Texas A&M Aggies 51, Kentucky Wildcats 68: Post Game Head Scratch

Andy Lyons

What would happen if Kentucky played two halves of good basketball back-to-back? Would it be like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters?

Every season, the game comes along where fans like me get fed up, and demand more. For me, it was this game — I was very unhappy with the first half despite a solid start. For the first five minutes, Kentucky played pretty well. From then until the half, they absolutely stank, in my view. Effort was low, there was almost no intensity or pride. It was a team acting like they were entitled to win versus a vastly inferior team that didn't want to be disrespected.

I wish, so much, that Kentucky would consistently give the effort we saw out of the Aggies tonight. They fought and scrapped for every ball, and they didn't seem to care that the Wildcats were fielding a bunch of high-school all-Americans. They wanted to play basketball, and they went after it with passion. Congrats to them, because they left me impressed, even if they were physically overmatched in this particular game. If they continue to give that effort, they may be the surprise of the league, but they were undone by a quick whistle and early fouls to their better players.

Here are the game stats:

Quick observations

  • I was angry after the first half, but Kentucky made up for it in the second with a quality team effort. It wasn't perfect, but it never is. They tried hard, and it paid off. That's all I ask, and I think that' all anyone in the Big Blue Nation asks.

  • Alex Poythress will be getting the game ball in the full postmortem, and no mistake. But you knew that.  This is not the only reason why:

  • All I want out of this team is effort. In the first half, it was not there. In the second, it was. What will this team be like when we get that effort for both halves? The other half of that question is, is there enough season left for us to ever see it?

  • Is there some reason Calipari played his rotation the last minute or so of the game? There probably is, but ... I just wish that didn't happen. It feels awkward.

  • We have read a lot about the extra work Alex Poythress has been putting in. We have been seeing the results. I am wondering if there is some compelling reason why this isn't rubbing off on the rest of the team?

  • Willie Cauley-Stein has hit the dreaded sophomore slump. It's a confidence thing. This was one of those games I remember so well as a player, when every time I would touch the ball something bad would happen. This too shall pass.

  • The Harrisons are getting better. Faster, please.

  • The offensive execution in the second half was so much better. Fewer careless passes, more patience, less wildness.

  • Kentucky crushed the Aggies on the glass. The universe is now returned to order after the Tennessee Volunteers disrupted the space-time continuum and threatened universal Armageddon by wearing out the Wildcats on the glass.

That's really all I have for now. I'll have a full postmortem tomorrow morning were we will do our usual careful review of the game. Have a good night, Big Blue Nation, and try to stay warm.

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