Wildcats’ play impresses Pitino
As much fun as we make of the formerly beloved UK coach, he makes some really nice comments about this year's team.
Terrence Jones is way different that DeMarcus Cousins.
Remember how cousins used to fly off at Coach Cal?
"He got in trouble a couple times for playing around in practice," Jones said. "I was like, ‘Oh, man. I hope Enes can play.' He changed, though. He changed in a big way. He helped us improve as a team a lot just by working hard."
Stories like Josh Harrellson are one of the many things that make Kentucky Basketball so incredible.
- DeAndre Daniels to choose by Monday or Tuesday.
Hat tip: Aaron's blog.
- Pitino: Failure to follow game plan killed the Cards
Freakish freshman guard Brandon Knight scored a cool 25 points to lead the Kentucky locomotive, but it was senior center Josh Harrellson, the old-school rail-splitter, who was the true hero, scoring 23 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to lead the Cats to a 78-63 basting of the home team.
Only John Clay could evoke the rhetorical image of Josh Harrellson as Abraham Lincoln. And then there's this:
Plus, we must certainly mention that the 6-foot-6 Liggins took Louisville's point guard, the 5-9 lightning bug Peyton Siva, completely out of the contest, and sent Pitino into such a frustrated funk he was reduced to chastising longtime assistant Ralph Willard for not telling him he was about to use his last timeout.
I commented on this to my wife, but I didn't know that Pitino was dressing down Willard. I knew he was angry at someone, though.
Mark story is the most annoying and least perceptive of all the Lexington Herald-Leader writers. To wit:
With no slight to Kentucky big man Josh Harrellson, whose tour de force performance of 23 points and 14 rebounds will live long in UK-U of L rivalry lore, the biggest reason was UK's freshman point guard, Knight.
With due respect to Story, that is just wrong. Yes, Knight's cool competence and scoring was a very important part of the victory, but it was not whatsoever the biggest reason for it. The biggest reason, if we must point out one, was what DeAndre Liggins did to Peyton Siva defensively. He took the heart right out of the young Cardinal point guard, and then shut down Preston Knowles after he got white-hot in the second half.
This was a total team effort, and in the macro sense, none of the individuals were more important than the other. But Liggins soon-to-be-legendary defensive effort was the one factor that Louisville simply could not overcome, along with Harrellson's outstanding rebounding. Knight was very important in many ways, and arguably tied for the second biggest factor behind Josh Harrellson's offensive rebounding and scoring efficiency. But that is yet another debate. By the way, Harrellson got the game ball in the postmortem because his individual achievement was so much more impressive. But my view is that Liggins was slightly more important strategically.
Harrellson named MVP in UK's win over Louisville
Cal was emotional not just because of what Josh has done, but because he feels bad that he didn't spend enough time coaching his center last year. And how many coaches would even admit that?
Great, great question. Everybody thinks they have Calipari figured out. Almost all of them are wrong.
- Wildcats rout Louisville Cardinals
— If you live in Louisville, then you know how sweet this is. Not only did Kentucky win, but it was clear that UK was BY FAR the better team. Don’t let a UL fan tell you that they lost because Buckles didn’t play or any other nonsense. Buckles would have made A difference, but he would not have made THE difference. UK was far superior on both sides of the court and anyone who says otherwise simply does not want to face reality.
Right on, Matt. Right on. As a fellow Louisvillian, I can tell anyone who doesn't live here in the shadows of
Barad-dûrLouisville that this is far sweeter to us, quite possibly, than anyone else. You'll have to trust me on that.
But before jumping off Pitino's so-called bridge season, a few things should be noted. This UK team is legit, and then some. A year ago the Wildcats were a bunch of NBA-type guys toying around with one year in college. There's still NBA talent, but this is a serious college basketball team. And Friday's win was its most impressive yet.
It might be time to rethink playing UK on an annual basis. We haven't had that much success against them lately. We have lost 5 of the last 7 games and I am really get sick of hearing all those UK blowhards at work after the game. All it does is help their SOS and dilute ours. I say drop them and replace them with a game with a national power. I may call in sick on Monday.
Does this sound familiar? I remember UK fans making this same sort of argument as recently as two years ago. So before you smirk, think -- were you agreeing with this when the Cardinals blitzed us back in 2008?
To their credit, most of the Card fans don't seem to agree.