Monday, December 31, 2012

Eastern Michigan vs. Kentucky preview

   After the Cats came up just short in their comeback effort against the dirty birds of Louisville, Kentucky takes on Eastern Michigan Wednesday night. This will be Kentucky's last tune up before they open conference play with a road trip to Vanderbilt in eight days. So they will need to get all the kinks worked out that they can Wednesday night. 

   For those who don't know much about Eastern Michigan, here is a rundown on the history of the school that used to be known as "Michigan State Normal School", seriously. 

Est: 1849

Location:  Ypsilanti, Michigan 

Former school names:  Michigan State Normal School, Michigan State Normal College

Colors: Green/White

Nickname: Eagles, prior to 1991 they used to known as the "Hurons"

Mascot: Swoop

Conference: MAC

Record this season: 7-5

I'm not real sure what to make of their former names, it just makes me wonder why they had to point out that they were normal. 

  This should be a good chance for Kentucky to get things headed in the right direction as this shouldn't be much of contest. Here's a look at the numbers comparison. 

EMU.                UK
PPG: 59              78

RPG: 36             39

APG: 11             16

SPG: 8                 8

BPG: 6                8 

TPG: 14            13 

FG%: 40          48 

FT%: 67          63 

3P%: 29          36 

Kentucky shouldn't have any trouble at all with EMU. If they play the way they did in the second half against Louisville, Kentucky wins this game going away by 25+.

Until Wednesday night, Big Blue Corner wishes everyone a safe and happy New Year. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kentucky vs. Louisville review

Yesterday was in my opinion, one of the best games played in this in state rivalry. It had everything a basketball fan could ask for quality basketball, excellent coaching, and the excitement of a comeback from the underdog. I have heard complaints about the officiating from both fan bases, but I gotta say, I didn't have a problem with how the game was called. Sure there was some missed calls, but that's true for both sides. The one missed call that stuck out to me was the traveling call on Noel in the midst of the Cats' comeback that very well could have been Behanan's fifth foul. On the other hand, the other missed call was Peyton Siva's fifth foul when he was whistled for fouling Archie Goodwin on a three point shot. Both of those were horrible calls, but that is to be expected during the course of a game, just not in those type of pivotal moments. However, for the most part this was a very exciting game to watch despite the outcome. 

   We finally seen Kentucky come together and play as a team, something they have been struggling to accomplish. The first five minutes of the second half saw Kentucky revert back to the team that lost to Baylor, falling behind by 17. Then, John Calipari used a well known coaching strategy by earning a technical to motivate his team. It seemed to work as the Cats rallied a comeback that this team could not have managed two weeks ago. Cal coached one of his best games since being at Kentucky yesterday. He made some excellent substitution patterns, subbing Wiltjer in on offense, and out on defense, much like Cameron Mills used to be utilized. When Alex Poythress decided not to show up, much like he has done in every big game the Cats have had this year, Cal set him on the bench. Then there was his decision to start Willie Cauley-Stein (free throws aside), which paid off tremendously as Willie played his best game as a Cat. 

   There were some things that should give Cat fans hope going forward this season. Once again, the play of Ryan Harrow was impressive. He played thirty plus minutes without a turnover, against one of the best defensive teams in the country. He played against a top five point guard in Peyton Siva, and played him to a draw while scoring 17pts to go along with 5rbs, 2ast, and 2stls. The emergence of Ryan Harrow is just a example of the coaching ability of John Calipari, and the work and dedication of Ryan. Besides the continued improved play of Harrow, Cat fans should be relieved to see the type of effort, and hustle everyone showed yesterday aside from Poythress. This team went into the !Yum Center and nearly beat the number four team in the country. Everyone played their part.  Noel was a huge factor down low, Wiltjer found his shooting stroke while sparking the comeback, and Mays played excellent defense. Archie Goodwin played more under control, but didn't really make an impact until the second half which saw him score 19pts to finish with 22.  The only concern for the Cats has to be free throws. If you shoot 11-24 from the line, your not going to beat anyone especially the number four team in the country. 

   That leads me to my next point. Louisville fans have a lot to be concerned about. Pitino has his best team since his arrival in Louisville, and they are one of the favorites to win a National Championship.  After watching the game yesterday, if I was a Louisville fan (thank GOD I'm not) I'd be a little worried. You're playing on your home floor, and you let an unranked (that's absurd) Kentucky team come in and nearly beat you. You had a 17 point lead,  looking to run the Cats out of the building. Instead, you squander the lead while your veteran players were making freshman mistakes. I'm not taking anything away from Louisville. They are an excellent team, but when Kentucky comes in and you allow them too erase a 17 point lead tells me they have some work to do. I don't wanna hear the foul trouble argument. You had the home court advantage, Siva and Smith gamble on defense way too much and it ended up burning them. Here's something to think about. If Kentucky hadn't went 11-24 from the charity stripe, say they hit 17-24,  you lose.  I've said this once, I'll say it again. If Rick Pitino doesn't win a National Championship this year, he never will at Louisville. He has all the pieces for a championship team, but can he get them to perform like it. 

  In the end, the Cats lost and the Cards won. Both teams gave us an excellent game, and one that will go down as one of the best in the rivalry. It's going to be a great season for both, I just hope we get a rematch in March. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gilchrist still a Wildcat at heart

Despite spending only one year at Kentucky. MKG's still a Wildcat at heart according to his latest Instagram post.

Kentucky vs. Louisville preview

   It's that time of year again. The time of  year that turns brother against brother, and divides a state unlike ANY single game in college basketball. When talking about the greatest rivalry in college sports, you can forget "Tobacco Road", it pales in comparison. No one game contains this much hate, anger, or detest like the Kentucky, Louisville game. Fans on both sides look forward to this day every single year.  The day when the Cats and Cards do battle, and that day is this Saturday. 

   For the first time since the addition of John Calipari to the Kentucky bench, Louisville will enter the game as the better team, not to mention the favorite to win. Rick Pitino has his best team since stabbing Kentucky fans in the back and taking the Louisville job. You look down the Louisville bench and they seem to have all pieces required to have a very special season. They have a veteran point guard in Peyton Siva, who by the way seems like he has been playing at UofL for ten years, and a whole lot of talent to go along with him. So this Saturday could be the toughest game these young Cats will have all season long. 

Here's a look at the Cards' numbers;

UL                        UK
PPG: 78                78

RPG: 39                39

APG: 15               16

SPG: 12                 8

BPG: 3                  8

TPG: 13              12

FG%: 45            49

FT%: 69            64

3P%: 33            35

Looking at the numbers, there isn't much difference between the two. However, there are three things that isn't listed above that Kentucky falls behind in. 1.) experience. I know some out there will say this is what you get when you recruit "one and done" type players. I over look these people because they are the same ones that complained when Kentucky wasn't getting said players.  But experience will be key in this game. 2.) Home court advantage. Not saying the Cards will get all the calls, just that it is always tough playing on the road. 3.) playing as a team. This Kentucky team is having a hard time figuring out how to play together . Over and over again this season we have seen guys play too much one on one just to have it come back and bite them in the end. 
Taking  all this into consideration, it will take one  heck of an effort for Kentucky to pull off the upset Saturday.  I'm not saying it can't or won't happen. I'm  saying they will have to  play drastically better than they have been as of late. With that said, the one thing you can't do in this rivalry  is predict how it will turn out. When teams are playing with this much heart and intensity  anything can happen. But  if I was forced to pick I'd say....

Cats by five in overtime. (guessing with my heart on that one)

Cards by 8-10 (DAMN THAT HURT)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Marshall/Kentucky review

After what looked like a game that was going to be a battle, Kentucky remembered they were the better team, and crushed Marshall 82-54.  In their final tune up before the Louisville game, the Cats gave fans a reason to worry. Again we seen a far less inferior team come into Rupp, and  take the fight to the Wildcats for much of the contest. With John Calipari screaming from the sidelines for his team to play harder, the Cats finally listened, and pulled away in the second half. 

   Archie Goodwin played, what could quite possibly be his worse game in a Kentucky uniform. He finished with 18pts, but the bulk of those came from the charity stripe where he went 10-11. What was hard to watch, was Goodwin's inability to convert on his drives to the basket. Numerous times, Archie drove the lane for a layup just to have it roll off the opposite side of the rim, or to be blocked by either a defender, or the bottom of the backboard. As far as his outside shooting, it was nonexistent as he went 0-3.  I can't put all the blame on Goodwin for the lack of outside scoring as Kentucky shot 3-17 from three as a team. 

Then there was the play, or lack there of from Alex Poythress. Alex fouled out of the game with 9pts and 9rebs. For Kentucky to be successful, and to be a serious contender come March, Both Poythress and Goodwin have to be consistent double digit scorers. Without these two, there is literally no other consistent scoring option on the floor. I know some will argue the scoring ability of Julius Mays, and Ryan Harrow as an answer for the absence of  these guys, but that won't cut it. Julius Mays finished with 5pts against Marshall, and was 0-5 from deep. That won't get it done when your team is needing a basket.

