The Sports Page

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Kentucky 81, Mississippi State 66

UK lights it up from 3-point land tonight, hitting 13-25 three pointers. Morris did not play well, but we didn't need him to tonight.

Tonight's key players:

  • Patricks Sparks: 25 points, 4 assists. Sparks is playing the point position well. I think it was a good move to put him back there.
  • Rajon Rondo: 9 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds. Rondo flirted with a triple double tonight, and played very well defensively.
  • Joe Crawford: 14 points, 5 rebounds. Hit his first two 3-pointers and really got things going tonight.
  • Ravi "The Deuce" Moss: 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists. The kid continues to play consistent D and hit big shots.

I thought we played pretty well tonight, especially considering Morris was on the bench the whole night. We have shot the ball so well lately it is astounding. We continue to look better on offense, especially moving the ball around. And the assisits are finally starting to add up. I look forward to the game against Florida Saturday night. A win would put us back in the top 25.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kentucky 78, Arkansas 76

My thoughts on todays game:

-I knew this was going to be a tough game. Arkansas is a very good team. They are athletic, they play good defense, and they will be in the NCAA tourney. But UK played (in my opinion) the best half of basketball they have played all year, putting up 55 points in the second half. They rallied from 18 down to win a very physical game. They played outstanding pressure defense in the second half, as well as got the ball in Morris' hands, and rebounded. For all you Tubby bashers out there, this the type of game that proves Tubby is a good coach. Give him credit for making the appropriate adjustments at halftime.

-UK plays better when we get up and down the court. It's that simple.

-Some key players today:

  • Rajon Rondo: 14 points, 5 assisits, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, 0 turnovers. That is a as solid of a statline as I have seen any PG put up this season.
  • Randolph Morris: 19 points, 8 rebounds. This is exactly what we need him to do.
  • Patrick Sparks: 9 points, 8 assisists. As much as I dislike Sparks, he did make good decisions today.
  • Bobby Perry: 7 points, 7 rebounds. 3 solid games in row for Perry. What I liked most was his aggressiveness, both rebounding the ball and driving to the basket.
  • Ravi Moss: 11 points, 6 rebounds. The Deuce did his usual thing, playing solid D and hitting timely shots.
  • Sheray Thomas: 9 points, 4 rebounds. Thomas hit a few big shots at the beginning of the secong half.

-We play Mississippi State Tuesday night. This should be a win: MSU is struggling, and we seem to play well on the road in the SEC. I expect Crawford to rebound from his lack of performance today, he is a solid player.

-If we rebound and move the ball on offense like we did in the second half today, this team will be 10 times better. Morris is looking fantastic in the post, keep feeding him the ball. Run the fast break when you can. Keep up the defensive intensity. If we can do these things every game, we will be a very good team.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Few Notes

Some notes from the sports world:

-Recent UK stars are playing very well in the NBA these days. Besides Tayshaun Prince, Chuck Hayes is playing big minutes for the Houston Rockets, as is Gerald Fitch for the Miami Heat. Keith Bogans was starting for the Charolette Bobcats before a knee injury. It's good to see these guys play well.

-Red Sox acquire Coco Crisp to replace Johnny Damon in center field. Although there are others I would have liked to see the Sox get, I think Mr. Crisp will do fine.

-I still don't know who I will cheer for in the Super Bowl. I'll let you know as soon as I make a decision.

-USA's 2006 World Cup draw includes Czech Repuplic, African Champion Ghana, and perennial powerhouse Italy. A tough group, but there is hope that USA will advance. Ghana has never been to the World Cup, Czech Republic has been hampered by injuries, ans Italy is a little down this year in general. Add to that the fact that USA is better than they have ever been (last I checked they were ranked #8 world-wide), and I think that they can get out of the group.

-Interesting fact of the day: no player for the Detroit Pistons is in the top-15 in the league in scoring. Rip Hamilton is #18, Chauncey Billups is #28, Rasheed Wallace is #48. And the Pistons are 36-5.

-NCAA '06 update for Tapp: I am with South Carolina right now in my 4th year. We are 8-4 this season (though we are better than that) and are playing #6 Mississippi for the SEC Championship this week. We were ranked #12 at 8-3 until we lost to 3-7 Southern Mississippi (I simulate against unranked and play against ranked opponents. The computer lost this one for me). I will get you some more stats (overall record, # of titles, etc.). FYI: I started at Southern Cal, then went to South Carolina after like 12 seasons. South Carolina was a 3-star program when I took over and they are now a 5-star program. Had the top recruiting class 2 years ago, though most redshirted. The are just now starting to make an impact. If my QB stays for his senior season (he's a 94 overall), we have a legit shot at a National Title next year.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cats Not Out Of The Woods Yet, But They Are On The Right Trail

A couple of notes before I get into tonight's blog...

-My idea for this blog is that I will generate a lot of discussion. My ideas and thoughts should be just a jumping off point for your opinions. I want to hear what you have to say, so be active in your comments.

-Congrats to the Lady Cats tonight as they defeat the #3 Lady Vols 66-63. This is a huge win for the program, and Coach DeMoss and the team desreve all the respect in the orld.

So, onto my post. I know that some of you (Smitty) are concerned that all I will talk about here is UK sports. I assure this is not my intention whatsoever. However, UK basketball must be the topic of tonight's post, seeing as I have not really talked about the Cats in a while (besides the casual mention of a game).

My view of the team at this point is mixed. I have reasons for optimism and reasons for concern as to what the outcome of this season will bring. So I thought I would share a little bit of both and see what you all thought.

My Optimism:

  • We seem to be paying more unselfish as of late. The offense seems to be clicking more than at the beginning of the season, and I think a big part of that can be attributed to the return of Morris.
  • We are showing that we actually care about the game. I have seen more hustle over the past couple of games.
  • Morris has played well. He is aggressive, he is getting to the rim, and he is playing good defense.
  • Crawford is playing well and seems to be out of his shooting slump. It is my opinion that he is the key to this teams success, both offensively and defensively.
  • Bobby Perry has returned out of nowhere to put up some solid stats. It would be huge if he could be a consistent threat.
  • The team morale seems to have improved.
  • We are, for perioids of time, actually playing as a team.

My Concerns:

  • Morris seems to have gone back to his freshman habit of getting into foul trouble. This is not good, we need him on the floor.
  • Defense is still shaky these days. Granted, the 3-pointers that South Carolina was hitting the other day were rediculous (by that I mean that we played good defense and they hit the shots anyway). However, there is stilll much room for improvement.
  • We lack a killer instinct. We can't afford to let teams back into games.
  • I still see a lot of standing around on offense a lot of the time. This is unacceptable.

Overall, I think we are playing much better than before, but there are still holes that need to be patched up if we want to be a Final Four contender again. Of all the teams in college basketball, only Duke and UConn have really seperated themselves. And even Duke has looked very beatable at times. I honestly believe (with a few exceptions) the next 30-35 teams (including UK) can make it to the Final Four If this team can get it together I think they can make some noise in March. They have the talent and the coaching. It is just a matter of execution. Looking ahead, I think every game is certainly winnable. I think out two toughest games will be @LSU and @ UT. Florida is weak, I am not too concerned about them right now.

It will be interesting to see how this team develops over the next few weeks, and I look forward to the games. I would love a 4-6 seed come March (which I think is very likely by seasons end). This team reminds me of Michigan State last year: struggled early on, came into the tourney as a 5-seed and went to the Final Four. If we can be a more consistent team, I think we have a chnace to do the same thing. And that's not just me being optimistic.

Let me know what you think about the team thus far. I would love to hear your comments on the matter.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


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