Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies. Let’s look at a few storylines that are developing today.
Kentucky’s performance against UIC
The young Wildcats really showed what their potential looks like Sunday night. Consider:
- Offensive efficiency: 1.32 points/possession. DE: 0.90.
- 2-point shooting: 74.5%.
- Effective FG% 69.8% (a rare case of 3-point and free throw shooting dragging down eFG%).
- Offensive rebound %: 35.7. This looks rather ordinary until you consider that when you shoot 75% from two and 33% from three, there won’t be many OR’s to be had.
Now consider the negatives that contain the frightening potential for improvement:
- Turnover %: 18.5. That’s high, but below my 20% threshold for suckage.
- Defensive rebounding %: 64.5. This is a pedestrian number that should’ve been better.
- FT%: 68. Not good enough.
- 3-point shooting: 33% on only 12 attempts. I think this should be a little better, but I can live with it.
This is what the team is capable of, and UIC was by no means a pushover. What hurt Illinois-Chicago is a plague of turnovers to the tune of 26%, which is more than one possession in four.
As you can see below with the Tennessee coaching hire, the Volunteer athletics department along with their fans are in a mad scramble to reach rock bottom where they set up a steam drill and try to dig to the center of the Earth. For those who have a deep loathing for all things Orange, this has to be fun to watch.
Taken together with the continuing meltdown at Louisville (despite their domination of UK’s football team Saturday), this has to be one of the all-time schadenfreude years for Kentucky fans in my memory.
KSR confirms exactly what I was thinking on Saturday as I sort-of watched the Governor’s Cup game:
Music City Bowl president makes it seem very likely Kentucky is headed their way https://t.co/uukf4N6FOU— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) November 28, 2017
I was at Churchill Downs, and they had it on the screens, but without audio. I didn’t need audio to know I was happy to have the racing distraction.
Tweet of the Morning
Virginia just became the third CBB team since the 2010-11 season to win after not attempting a single FT the entire game.— Max Meyer (@TheMaxMeyer) November 28, 2017
Amazing but dubious distinction.
- Mark Stoops not proud of the way the Governor’s Cup game played out. Talk about a gift for understatement…
- Nick Haynes makes a controversial tweet the day of the Louisville game that is troubling in more ways than one.
- Mark Story: “Across UK football history, I can’t imagine there have been many winning seasons that have ended with so much of the Kentucky fan base seeming disgruntled as this year.”
That’s because expectations were higher, and honestly, Kentucky underachieved significantly. Yes, the Louisville loss was ugly, but no uglier than the losses at Georgia and Mississippi State, two other uncompetitive games. It hurts more because Louisville, though.
Add to that late-game losses to Florida and Ole Miss, and what could have been a 9-win season with three ugly losses is now a 7-win season with two arguably avoidable heartbreakers.
That’s a lot of pain for just a minor bowl game.
- Quade Green making steady progress at point guard. I love his game, but I also love the game of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, although for different reasons.
- Fran Fraschilla’s critical tweet came just before UK dominated UIC. I think Frachilla is dead wrong about the skill level, and UK showed him the error of his ways.
- Just a tiny point of reference: Vermont has ripped off five straight wins after season-opening loss to Kentucky, and only one of them has been at home.
Other Kentucky sports
- More SEC weekly honors for volleyball. These ladies are killing it (pun intended).
- Volleyball has earned the #4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, will play in Memorial Coliseum, perhaps all the way to the Final Four.
- Dan Mullen is apparently the new Florida head coach. I kind of figured this might be coming, and it’s probably bad news for the rest of the SEC East.
- Whoa. Tennessee apparently tried to hire former Rutgers coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, and the fanbase freaked.
Currie tried to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to fill the Volunteers’ vacant head coaching position. The two parties reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding and were set to announce Schiano’s hiring at a press conference Sunday night. Everything was supposed to be smooth.
It was not smooth. Tennessee fans — joined by former players and, incredibly, a handful of local elected officials and candidates — unleashed an unprecedented torrent of anger about Schiano’s hiring.
Does the term, “Peasants with pitchforks” come to anyone else’s mind?
Even more: David Cutcliffe not interested in Tennessee job. If you need something to take your mind off Kentucky’s disappointing end of the regular season, perhaps this is it. Does anyone remember when Tennessee was a “destination” job?
- UTEP head coach Tim Floyd abruptly retires after the Miners lost to Lamar, causing a bit of head-scratching. Floyd hasn’t exactly covered himself with glory during his coaching career, and perhaps he’s had enough of hearing about it.
- Arizona drops three straight games, drops out of top 25. An amazing, dramatic fall for what many, maybe most, thought was the best team in college basketball coming into the season.
Other sports news
- “I cheated customers and did it well,” indicted Flying J employee tells jurors. Well, I’ve always heard that if you’re going to do something…
- Budweiser is on a mission to bring beer to Mars. I think beer would be a gift to the interplanetary community that I could definitely get behind.
- Teaching kids the important skills: Indiana high school eacher turned in by students for drawing out lines of cocaine in classes. Can we poke fun at Indiana University by proxy? I really want to…