   As far as Harrow goes, it was great to see him play with the amount of confidence he showed yesterday. Scoring 23pts on 10-17 shooting is remarkable considering where he was just two weeks ago. So he's showing major signs of improving and doing what Cal wants him to do. But let's wait and see how he does against a high caliber opponent before we label him the next great point guard under John Calipari. The game against Louisville will be an excellent test for Harrow to see how far he has come and how far he has to go. Playing against someone like Peyton Siva is exactlly what he needs. 

There was two bright spots in yesterday's game. One being the much improved play of Ryan Harrow, but the other was the play of Nerlens Noel. As far as playing with energy and pure hustle, no one on this team does it better and more consistently than Noel. If there is a loose ball on the floor you can bet Nerlens will be the first one to dive for it. On the defensive end yesterday he had 2 steals, 2 blocks, and altered an uncountable amount of shot attempts to go along with 11pts and 10rebs. You can see improvement in his game everytime he steps on the floor, and that will have to continue through to next Saturday when the Cats and the Cards face off in the !Yum Center. 

It was good to see this team respond when it had to against Marshall. Reality is, Kentucky should have been up 20 at the half and won by 40. Chalk up the slow start to the game to players being excited for a chance to go home for Christmas, or looking past Marshall to the Louisville game. Fact is, Kentucky will need a much better effort to pull off the upset next Saturday. For the first time in the Calipari era, Louisville will come into this game as the better team. Let's hope some time with their families and a break from school is enough to get these guys on the right track. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Marshall vs. Kentucky preview

After what seems like a month since their last game, the Cats are finally back in action 4:30pm tomorrow on ESPN2 against the Thundering Herd of Marshall. Despite the close proximity (about a 2 hour drive), Kentucky and Marshall have only squared off eleven times, with Kentucky coming out on top each time. The first matchup took place in January of 1914 with Kentucky winning 46-6, the last meeting was in December of 2003 with the Cats winning 89-76. 

For those that aren't familiar with Marshall University, here's a little run down on their history. 

Location: Huntington, WV

Est: 1837

Colors: Green/White

Nickname: The Thundering Herd

Mascot: Marco the buffalo


Billy Crystal (actor)
Soupey Sales (TV star)
Mike D'Antoni (Lakers head coach)
Jerry Tipton (every Kentucky fans favorite sports writer)

Marshall started the year as one of the favorites in conference USA, but they haven't really lived up to those expectations with a record of 7-5 so far this season. Now it should be pointed out that The Herd have been plagued by injuries, with the latest coming to pre season all conference and thier best player, DeAndre Kane (broken hand).  

Now here's a look at Marshall by the numbers:

PPG: 74

RPG: 41

APG: 15

SPG: 6

BPG: 5

TPG: 15

FG%: .435

FT% .590

3PT%: 34

By looking at these numbers, Kentucky will have to put forth some effort in this game. They will have to rebound the ball, and limit Marshall's second chance points. They will also have to guard the three. Marshall isn't an excellent three point shooting team, but shooting guard D.D. Scarver has the ability to get hot from deep,  shooting it at a 42% clip.   The Cats will also have to come into this game mentally prepared, as this has all the signs of a "trap game" with Louisville being their next opponent. 

The Cats really shouldn't have a problem in this game, but as we have witnessed this season, they have a tendency to let far less talented teams out play them. If Calipari can keep these guys from looking  ahead to Louisville, and get them to play as a TEAM, Kentucky should win this one by 20-25 points. But, if they hold true to what we have seen so far, fans may be biting some fingernails Saturday in close one. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Derek Anderson's book available on pre sale

Former Kentucky great, Derek Anderson has written a book titled "STAMINA" that you can bet I'll be reading. 

   The book details Derek Anderson's life, from living alone at the age of eleven in a rundown apartment, having a child at the age of 14, enduring the murder of his sister, and surviving a brutal stabbing during a street fight that almost ended his life. This is a great book written by a great and interesting person, that everyone (not just Kentucky fans) will enjoy reading. 

