he is, and he is already pretty good.
- Turnovers are going to plague us in the early season. I just hope we get them under control before they start costing us games.
Bottom line, as ugly and ungainly as this game was, the display of raw talent was amazing, and the speed of the game, when it wasn't weirdly frenetic, was a sight for sore eyes. This team will have a lot of film to study in this game, but I loved they way they stood in and took charges, and played defense in the first half. In the second half, the defense kind of stank, but I think that was more due to conditioning issues that will quickly get corrected.