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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: SEC Tournament Day 2 Edition

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. Mark Stoops to get picture on Maker's Mark bottle. Bat Cats open SEC play tomorrow at Alabama. More.

Kevin C. Cox

Today is day two of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, wherein Kentucky discovers it's foe for tomorrow; the Alabama Crimson Tide or the LSU Tigers.  That game happens at 7:00PM tonight.

Tweet of the Morning

Any established Division I coach should not answer the phone if an Alabama area code appears on it. Even a liar like Pearl.

Your Quickies:

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  • Team Speed Kills looks at Kentucky as an SEC Tournament contender. Consider:

    The main question now is whether the team can regroup from its ugly last five games. The Wildcats are just 2-3 in those contests, and the wins aren't terribly inspiring. One was a one-point overtime win over LSU, and the other was a 55-48 win over Alabama a week ago. Also in there was last weekend's drubbing against Florida and the inexplicable loss to South Carolina. A team with this much talent has no business losing a game like that one.

    Boy, you got that right. It also seems to have fired up the Gamecocks, who've now won 3 of their last 4, with the lone loss being a beat-down by Florida.

  • Jerry Tipton rains on our parade. Who could have seen that coming?

    The Cats did say the tweak got a test run in practices, which suggested it might have something to do with a more aggressive and physical style of play. Calipari apologized to the players for taking the NCAA at its word that games would be called more tightly in hopes of reducing physical play.

    Yeah. Like I said, who could have seen that coming? Evidently not Coach Calipari. If he was still believing it by the time the first few SEC games came around, he should have gone back and read our threads. Or just watched the film. Since SEC play started, the "new focus" has gone out the window and into the dustbin. A fair question is, why did it take Calipari 18 games to notice?

  • Consider:

    The failure of this Kentucky team is not that the freshmen have underperformed, but rather they have failed to meet ultra-high expectations. Even as Calipari has exploited the one-and-done approach, his achievements — a national championship in 2012, which followed a Final Four appearance the previous year — came with the help of some seasoned upperclassmen.

    This is the easy, facile argument. It no doubt is a factor. If that was the only thing this team lacked, it would be comforting, in a way. But I think it had more to do with a lack of overall comfort within the team, a lack of point guard play, and a coach who uncharacteristically developed tunnel-vision.

  • Kyle Tucker takes a stab at what the "tweak" might be. My favorites:

    Explained to the Harrison twins that it’s OK to pass to open teammates.

    Well, one of them anyway. And:

    Realized he forgot to explain the dribble-drive offense to this team.

    This one, I truly believe. Finally:

    Did he say tweak? He meant "twerk!" Miley Cyrus hired as motivational speaker.


  • This video of Willie Cauley-Stein contains some interesting comments:


    One thing I really like about Willie is that he gives a very coherent interview, and is very frank in his comments without being careless or frivolous.

  • Anthony Hickey was honored by John Calipari's gesture after the LSU game at Kentucky.

  • Karl Towns Jr. has a very mature view of Kentucky's struggles:

    "I just think it’s freshmen pains right now," Towns said. "It was fortunate enough for Coach Cal to have Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and some seniors to the point where freshmen pains weren’t so bad. Right now I just think it’s two young teams in a row and they’re just trying to gel, find each other’s tendencies and consistencies with one another. I think that right now Cal has them on a better track and I think that they’re going to have a great run in the NCAA Tournament."

    Hope springs eternal, Karl. Can't wait to see you in Blue and White.

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