This was an embarrassment. Not because we should have won, or could have won. But it was clear the majority of the Wildcats got rattled and didn't have the intestinal fortitude to step up.
Okay, so about South Carolina. They played with pride all game long. They executed in the first half with precision, and then enforced their will on defense in the second half. Coach Darren Horn has my utmost respect for scouting out Kentucky well and preparing his team for battle.
Patrick Patterson ended with 28 points, 8-13 FT. Jodie Meeks decided to not play defense in the second half, so he got benched and ended up with 18 points. Darius Miller scored 5 points and looked scared on offense until about 5 minutes left in the second half. Jared Carter got blocked. Perry Stevenson didn't make the trip to Columbia and scored 4 points. Ramon Harris scored 4 points and made some bone-headed plays on defense.
The way Tennessee played against Kentucky over the weekend is EXACTLY how Kentucky played against South Carolina tonight -- trying to do too much, not wanting to execute or play smartly, getting rattled. Maybe its a virus and we passed it on to South Carolina for their next game.
We got whipped, Billy will tell us. He'll say its his fault. We'll all estimate exactly how much blame is heaped on the coaching staff's shoulders the next 48 hours.
Eventually, Billy is going to have to figure out a way to stop jump-shooting teams that are quick enough to drive-and-dish. He's also going to have to figure out a way to limit offensive rebounds when the team does miss. I don't believe they actually worked on blocking out in practice, because I didn't really see much of it.
By the way, Here's the rebounding stats:
USC: 36 (12 Offensive, 24 Defensive)
UK: 42 (20 Offensive, 22 Defensive)
Ready to vent? I'm done.
Update: By request, I present you with one coach's accurate and unbiased assessment: