After downing the South Carolina Gamecocks yesterday in Rupp Arena and playing one of their best games of the season in the process, the Kentucky Wildcats find themselves with four critical games that will go a long way toward deciding where they will wind up in the NCAA tournament seeding.
Calipari is famous for claiming to worry about the NCAA seed and not such mundane things as SEC championships, but as is usually the case, one hand washes the other -- win the SEC regular season and tournament championship, and get a high seed. The regular season seems out of reach at the moment barring a collapse by Alabama and/or Florida, but the Wildcats will get a shot at all the teams ahead of them in the East before tournament time. That could be a good and a bad thing at the same time.
Even in 31-point win, Cal says Cats got too sloppy :: Vaught's Views
No game is perfect, but Kentucky had some some of their best moments of the season defensively and offensively in this game.
The oldtimers tell you that your horse doesn't win the Kentucky Derby at the eighth pole (the final 1/8th of a mile of the race). Usually, the winning move comes on the final turn as the horse positions itself for a strong finish. And perhaps that's what the Kentucky Wildcats did in the past week. Kentucky built a big lead against South Carolina and kept it, so that was progress.
This is right, I think. If Kentucky can finish strong, a top 4 seed is a very good possibility. A 3 is probably unlikely unless UK runs the table and gets to the SEC championship game.
Macy put the technical on Stansbury in the context of a long, difficult season for Mississippi State. Suspensions. Fight in the stands in Hawaii. Now throw in Kentucky native who would like to make good back in his home state. Not to mention the two games of last season in which officiating played a big role in UK's two overtime victories.
So what Macy is saying is that the officials should have realized that Stansbury was having a bad year and allowed him to get away with his clearly excessive tirade? Maybe Tipton just said it wrong or perhaps I'm misunderstanding him, but that's how I interpreted it.
With all due respect to a great UK player, I completely, profoundly, and totally disagree if that's what he was saying. This is not loathing for Stansbury, but a coach's circumstances are not something the officials should be worried about at all. That way lies biased officiating and anarchy.
I'm sure most of this is little more than coaching empathy, for which we can surely make allowances -- both Macy and Gottfried are ex-coaches who have surely suffered a few similar situations. But that technical was earned, the foul call was correct, and there is no doubt about either in my mind.
- John Clay: UK gains momentum for late push :: Lexington Herald-Leader
- Notebook: Phillips looking ahead to 2012 class :: Lexington Herald-Leader
Miller had plenty of help. Brandon Knight added 12 points and set a career-high with nine assists, Doron Lamb threw in 18 while making his second straight start and Liggins appeared to have no problem coming off the bench.
It's interesting that Calipari has started Lamb two games back to back, once for Miller and once for Liggins. Hard to say it hasn't worked out okay.
Liggins noted UK Coach John Calipari had tried different players in the sixth-man role this season. "It was my turn," he said. "It was great. I came off the bench last year."
The change in this young man is striking. Can you believe he is the same guy who refused to go into the game in Las Vegas two years ago?
Ditto for the Wildcats in general. This was arguably Kentucky's best performance of the season. Horn's Gamecocks are not a good team at this stage ("I'm incredibly disappointed in our team in that we didn't even compete," Horn said), but, still, it says a lot that Kentucky came out with the throttle wide open and buried a team the Wildcats should bury.
You know, I think this is right. It's easy not to get too excited about this win because South Carolina hasn't been that competitive lately, but make no mistake, the Wildcats played some of their best basketball of the season yesterday.
Coach K not a fan of mid-game interviews :: Sporting News
I think mid-game interviews are fine as long as we don't expect too much. Calipari's rather brief interview the other day is a case in point.
- 10 Takeaways: Misery Valley, 1 seed worries and Arizona’s top cat :: Beyond the Arc
Forget the stat sheet. Kentucky coach John Calipari doesn’t need to look at it to know Darius Miller is finally starting to get it.
I sure hope so. It certainly looked like it yesterday.
- Player Quotes After UK Blows Out South Carolina :: Lexington, Kentucky
Draft Rules Fail Basics of Amateurism :: The Blog of the NCAA
As always, John Infante raises some very good and cogent points about the NCAA bylaws, this time the inconsistencies in how the draft rules are enforced differently for different sports.
Although the players and owners insist they hope to avoid another lockout, they remain far apart on key negotiating points. Stern said each side rejected the other side's initial proposal during a two-hour meeting on Friday. At this point, the sides can't seem to agree on the league's financial statements from the past two seasons.
At this point, a lockout, and a very long and possibly unprecedented lockout, looks likely. This will affect the NBA draft this year for sure unless something remarkable happens, and it will make for an interesting draft next year with a lot of good players holding on in college.
It's hard to imagine what will happen if every eligible player returns for Kentucky with the recruiting class coming in. Hard to imagine, but tasty on the tongue.
Billy Packer Doesn't Like All These March Madness Games On TV :: SBNation.com
Oh, Billy, you're so silly. Thank God you've been put out to pasture.
- VIDEO: John Wall Bounces An Alley-Oop To Blake Griffin, Makes Dunk Contest Irrelevant :: SBNation.com
- Whole Class in Jordan Brand Classic :: Chris Diggs - UK Fan Blog
"I think it's obviously a joke that anybody would refer to (Liggins and Miller) as role players," Horn said. "I don't know what that means. I don't know any role players that get 22."
Heh. Well, they are certainly capable role players, but they have been role players so far this year, nonetheless.
- BBL: Kentucky men cruise; Women meet Vandy today :: John Clay’s Sidelines
- John Calipari Talks About Win Over South Carolina :: AllKYHoops
- Cal: SEC referees are ‘best’ he’s seen ‘by far’ :: Jerry Tipton on UK basketball
- CoachCal.com :: Post Game Mash-Up: South Carolina
- Wildcat Blue Nation :: WBN Kentucky Basketball Roundtable: What players may jump to the NBA after this season?
The question a lot of disillusioned college hoops fans at several schools are asking these days is where Billy Gillispie will be seated when the 2011-12 season opens next November.
OU makes sense as a possible destination for the mercurial Gillispie. (Hat tip: Rush The Court).