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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Frank Martin Death Stare Edition

The Gamecocks invade Rupp Arena tonight for a shot at the newly-minted #5 Wildcats. Will Frank Martin’s death stare cause one of the banners in the rafters to burst into flames?

South Carolina v Missouri Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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

Tonight, Kentucky goes for their ninth straight victory hosting the South Carolina Gamecocks in Rupp Arena. Here are a few quick notes about the game:

  • Despite a hot 4-0 start including victories over Florida in Gainesville and Mississippi St. in Columbia in overtime, the Gamecocks have fallen back a bit recently with losses to LSU and Tennessee. But there is no shame in those, as both were on the road against some of the best teams in the league.
  • Cocky & Co. have some really ordinary-looking stats. They are not in the top 3 of the SEC in any stat except getting to the free throw line, but they play fast, play hard, and get wins.
  • Chris Silva, who is celebrating his 50th year in a Gamecock uniform and reportedly considering finding another occupation soon, is having his best season ever by far. He is 8th in the country in fouls drawn per 40 minutes, 20th in free throw rate, and 44th in block percentage. He even makes 37% from three. He’s a one-man wrecking crew.
  • Tonight will be a contrast in style. South Carolina is the third fastest team in the SEC in terms of pace. Kentucky is #12. Kentucky has been able to play games well at both fast and slow pace, so UK should be able to dictate tempo according to their needs. USC was able to speed Florida up, but I doubt they can do that to Kentucky. They couldn’t against Oklahoma St.

I like Kentucky in this one, but it’s likely to be a tough, physical game. South Carolina is better than their record, and Kentucky can’t look at that as an indicator of the level of competition.

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For the record, I don’t watch the NFL — except for the Super Bowl. The reason is that the Super Bowl is part of Americana, an American tradition that deserves the respect of my attention. I don’t watch the halftime nonsense, and the commercials barely impinge on my consciousness unless they are really original or really funny — I don’t remember any of the controversial ones.

This one has stuck with me through the years, though. I still guffaw every time I see it, and I’ll never forget seeing it for the first time.

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