STAMINA is available on pre order on Derek's website. If you pre order his book, you will also receive an autographed poster from Derek himself. I urge you to check out this book, it's a great, and an inspiring story that I'm sure you'll enjoy. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wiggins shines in Roundball Classic

I was one of the many people in attendance last night for the Boyd County Roundball Classic. Let me start be saying, Pete Fraley (BC varsity girls coach) and the Boyd County School system have done this tournament up right. Everything was set up perfectly. Staff, coaches and everyone involved with the tournament couldn't have been more friendly and helpful during our visit. So I want to start by thanking Mr. Fraley for having us out, and for showing us such great hospitality. 

Now to the basketball action. The night started with Pete Fraley's varsity girls taking on Huntington St. Joe. This was a very entertaining game from start to finish. Each team played hard in your face defense, and ran their offense flawlessly. I was impressed with Fraley's coaching style as he was able to get the best out of every player he put on the floor. Several times Huntington threatened to pull away, but thanks to the encouragement County's girls got from their coaches, they refused to give up. County battled to the final buzzer, but Huntington ended up winning in a hard fought, hard earned 53-47 victory. 

Next up was Boyd County boys taking on Shelby Valley. This was an excellent game that was exciting to watch. It was a close game until the fourth quarter, then Boyd County took control and never looked back winning 81-70. 

The final game of the night, and the one that saw the crowd grow until there was not an empty seat left in the house, was the Huntington Prep vs. Walnut Hills game.  During warm ups, the blue clad crowd got to see what Andrew Wiggins was capable of. Shot after shot, and dunk after dunk, the crowd oohed and awed with anticipation. When the ball was tipped the Andrew Wiggins show began. He started off kinda slow,missing his first three of the game which drew air ball chants from what few Walnut Hills fans made the trip. After that, Wiggins did what Wiggins does. He hit inside shots, outside shots, and left his defenders standing with some of the most disgusting crossovers and spin moves I haven't seen a high school player do in a long time. A moment that brought the entire crowd to their feet was when Wiggins literally got his chin above the rim for one of the nastiest put back dunks I have seen. He ended the first half with 17 points, but he was far from done. 

   The second half saw more of the same, when Wiggins immediately got loose for a run out dunk that actually shook the rafters. The rest of the night Wiggins made a living getting offensive rebounds and put backs, and having two of the most vicious blocks that I have seen in high school. The game was actually closer than everyone expected with Huntington Prep winning when Andrew Wiggins hit a shot at the buzzer to set the final score of 61-54 and finished the game with a double double 32 points and 10 rebounds. 

A few things that stuck out to me during the game was Wiggins' ability to rebound the ball. Everytime a shot goes up, Wiggins always seems to find a way to get a hand on the ball. Everything else Wiggins did is what we all have come to expect. The other thing that stuck out to me was the coaching style of Rob Fulford and his staff. There is never any screaming or yelling, no ridiculous dancing or stomping on the sideline. When he needs to talk to his players, he calls a timeout and tells them what he wants, and they just go out and do it. Coach Fulford has these guys playing with a purpose. Whenever there is a good defensive play made, you can see and hear the encouragement coming form the Prep bench and coaches. These kids like playing for coach Fulford and it shows in how they execute their game. In the end it was a great night that saw some great baksetball, and fans got to see a talent in high school that they more than likely won't get to see again for a very long time. Because lets face it, a player like Andrew Wiggins doesn't come around everyday. 

Huntington Prep, Boyd County girls and boys and a lot more teams will all be back in action tonight in the last night of the Rounball Classic. Games start today at 12:00 noon. Do yourself a favor, go out and enjoy some great basketball 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Poythress feels the love

"It's crazy and a blessing to see your jersey in a store".

Welcome to Kentucky kid.

Boyd County Roundball Classic

By now I'm sure everyone knows about the Roundball Classic that starts tomorrow night at Boyd County Middle School. This will be two days of excellent basketball that will satisfy even the most rabid basketball fan. Boyd County girls and boys varsity teams will both be in action Friday and Saturday night, plus Huntington Prep (USA Today's #3 team in the nation) and #1 player in the country (current Kentucky recruiting target) Andrew Wiggins. Everyone needs to do themselves a favor,  get out and take advantage of the opportunity to see some amazing high school basketball. 

For directions, and ticket information click on the link below. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Calipari to attend Boyd County Roundball Classic

I just heard from several people, including (Anthony Wireman) that Kentucky head man John Calipari is expected to attend the Boyd County Roundball Classic to watch Andrew Wiggins Saturday night. You had to think Cal would attend this game considering Roy Williams will be in attendance tonight to watch Huntington Prep in action.

