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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Day after Christmas Edition

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Kentucky drops dramatically in the AP poll after losing to UCLA, but can redeem some of that versus Louisville this Friday.

CBS Sports Classic Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Good morning,ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

First off, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you prefer to celebrate during the season. Unfortunately, we Kentucky fans had to carry around the burden of a loss to UCLA down in New Orleans.

As we will probably see all too often this season, this loss was due to an inability to defend the pick and roll and straight-line drives to the basket. As we all know, the pick and roll is tough to defend even at the professional level, but Kentucky has to figure out how to defend it some of the time, at least. Straight-line drives are merely a matter of picking your poison, but the case of allowing players into the paint is almost always worse than a jump shot. As of now, however, these young guys don’t seem to understand that.

You have to give credit to UCLA — they really made shots, both open and challenged. Kris Wilkes in particular made some tough looks from three, and that really took the starch out of Kentucky and put them on their heels. The Wildcats shot poorly from just about everywhere and while some of that was due to game pressure and a typical loss of poise, too much was also due to poor shot selection, impatience, and frankly, blowing point-blank layups.

Friday will offer a chance for redemption against a suddenly hot Louisville team that has now reeled off six victories in a row, albeit against mostly lesser foes.

If you happen to be off on Friday, you’ll get to watch the Louisville-Kentucky basketball game as well as the Music City Bowl where UK football faces off against Northwestern, where it will be Wildcat on Wildcat crime. The basketball game tips at 1:00 and the football game begins at 4:30. For those of you unfortunate enough to have to work a full schedule on Friday, at least you’ll have the chance to see the second half of the football game. Cold comfort, I know, but alas, the gods of scheduling have decided to stick it to you this season.

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I gained 3 pounds just looking at this thing.

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We just kept — we screwed up on the pick and roll assignments like 10 times and he [Aaron Holiday] either got a layup or threw the ball for a 3. We were trying some different things and the lesson for me as a coach is when you got really young players, like do one or two things, that’s it. Don’t try to invent stuff that should work, because they just — they’re not ready for that. They could play it one way or two ways and if it doesn’t work, then stop, you ain’t winning the game, move on. But they, he was really good [Saturday].

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