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South Carolina at Kentucky -- Quick thoughts

What an impressive effort by Devan Downey and the South Carolina Gamecocks.  This is a team that has real potential if they can get some bigger people, but today, the Wildcats were just too big and strong for them, despite the fact that Kentucky was missing one of their 3 main scorers and rebounders, Joe Crawford.  Props to South Carolina and their entire team for an outstanding effort.

It seems that this Kentucky team has finally found itself, and to pull off this win with Joe Crawford in street clothes was an amazing accomplishment.  Neither Jodie Meeks nor Derek Jasper are in sufficient shape to play the iron-man minutes Crawford has been logging, but despite that, they managed to log 38 and 31 minutes respectively.

My thoughts on this game:

  • If you can't match up with Patterson, it is tough to beat the Cats.  His strength and motor are amazing.
  • Perry Stevenson's confidence continues to grow.  He needs to be more reliable on the 15 footer, though.
  • Kentucky shot 51% from 2, 61% from 3, and 78% from the line and won by 8.  How does this happen?  USC got up 14 more shots than the Cats.
  • When Kentucky keeps it at 15 turnovers or under, it seems that we are always in the game.
  • Ramel Bradley is simply amazing right now.  That behind-the-back turnover he made on a fast break just shows you how his confidence is spiking.  And what a shooting display - 8-13 from the floor, 5-5 from 3 for 26 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 turnovers.  I wonder if USC left their earrings in ...
  • Perry Stevenson helps out Patterson so much in so many tiny ways.
  • Jodie Meeks is still not 100%, but he gave whatever he had today.  Great effort.
  • Jasper's three-point shooting is frightening.  If he could only take more.  What an improvement from last year.
  • Ramon Harris only played 11 minutes.
  • We continue to outrebound our opponents.
  • Great job getting the ball into the post.  Gillispie must be pleased with that.
  • UK's defense was not all that today.  Gillispie can't be pleased about that.
  • Rupp Arena is becoming an advantage again.
Overall, a great job by Kentucky getting it done.  Whenever you win a game with a starter down, especially when you have a bench as shallow as Kentucky, it is impressive and reason to celebrate.