A couple of final Alabama notes...

Thomas Beisnerover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Thomas BeisnerThomas Beisner
doron-lamb-legggo  A few quick notes before you hit the town to celebrate a sweet victory over the Tide...  - After the Cats did not look completely in sync yesterday afternoon against a physical Ole Miss team, the Cats put together a what might have been their most complete performance of the season in beating the Tide.  Alabama again presented a physical challenge for the Cats and they did not wilt when the game got physical.  Instead, the team that played timid in Tuscaloosa fought back and displayed the type of tougness that Coach Cal has tried to pry out of them for weeks.  The game was not nearly as close as the 14-point margin indicates and Kentucky played efficiently on both ends of the floor.  It's hard to not feel very good about the chances of winning the SEC Tournament after what we saw today.  - As far as the substitution debate, it unfortunately just is what it is.  Coach Cal isn't going to sub guys out in tose scenarios.  It can be frustrating on days like today where two players drop in the final 90 seconds with the game essentially out of hand, but the fact that two guys could be hurt while playing at full speed in the final ticks of the game speaks to the competitive fire Alabama was still playing with.  Does it hurt that Lamb and Liggins are hurt for tomorrow's game, which could impact seeding?  It might.  But it's not changing and Calipari isn't going to start doing things any different because two guys tweaked their ankles.  It just is what it is.  Let's hope they heal up quickly.  - I don't know what changed exactly since last week, but Atlanta has brought out the ability to find the passing lanes for Kentucky.  In the past two games, the Cats have taken about 20 steps forward in their passing game.  Comparisons to Dan Marino aside (thanks, Dykes), Brandon Knight, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins have suddenly found a way to get the ball to Josh Harrellson in a position for him to score since the SEC Tournament started.  Jorts has done an excellent job finding the creases in the defense, but his guards (and forwards) are getting him the rock in a spot where he can quickly finish.  When Harrellson is hitting double-digits in points and Terrence Jones is getting dunks, they're doing their job.  The trio finished Saturday's game with 14 assists and 4 turnovers against the SEC's top defense.  - With their two freshmen struggling majorly in the first half, Kentucky again leaned on their trio of upper classmen and were rewarded majorly for it.  Josh Harrellson might have been the star of the game, DeAndre Liggins had a double-double and Darius Miller has established himself again as a go-to player for Kentucky.  This is another place they wanted to be late in the season.  You have to be able to count on the experienced players.  The Cats look like they're getting there.  - I dont' really have a lot of profound things to say, but I love Doron Lamb.  He's played himself into All-Tournament talk in the past two games.  And he does it with swagger.  It's like he's finally coming out of his shell and that bench time has stoked the fire Calipari has been trying to coax from him.  - You can't stop Brandon Knight, you can only hope to contain him for a little bit.  Alabama did that for a while and then got torched by a player that has become, arguably, the best player in the conference.  I'll take Brandon Knight and you can have anyone else.  And we'll win.  Because Brandon Knight has found the extra gear and has the refuse to lose mentality now.  - Two things to be very happy about heading into the tournament:  Josh Harrellson is getting high percentage looks inside and Darius Miller has developed a post game that is nearly unguardable by players his size or smaller.  Those little wrinkles compliment UK's high-scoring freshmen beautifully and on nights where they are struggling, are a nice security blanket.  - If there is a negative, it was Kentucky allowing Alabama to grab 10 offensive rebounds.  The Cats will struggle some against teams who have an athleticism advantage because they don't have a player who can leap to get those volleyball-rebounds, which are the ones that usually end up in the offensive players hands.  Josh Harrellson plays fairly flat-footed and relies on his positioning and Terrence Jones, whose athleticism is somewhat lacking as well, needs to do the same thing.  Even when they do it, though, they'll sometimes lose balls just because of the bounce and being out-jumped or out-sized.  That seemed to be what was happening against Alabama.  Despite a couple bursts of offensive boards for the Tide, they did a good job of controlling the glass.  - If you put a gun to my head, I'd guess that DeAndre will play and Lamb will sit tomorrow against Florida.  Again, just a guess.  I'm not wearing my Nostrabeisner hat.

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