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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: Apathetic Loss Edition

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Cats throw a clunker in Columbia, Calipari and Wenyen Gabriel still believe, everybody lost yesterday...again, Super Bowl nonsense, Prince hologram scrapped, and lots more.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Is this rock bottom?

After flirting with disaster versus the Vanderbilt Commodores the Kentucky Wildcats weren’t able to pull off a miracle to win in Columbia against the Missouri Tigers.

It was about as uninspiring performance as I can remember in the John Calipari era. Kentucky was 10-0 versus Mizzou going into that game, the Tigers have a losing conference record, they have only eight scholarship players available, their guard play isn’t any good, and Jordan Geist is one of the worst players UK will face all season, yet Mizzou controlled the game from start to finish.

Only one Wildcat, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, scored in double-digits. Jarred Vanderbilt was the only other Wildcat that showed consistent effort throughout the game. The rest of the team was content in standing around while watching Shai attempt to run the offense or take it to the basket.

After the game, John Calipari sounded as defeated and worn out as I’ve ever heard him. He still is preaching things like effort and making the right play. He even stated that guys don’t listen to him in huddles.

The most frustrating thing is that we have all seen this team at its best. For whatever reason (yeah, I know they’re all freshmen) they can’t seem to put it together for 40 minutes a night. They look lethargic until they get down double-digits and then... gasp.... they play inspired. That’s worked multiple times but yesterday it bit them in the butt.

Tweets of the Day

Will this be like the Aaron Harrison comments after the loss to South Carolina in 2014? I sure hope so.

I think Kyle meant Knox/Vanderbilt at the wings. Honestly, I don’t think that’s a bad idea. Vanderbilt needs to be on the floor with his energy and rebounding. He’s as good of a ball handler as Hami and he’s a much better passer.

Villanova, Virginia, and Purdue are the best teams in college basketball. It’s not a great year for the sport.

Quickies

John Calipari still believes in his team | SEC Country- I do as well but it’s more difficult today than it was yesterday before the loss. That was easiest road game left on the schedule and the final eight game stretch is brutal. Lose at home to Tennessee on Tuesday night and it’s time to hit the panic button.

Tigers lock up Kevin Knox | Columbia Daily Tribune- Kevin Knox was held to five points in 25 minutes in the worst performance of his season. He was booed every time he touched the ball and it clearly had an effect on him; which was strange because he seemed to thrive under the pressure in Morgantown. I can’t figure these guys out.

UK struggles offensively in loss | Courier-Journal- The Cats scored a season low 18 points in the first half and shot a woeful 28% for the game. There was no motion in the offense. Everything was predicated on going one-on-one or shooting contested jumpers.

Calipari needs more from his team | Coachcal.com- “We got a couple guys that are playing better when we’re down,” Calipari said. “My thing is, you can’t wait to be down to play this way. This has gotta be who we are. This one should sting them, but we’ll see.” PJ Washington, in my opinion, is the biggest culprit.

A simple defensive plan derailed Kentucky | Rock M Nation-

The blueprint for beating Kentucky is simple, though not always easy to execute: clog the lane with bodies, close out low and strong on jump shooters, and make post entries difficult. Do these things and limit the number of fast break opportunities for the Wildcats, and you can limit them offensively.

That’s right on. Kentucky had no answer for this strategy. Guess what Tennessee is going to do on Tuesday?

Struggles for college basketball blue bloods a sign of a changing of the guard? | Yahoo!- The cream of the crop- Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina- has struggled this season. The next tier- Arizona, Michigan State, Louisville, Syracuse- isn’t very good either. Will we get a Final Four full of first timers/rare visitors?

No defense for Duke in loss to St. John’s | CBS Sports- Duke and Kentucky are eerily similar in a lot of ways. The difference is Duke has Marvin Bagley III. Their loss to St. John’s who is 0-11 in the Big East is a far worse loss than what Kentucky suffered. At least Missouri has been good in their building.

Louisville takes a step back against Florida State | WDRB- The Louisville Cardinals finally are coming back down to earth as they are getting into the meat of the ACC schedule. The Cards suffered from the same selfish play and lack of offensive efficiency as the Wildcats.

Kansas not built for a Final Four run | CBS Sports- The Kansas Jayhawks dropped another Big 12 home game. They have no depth and are very limited in size and are without a legitimate star.

Steep attendance drop leaves questions about Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium expansion | WDRB- One of the lasting legacies of Tom Jurich will be the expansion to their football stadium that was not necessary in the slightest. The Cards sell out maybe one or two games a season, the rest of the time its 80% full.

There. Four negative stories about our rivals. Feel better?

LeBron James says Cavs shouldn’t be on national TV | ESPN- The Cleveland Cavaliers are the biggest dumpster fire in the NBA yet they are regularly put on national TV. Last night they were blitzed by the Houston Rockets 120-88. LeBron James is tired of it:

I’m lost for words, actually,” James said, referring to the Cavs’ streak on national TV. “They should take us off every nationally televised game for the rest of the season. We haven’t played good ball and we get our butts kicked every time we play on national television, so I’m at a loss for words

Randy Moss and Terrell Owens will be in the NFL Hall of Fame | Sporting News- The two prolific yet controversial receivers highlight a class that also features Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis. Owens and Moss put up insane numbers during their time but their on and off the field antics sometimes overshadowed their great talent. Moss is the greatest receiver of all time IMO.

Randy Moss emotional over Hall of Fame induction news | ESPN- His passion for the game was never questioned.

Eagles fans vs. Patriots fans | Yahoo!- Both fanbases are awful. I don’t think I’ve ever been less interested in a Super Bowl. Oy vey.

Spread and prop bets for Super Bowl | USA Today- The prop bets are the most interesting things about this year’s game.

Prince hologram nixed from halftime show | Independent- It was rumored that Justin Timberlake was going to incorporate a hologram of the music icon during his performance. I’m glad it was decided to not use it. I hate the holograms. The artists that have passed aren’t coming back and the technology is a cheap imitation of greatness.

This is the only version of Prince at the Super Bowl that I want to see: