Cats Hold On To Win A Tough One - 66-60

Will Lentzover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Will LentzWill Lentz

Well not every win can be as pretty as Ashley Judd, but sometimes you just have to appreciate them for what they are – a win.  The Cats looked to have a fantastic day early on, but they must have all decided to take naps during half time because during the second half they looked unorganized and unmotivated to finish strong.  In the end they took care of business and closed out on a tough Georgia team winning 66-60, but if Kentucky wants to take the next step they will have to find that killer instinct.  Still, despite the general blase feeling of the game, there were some positives and negatives worth taking from it.

Positives:

-Believe it or not, Darius Miller actually had a pretty good game. It was mainly in the first half, like the rest of the team, but if he could keep that offensive ability and carry it through to the other games, we might finally see the Miller we’ve been expecting.  He had at least two to three moves that made you say ‘Woah,’ and had reached double digits by halftime.  Miller was able to cut through the defense and finish around the rim a number of times, something that Cal had to be happy to see.  He finished with 14 points and 7 boards – on the downside he had 4 turnovers, but what are you gonna do.

-Speaking of turnovers, the Cats did a pretty solid job holding onto the ball today.  They only turned the ball over 9 times to Georgia’s 13, and if I recall correctly only had 3 going into the half.  This wasn’t due to an increased number of transition buckets either, as a lot of the first half points came from good ball movement and, as Jimmy Dykes put it, making the ‘right pass.’

-Doron Lamb probably had the best game of all the Cats coming off the bench and contributing 19 points on 7-11 shooting.  Lamb has really grown into the teams most consistent scorer and has really benefited from the open looks provided from the dribble drive offense.  Lamb also provided two clutch free throws at the end of the game, and Jimmy Dykes taught us all that it was because he ‘BOOM’ locks into the rim before he shoots.  Good to know.

-Eloy had a block!  Eloy had a block! Eloy had a block!  For some reason the second iteration of that phrase was bolded.  Who knows.

-Tee Martin is coming back to UK.  I know it’s not basketball related, but it’s a huge boost to a program that looked to be on the ropes.  Tee is a great recruiter and coach, and the fact that the program has put up the money to keep him around is a good step towards continuing upward movement in the SEC.

-A win is a win, and with it we move closer to winning the SEC.  Getting swept by Georgia wouldn’t have been  melt down worthy, but it certainly would’ve made the rest of the season much more difficult.  So that’s good.

Negatives

-Josh Harrellson played okay, but he really hasn’t looked the same since he stopped practicing with Enes.  The real cause probably has more to do with playing against tougher big men than the one’s he saw against Louisville, but you know.  Jorts wasn’t detrimental today, but he wasn’t much of a factor (outside of 8 boards which can’t be entirely looked over.)  Kentucky is at its best when Jorts makes an impact on the games, hopefully he can get back to that.

-Jimmy Dykes.  God love him, I feel like he’s a good guy, but sometimes his talk of mice and cheese and jets gets old.  Free Drew Franklin.

This team is obviously still missing the killer instinct that championship teams have, and I’m beginning to wonder if they will find it.  They desperately need an attitude or swagger that helps them pour it on when they get the lead, and at this point you have to wonder where it will come from.  It’s not impossible for a team to learn this attitude – but it’s got to start with a leader.  Who’s going to step up and do that certainly wasn’t answered today, at the least.

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On a furter note: Come check out the podcast at The Crossroad on Southland tonight – it should be fun.

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