Well, Cat fans, we just didn't have enough tonight to get the job done. Congratulations to Mississippi State on a hard-fought victory. They did it just as predicted, with defense. As often happens in a home game when you are shooting a lousy percentage from three, a person who has been shooting them poorly all year steps up and makes a bunch -- in this case, Jamont Gordon.
Here is how I saw it:
- How good is Jarvis Vernado? Real good. Tonight, too good.
- What a gutty effort in the second half by Kentucky. I don't want to talk about injuries, I don't want to talk about officiating, I want to talk about guts by Joe Crawford, Ramel Bradley and Ramon Harris. If they had only played as hard in the first half ...
- I'd give anything for a true point guard.
- Patrick Patterson showed his freshman side again. His lack of maturity was obvious. A couple of charges right into Varnado's chest would have ... helped, although the way the zebras called this one, they probably would have been no-calls.
- Great job of coaching by Gillispie. Memorable moment -- Coury was frustrated after he thought he tied up an MSU player on an inbound, and was jawing to the official. Cut to Gillispie, who hollers "Shut your mouth!" to Coury. As Coury went down the floor, Gillispie winked and nodded approvingly to him. I have been pretty hard on Gillispie, but that was a great moment, and Coach did good.
- Great technical by Gillispie. It had to be done.
- Jamont Gordon is a great player, but he got away with more push-offs than I have ever seen in one game.
- "Letting them play" is one thing -- Letting them physically drub each other is quite another. This wasn't basketball, it was some kind of rugby hybrid. At the end of the game, I thought Crawford was going to have to punch the guy to get called. Apparently, placing a guy in a full Nelson isn't a foul in the SEC these days. Who knew?
Kentucky is finally learning how to work with the coach, and vice versa. But we have to get more players into the game, or by the end of the season, we'll be starting freshmen. And what was that weird triangle-and-two crap Gillispie threw in for a couple of possessions in the first half? Is that his attempt at a zone or something? Stick to man-to-man, Coach -- I think you have offended ol' zone enough. Yeeech.
Gators on Saturday. Most of the Big Blue Nation are salivating at the chance to hang one on them. If the Cats reproduce the effort they had tonight, we might just get that job done. Florida doesn't have a Varnado, so Patterson needs to show his ol' buddy Jai what an "L" looks like.