UK-Auburn Notes

by:Matt Jones01/24/06
Well it was ugly and difficult to watch, but Kentucky got an important win tonight against the Tigers. As I expounded on in an earlier post, these next couple of games are huge and Kentucky just could not afford a loss. Nevertheless, the game was painful and not the greatest performance ever, but the Cats will take it. A few notes.... (1) The re-emergence of Patrick Sparks may finally be complete. He had another solid game today, shooting fairly well and playing with the confidence that makes him effective. For Patrick, it is all about confidence and bravado and he had both in abundance tonight. As the season winds down, it is slowly becoming clear that the person who can be most trusted with the ball is the Senior from Central City....which is as it should be. (2) Another solid performance by Bobby Perry, who is slowly supplanting Sheray Thomas and Rekalin Sims from the lineup. As is usually the case, Tubby is playing fewer and fewer players and Perry is becoming his go-to guy at the four and even five position, for one simple reason.....he is a threat to score. Perry is the only one of the big men who can shoot from the outside and play formidable defense. Sheray has no shot and Rekalin is too slow at this point. Thus Bobby has to play....and luckily for the Cats, he is stepping up. (3) I am a big fan of announcer Jimmy Dykes. There are so few guys who call games who have actual knowledge and are able to break down what is happening in games. Dykes is one of those guys. I still dont agree with his continued assertions that Kentucky has no talent (and his bizarre love affair with LSU), but I am always pleased to hear that he is calling a Cats' game. (4) Dont turn your head, or you may miss Joe Crawford becoming the most important player on the Kentucky team. Crawford is the total package on offense....shooting the three pointer, driving to the basket and (most importantly) showing an ability to finish under the basket with strength....a lost art. Rondo is the go to guy when a basket is needed that can be achieved off the dribble.....but if a basket is needed by force or talent, Joe is the way to go. (5) The last three minutes of this game took approximately 5 hours. I am not sure how many timeouts Jeff Lebo is given per game, but I believe it exceeds by four the number of hairs on his head. Those last three minutes made me actually consider watching the NHL....but I quickly reconsidered. (6) The block on Rajon Rondo's layup was really, really embarassing. We should just move on and act like it never happened.

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