Manny Pacquiao and Anthony Davis

Since Manny's vicious knock out Saturday night, people have been photoshopping the hell out of it. This one is my personnel favorite that I have seen.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Boyd County Roundball Classic on TV

If you can't make it to the Boyd County Roundball Classic this weekend, although you'll be doing yourself a favor by going. Huntington Prep's Saturday night session against Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, FL) will be televised LIVE on MyZ TV.

This is a good chance to catch the #1 player in the country Andrew Wiggins in action. This is also huge for the Roundball Classic to get some much deserved publicity. So tune in, and see some good basketball Saturday night.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Kentucky wins, but needs work

Kentucky wins 74-46, but still needs to improve going forward. There were some bright spots in the game, the play of Ryan Harrow, the defensive play of Nerlens Noel, and the late domination by Archie Goodwin, but there are still some areas for improvement. Transition defense left a lot to be desired, as did transition offense. These things will work themselves out, but the team has to put in the effort before that can happen. 

It gets really hard to watch, when a team as talented as Kentucky  (young or not), give up so many runout baskets to a far less inferior team just because they don't get back on defense. That comes from lack of effort. With "Camp Cal" in full swing for the next couple of weeks, I'm sure that's one of the areas that will be hit the hardest, along with rebounding. With such a tall and athletic team, there isn't any reason they should struggle to rebound the way they have so far, again, this is just lack of effort. I lost count of how many times two Kentucky teammates battled each other for a rebound just to have it ripped away by an opposing player, or have it fall out of bounds. Again, all these are things that are fixable, but the team has to want it. 

Everyone is looking for a "leader" for this team, but before they get a "leader" there has to be a team to lead. What I mean is, there are too many possessions where guys try to go one on one, when there is no play to be made, and usually results in a turnover. Cal has a saying that he uses often, "play for each other". This team doesn't do that as much as it should. When they figure out that it's easier to play as a "team", then the other things will fall into place. This has to start with Archie Goodwin. The kid is by far the most explosive, and best athlete on the team, but he has got to learn to pick his spots. He can get to the rim against anyone with ease, but he has got to learn when, and when not to drive. More times than not, Goodwin goes to the rim a little out of control. It's good to see this type of aggression, but he needs to be more under control instead of just putting his head down and driving. Teams are going to learn this habit, and will use it to their advantage by setting up for a charge. 

All in all, it looks like this team is starting to improve in some problem areas. They started a little shaky today, but ended up playing a pretty decent game. With that said, they will have seven days off before Lipscomb comes to town. I imagine with seven days off, Cal is drooling over the amount of practice time he will have. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist go back to school

According to Anthony Davis' Twitter account, he and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will return to Lexington this summer to finish school.

"@AntDavis: Going back to finish school in the summer with my bro @MikeGillie14 in the summer! #WeAreUK

Where's Bob Knight at?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Portland vs. Kentucky preview

Kentucky takes on the University of Portland at noon on Saturday, and will attempt to extend their win streak to two. I'm sure a lot of you are like me, and don't know too much about Protland. So let's look at the history of the Pilots. 

Established: 1901

Nickname:  Pilots

Colors: Purple/White

Conference:  West Coast Conference

First basketball game: 1922

Weeks in the AP top 25: 3

All-Time record: 1,045-1,156 (.478)

Record against Kentucky: 0-3

NCAA Tournament apperarcenes: 2 (1959 & 1996)

Notable Alumni: Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat head coach)

The most impressive thing about the University of Portland has absolutely nothing to do with their basketball team. Their Men's Cross Country team won 31 consecutive West Coast Conference Championships, with that coming to an end last season. That is the most impressive stat (also the reason for the picture above) regardless of sport I've ever heard of, and deserves mentioning. Thank God we're not playing that team Saturday. 

Now let's take a look at Portland by the numbers. 

PPG: 63

RPG: 34

APG: 14

SPG: 6

BPG: 4

TPG: 15

FG%: .428

FT%: 68%

3P%: .313

So as you can see they are not a very dangerous team, but should still be taken seriously by the Cats. Truth be told, Kentucky should win this one by 30-35 points Saturday without breaking a sweat. What I will be looking for is improvement in rebounding, limiting defensive breakdowns, shot selection, and most importantly point guard play. Kentucky can use these next few games to build players confidence, and work out whatever issues or problems they may have. They better hurry though, Louisville is just around the corner, and dare I say,  so is Marshall. I can handle losing to Louisville, that's no problem. But a loss to Marshall, let's just hope we don't have to worry about that. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Samford vs. Kentucky preview

