UK, Pomeroy, and '06 Gonzaga

Katie Martinover 11 years

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Aritcle written by:Katie MartinKatie Martin
adam_morrison Ken Pomeroy has an interesting take on why he and the polls are differing so much on the ranking of the Cats. In his latest rankings, Pomeroy has Kentucky at 9th, while the polls of course have us at #1. His reasoning? Margin of victory. The Cats have let mediocre teams keep it close in the second half this season, which on paper seems to indicate a sign of weakness in a team's abilities. Ken's rankings reward teams with higher margin's of victory, which explains his sharp discrepency with the polls. Comparing this year's squad to 2006 Gonzaga, he explains that both squads didn't feel inclined to play a full forty minutes of basketball, but instead were content on playing the last 5 minutes, knowing that they could get away with the win. Of course 2006 Gonzaga had no where near the talent that Kentucky's roster has this year, but because their offense was so potent that year, were able to get away with playing defense only when they had to. He has a valid point, though Saturday's Arkansas game showed a much more complete 40 minutes than we've seen out of the squad thus far. But even with the Razorbacks, UK let them go on an 18-3 run in the second half, a run which would have been far more alarming had we not jumped out to such a large lead. And Pomeroy's guesses as to the reasoning behind the lack of effort, while at first glance a little offensive (i.e. egos), could be valid too. It's been the classic case of playing to the level of competition. We know we're good, and know that 5 minutes of our best basketball and 35 minutes of mediocre-ness is enough to beat the Georgias and Auburns of the world. Look, at this point I'm not sure we have to play a full forty minutes of inspired ball to beat teams like Georgia and Auburn and tonight's match-up with South Carolina. But at some point, especially in the always unpredictable tournament, someone is going to get lucky and those 5 or 10 minutes won't be enough. It's been said before, but putting away mediocre teams and learning to play at your own level instead of to the level of the opposing team, are traits that set eventual champions apart from the rest. I'll be interested to see how the team responds to South Carolina tonight and Vandy on Saturday, especially during the first 35 minutes.

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2021-09-17