Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the first Tuesday Morning Quickies of 2018. I feel a year older and… well, a year older.
Today’s discussion section of the Quickies will be a quick look back at the three athletic events that have taken place since your humble correspondent last put pixels to screen — to wit, the Music City Bowl, the Dream Game, and the SEC regular-season opener vs. Georgia.
Music City Bowl
I’ll be brief: Chris Coyte should never again referee a college football game, but unfortunately, he will. The SEC should send a back-channel message to the Pac-12 that Coyte is persona non-grata in SEC football contests or in bowls where they are contestants. His ego simply cannot fit on the field with our squads.
The Dream Game
I noted in the comments after the game the magnitude of the destruction Kentucky visited on Louisville last Friday. It was staggering both in scope and brutal efficiency. A few highlights worthy of note:
- Offensive efficiency was the 4th highest of the season at 1.21 points/possession. But it was the DE that was most impressive — 0.82 P/P, best of the season by a significant amount.
- Turnover percentage was 15%, a solid number that I’m happy to see. More on that later.
- The last time Kentucky beat Louisville by 20 or more points was when Tayshaun Prince stalked the hardwood back in 2001. To get to a 25 or higher spread, you have to go all the way back to the last century, (1999) when Denny Crum still roamed the sidelines and UK topped the Cardinals by 30. Tayshaun was on that team, too.
The SEC Opener vs. Georgia.
In stark contrast to the Louisville game, the OE for Kentucky was the second-worst of the season next to the Kansas brick-fest. But to their credit, Kentucky took splendid care of the ball to the tune of only 13.3% turnovers — a season-best so far. In fact, turnovers have been consistently decreasing since the Monmouth game, the last time UK turned it over more than 20% of possessions.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been terrific lately, and is showing the rest of the team the right way to play by constantly probing and attacking the rim. I have seen Kevin Knox starting to get the idea despite his recent struggles, and PJ Washington also.
- Hamidou Diallo is getting by way too much on his athleticism and is making poor decisions for a guy who’s been in the system for a year. Others are doing way better, and that is suboptimal.
- Wenyen Gabriel may be the SEC’s most underrated player. He is starting to remind me of a tall Darius Miller with his timely shooting and consistent effort.
- Sacha Killeya-Jones needs more love. He was impressive in relief of a foul-bound and moribund Nick Richards on Sunday.
Tweet of the Morning
Good morning. The Browns had more losses this year (16) than Alabama’s had in the last 10 years (14).— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) January 2, 2018
Great Zot! And:
College football national titles in the past forty years: SEC 16.5 titles, Big Ten 2.5 titles.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) January 2, 2018
- The Benny Snell ejection is stinking more and more. At this point it’s like a kettle of fish that sat out for a week in the hot sun. The Pac-12 needs to take action or face action from the SEC.
- Seth Davis thinks we’re pretty again. Thank God, you all know I live and die by Seth’s opinion of us.
- Alabama’s John Petty is terrific, no doubt. But I join the Nation of Blue wondering how he got Freshman of the Week over Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
- Calipari says Kevin Knox has to be “the guy” for UK to reach it’s full potential. I think he’ll be fine. All he needs to do is follow Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s lead.
- Kentucky falls a spot in new AP poll. In a rare confluence, the AP Poll and Ken Pomeroy’s site agree on where UK should be, so I’m having a hard time finding any outrage.
- UK uber-recruit Zion Williamson expects to decide soon, according to Zagsblog.
Other Kentucky sports
- Women’s basketball falls to #7 Tennessee. This is going to be a tough year for the Hoops squad.
- Great game between Georgia and Oklahoma last night, but don’t try to get into the CFB Playoff championship game in Atlanta unless you have a lot of spare coin. $3,000 is the cheapest seat you can buy.
- Alabama finds redemption over Clemson.
- Sour grapes? Sure, why not.
Lol this tweet doesn’t get sent if Bama and UGA both lost https://t.co/oZ3v0qO9Wk— JP (@JPaulYall) January 2, 2018
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works, or is likely to work in the near future. UCF had a great season, and they will be able to make faces at whoever the eventual winner is.
- Tennessee plays Auburn tonight. That should be a very interesting game, and both these squads are proving themselves early.
Other sports news
- The continuing saga of the leading douchnozzle in sports:
It's really not LaVar Ball's fault...he simply misunderstood. When he guaranteed the Lakers would win 50 games, he thought the schedule was 820 games, not 82. Honest mistake.— Bob Valvano (@espnVshow) January 2, 2018
- Yeah, a big goose egg in Louisville this morning.
Wouldn't be surprised to see one of these in KY this week. https://t.co/UzBvkU7LXI— Tom Ackerman (@TomAckermanWx) January 2, 2018
- A Chinese satellite laden with toxic chemicals is set to crash into the atmosphere in March of 2018. The Chinese have apparently lost control of it.
- Awesome: At the edge of the abyss.