Well, we can legitimately complain about a lot of things in that half, but Kentucky’s defense isn’t one of them. They lost some guys and gave up some buckets, but no team is perfect. Overall, though, they were extremely good and that’s really what led to the 10-point lead. Make no mistake, though, this USC team came to play. The Gamecocks have played excellent defense, but they are just so offensively challenged right now, they are lucky not to be down 15 or even 20.
The offense continues to grind along like a wheezy jalopy. 48% from the floor is not awful, especially on the road, but Kentucky is having a very hard time getting points from the free throw line. Kentucky continues to flirt with disaster by leaving lots of easy points on the floor.
First half box score
HALFTIME: #Kentucky 34, South Carolina 24. Cats closed half with 11-0 run to take biggest lead at the break. pic.twitter.com/H21ie5cWjr— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) January 24, 2015
Calipari had it right in the halftime interview — some of the guys are just not physical enough to play today. Unless they are going to get in there and wrestle, because that’s what the officials have decided the game should be today, then they aren’t going to play. I’m looking at you, Karl-Anthony Towns.
Kentucky needs to make the simple plays in the second half. Stop picking the ball up, drive on your man and hit the open guy or make layups. Pressure defense like this is easy to play against when you have good athletes, because the floor spacing gives you driving lanes. Kentucky needs to take advantage of it.