Now THAT was uncalled for......
Painful, disheartening, flabbergasted, angry, frustrated. I think I ran through all of the emotional gambit while watching the UK Hoops squad get handed it's second straight loss. Congratulations to Tennessee, they were a juggernaut tonight. They wanted to make a statement at home against UK, and they did just that.
Coach Mitchell has some serious coaching to do with his ladies this week, as they head to Tuscaloosa next to complete this three game road trip, and so far the results have been less than stellar to say the least. And with only a three day turnaround, as the game with Alabama is Thursday night, it will not be an easy task. The Hoops Squad needs to right the ship and get their swagger back quick, fast , and in a hurry. Championship teams don't get blown out by 37 points when they have the opportunity to complete a sweep of their best opponent, and cinch an SEC title in the process.
More After The Jump ... no matter how painful it may be ...
There are several points to emphasize here, so I am going to do this in no particular order. Honestly, because they all contributed heavily to the loss.
Fouls: Bria Goss and Amber Smith were both sitting with two fouls each just before this entire affair got out of hand. UK never recovered from that in the first half, but in the second half, it was UT's use of their size and footwork to keep the Cats fouling and unable to get into their smothering press.
Offensive Execution: Simply put, there was none. Now that can be a bit misleading as UK feeds off of their defense to get their points, but that one comes next. For right now the Hoops Squad simply has got to learn to play through bigger and stronger teams. I know that sounds easy to say, but it is still the truth. There is no way that UK will get to the Final Four or anywhere close to it unless they start playing through these kinds of games.
Defense: What is normally the staple of UK's diet has been simply non-existent the last two outings. Tennessee is just a better team and could exploit it so much more. At one point UK trailed by over 40 points in this game. That is not UK defense. Tennessee ran through half-executed screens, and passed over the top of and ran through the rest of Coach Matthew Mitchell's vaunted D. And when the press didn't work, nothing else worked either. UK forgot how to rebound, how to get inside position, and how to control their opponents aggressive attacks on the boards.
Shooting %: No, I am not going to start quoting stats here, it is against my nature. But I can tell you this. The only thing worse than UK's offensive execution was their shooting tonight. Other than A'Dia Mathies, UK looked lost on the offensive side of the ball, in everything they did.
All in all, I guess that Coach Mitchell will be looking to write this one off, although he said that last week about the LSU game already. I personally am so desperate to find something positive about this mess I may actually delve into those stats I hate so much, looking for a rose among the thorns.
Next game is the aforementioned Alabama contest, Thursday night, 7:30, in Tuscaloosa. Let us hope this road trip ends better than it started. No TV, so no live blog, unless I can find a miracle somewhere.