BY KEVIN FARIS
UK’s 77-59 loss at South Carolina last night was so awful that I could seriously pull a Wilt Chamberlin and give you 100 points on the unmitigated disaster that was that basketball game. Apparently, the Cats gave up basketball for Lent. But, in the interest of time and space (speaking of time and space, what about LOST this season?!?!? ), we’ll keep it at three.
1. Kudos to Lexington native Darrin Horn for proving he could do what Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl could not do; watch film. USC was absolutely prepared for everything UK did and nowhere was it more evident than the way the played Michael Porter. A quick point guard can dominate Porter at both ends, as seen at Vanderbilt and North Carolina earlier, and if you pressure him he will turn the ball over. A lot. Five turnovers in 11 minutes.
2. While USC was prepared the Cats looked as if they spent the past few days catching up on the Best Picture nominees. Nothing they did on offense or defense worked. There were little to no adjustments and no one had a good game. And yes, I am including Patrick Patterson. He always gives the effort, which is more than I can say for some of the other Cats (I’m looking at you Perry Stevenson), but the uber-efficient Patterson took 24 shots to score 28 points. Like I said, he tried and never quit, but he did not play well. ESPN was with the Cats this week filming behind the scenes stuff for Saturday’s ESPN College Gameday. That should be interesting to watch. We will either see the staff preparing them and the players did not execute, or we will see a staff that failed to prepare. Either one will be eye opening.
3. Every team is allowed a clunker. A throw away game where it just wasn’t their night. Good teams, and good coaches, have maybe one a year. Two at the maximum. In my opinion, this is the fourth game this season where UK looked over matched and under prepared from the beginning to the end. VMI, UNC, Mississippi State, and South Carolina. Throw in the 2nd half of Ole Miss, the 1st half of Miami, and the 2nd half of Indiana as well if you like. Last year featured a similarly high number. The blame falls on the shoulders of the coach. He coaches the team, and for the most part, he chose the players. And yes I know that Porter, Harris, and Stevenson are Tubby’s players, but Miller, Liggins, Galloway, and Harrellson are Billy G.’s and if the first three continue to play over the 2nd three that is his choice and CANNOT be blamed on the previous staff.