After two straight loses to unranked opponents, Kentucky has fallen out of the AP top 25 for the first time under head coach John Calipari. Tomorrow night the Cats will attempt to start their journey back to the top against Samford University. Let's get to know Samford:

Samford team stats;
PPG: 60
RPG: 30
APG: 12
SPG: 7
BPG: 3
TPG: 14
3PT%: 29

National Rank
Samford / Kentucky
PPG: 299th / 57th
REB: 317th / 146th
APG: 256th / 33rd
FG%: 257th / 16th

A little Samford History:
EST: 1841
Location: Birmingham, AL
Conference: Southern Conference
Colors: Red/Blue
Masocot: Buldogs

Notable Alumni:
Bobby Bowden (FSU Football coach)
Jimbo Fisher (FSU Football Coach)
Melinda Toole (4th runner up in 2002 Miss America)
Scarlotte Deupree (Miss Alabama 2002, 1st runner up Miss America)

In all reality, Kentucky should have no trouble what so ever with this team. It should be a good game for some of the players to attempt to regain their confidence. This should be a 20 to 30 point win, no questions asked. 

I would get into to the subject of  "fans" attacking players on twitter, some so bad they had to delete their accounts, but I won't.  Let's just hope this type of thing doesn't happen again.  For now, let's get ready to watch the Cats put a beat down on the Bulldogs of Samford. 

The 2012 Boyd County Roundball Classic

Boyd County Middle School and John W. Clark Oil present, The Boyd County Roundball Classic on Dec. 14th & 15th at Boyd County Middle School Gymnasium. 

Things will begin when the Boyd County Girls Varsity team takes on Huntington St. Joe at 6pm on Friday Decemeber 14th. Boyd County Boys will immediately follow at 7:30. Then Huntington Prep and the #1 ranked high school player in America Andrew Wiggins will take on Walnut Hill (Cincinnati) at 9pm.

  Then Saturday Dec. 15th, is an all day basketball event starting at 12:00pm with East Carter vs. Shelby Valley and ending with Boyd County Boys vs. Mason County at 8:45pm. Huntington Prep will also play on Saturday at 7:00pm vs. Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, FL).

So no matter if you like girls basketball, boys basketball, or your just an all around basketball fan like myself, Boyd County Middle School is the place to be on Dec. 14th & 15th. This will also be your chance to see the best high school player in the country and current University of Kentucky recruiting target Huntington Preps Andrew Wiggins. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Calipari demonstrates the "confused freshman look"

Photo courtesy: Kyle Tucker of the Courier Journal

Cal shows the media what the "confused freshman look" looks like. Things like this is what I love about Cal. 

Baylor ends 55 game streak

Baylor hands Kentucky its second straight loss, and ends the longest home winning streak at 55(also UK's total points). There wasn't a lot of bright spots for the Cats, much like the Notre Dame game. The difference between the two games was the amount of effort Kentucky showed today. Players dove for loose balls, crashed the offensive boards, and had (at times) some good defensive stops. What hurt Kentucky in this game was the fact shots were just not falling. I can't begin to count how many shots inside two feet that just rolled off the rim. Noel alone had an abundance of shots at point blank range that he couldn't convert. 

Speaking of Noel, he is a very talented player in his own right, but people need to ease up on the Anthony Davis comparisons. They are two completely different players. Davis had an offensive ability that most big men would kill for, not to mention his gift for blocking shots. Noel on the other hand, isn't really an offensive threat outside of dunking the ball. I'm not taking anything away from Noel, the kid is going to be special, just not in the same ways as Anthony Davis. The one thing I love about Noel is the kid has no problem diving for loose balls, that will be valuable later in the season. 

   The one bright spot in the game was the late play of Ryan Harrow. After playing shaky early on, Harrow settled down and ran the offense with confidence. He was able to take defenders off the dribble, and setup teammates for open shots. He showed a lot of confidence in his game, and it will be important for Kentucky that Harrow builds on that confidence going forward. 

There's two things that is keeping Kentucky from being a very dangerous team right now. The lack of a point guard, and no legitimate low post scoring threat. When they get those two issues ironed out (and they will) Kentucky will be a very tough outing for any team. Kentucky fans are going to have to understand, this team is going to take some hits early, but come March they will be an Elite Eight or a Final Four threat. Until that happens, Coach Cal needs to hurry up and get to the Marshall County Hoops Fest today and secure an Andrew Wiggins commitment.