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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: Victory over the Commodores Edition

Cats win in Nashville, Cal has Iron Men on his team, more Jarred Vanderbilt confusion, Terry Wilson predictions, and more!

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NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats improved ro 14-3 (4-1) yesterday as they defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 74-67 on the road in Nashville. Once again the Cats were short handed as Quade Green was once again out with a back injury as was Tai Wynyard.

Jarred Vanderbilt did not make his debut, but he did go through all of the warm-ups and was even in uniform. John Calipari made some very interesting comments about that, which we will get to later.

The Cats were actually a 1.5 point favorite and the ESPN matchup predictor gave the Dores a 60% chance of winning at home, so UK actually performed above expectations.

But I’m not sure how long Hamidou Diallo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Kevin Knox can go averaging over 35 minutes per game. Something’s got to give. The Cats are winning, but how long before some of these guys are coasting on fumes?

Tweets of the Day

Riley LaChance went 0-4 on the free throw line down the stretch. That’s insane.

Wenyen Gabriel was fantastic last night. He didn’t score a ton, but what he did on defense and hustle was just what this team needed. He was our player of the game on the post game show.

Speaking of Wenyen....

I love that dude.


Iron men prove they have a desire to win | SEC Country- Calipari gushes over the guts of his players and their desire to win. They were tired and they weren’t perfect down the stretch, but they won. “They have a desire to win,” Calipari said. “And I told the guys on the bench on the first one [Knox] took, ‘I’m going to keep going at him. Whether we lose or not, he’s got to figure this out,’ ” Calipari said.

Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo showed why they are NBA lottery picks down the stretch.

Winning comes before feelings in case of Nick Richards | Lexington Herald Leader- Nick Richards looked pretty good in the first half as he rebounded, blocked a shot, and scored all four of his points. But in the second half, Calipari put him in during a Vanderbilt free throw opportunity to rebound in case of a miss. The player missed the free throw and Richards promptly stood and watched as a Vandy player grabbed the rebound. Cal benched him and didn’t put him back in the game.

More confusion over Jarred Vanderbilt | Courier-Journal- While it certainly seemed like we could see Jarred Vanderbilt play, the 6-9 forward remained on the bench. John Calipari seemed a little more than frustrated with the entire situation in his post game comments:

But he never planned to play and, according to coach John Calipari, never informed anybody on the Wildcats’ staff if he could or not.

“I didn’t know if Jarred was going to play before the game,” Calipari said. “I’m just acting like he’s not here and if he is, he is. And if they are, they are.”

The problem with being injured when you’re on my teams, I really spend no time with you,” Calipari said. “Sometimes I forget names. Like I forget who (Vanderbilt) is. Because I’ve gotta focus on the guys I’m coaching right now. They’ve gotta get healthy and be ready to come back and be ready to go. Jarred’s the same.

Cal is trying to be as diplomatic as possible. But he can’t be happy that guys are playing crazy minutes while guys that he thinks are able to play are sitting on the bench.

That being said, I’m going to guess Vanderbilt makes his debut Saturday night against Florida.

Terry Wilson early favorite for starting QB | SEC Country- We figure it’ going to be a two-man race for the starting QB spot. Gunnar Hoak is a redshirt sophomore while Terry Wilson comes in as a JUCO transfer. Joe Mussatto thinks Wilson has the edge.

Kenny Walker mourns the loss of Wes Strader | Lexington Herald Leader- The two hosted a syndicated radio show together for eight years. Strader was 79 when he passed last week. Walker said that Strader treated him like a son.

CBB Winners and Losers | CBS- The Michigan State Spartans were losers as they again lost, this time to an unranked Michigan team at home. Kentucky was also rated as a winner:

On its surface, a 74-67 win over Vanderbilt is no major feat. But consider the fact that John Calipari didn’t have point guard Quade Green available for a second consecutive game and that the contest was played on the road, and the win has new meaning.

Add in that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to be a revelation for the young Wildcats, and it’s hard not to suddenly be optimistic that Kentucky might be slowly turning a corner and growing up quickly as it enters the heart of SEC play.

Florida Gators dealt first SEC loss | SEC Country Florida- The Gators went down at Ole Miss in a back and forth affair. They are now 12-5 (4-1). The only unbeaten team remaining in the SEC are the Auburn Tigers.

Julio Jones drops game winning catch in Philly | CBS- After converting a critical 4th and 6 late in the fourth quarter, Julio Jones let a game winning pass go through his hands in the end zone and the Eagles survived the Falcons. Jones was reportedly distraught in the locker room.

West Virginia player punches Texas Tech fan after loss | Sporting News- The #2 Mountaineers went down at #8 Texas Tech and the Red Raider fans stormed the court. Storming the court is dangerous for players. We all can remember how scary it was when Darius Miller was being trampled at IU and who can forget an Arkansas fan cocking his arm back to punch Aaron Harrison before coaches intervened. That being said, I’m not sure the fan in question here deserved to be punched but the entire tradition needs to go away. Especially in basketball arenas.

Ball Brothers fail to score in first real game action in Lithuania | USA Today- This had disaster written all over it from the start. I’m not sure what Lavar Ball’s endgame is here, but neither of his younger sons are as good as Lonzo Ball and no amount of time in a garbage European league is going to boost them to the NBA. He’s a buffoon of a person and he’s kids are paying the price for his buffoonery.

Tom Brady and Patriots dominate Titans | ESPN- Looking like a Steelers/Patriots AFC title game is likely. Gag me. Go NFC.