UK @ Mississippi State – Post Game
Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 16, 2008
Rebounds, Blocks, and free throws killed Kentucky against Mississippi St. UK got out-rebounded 37-28 on the game and got out-rebounded on the offensive glass by 3. Rebounds have been Kentucky’s kryptonite all year long, whenever they rebound they usually win, whenever the do not, they do not win. UK out-rebounded Vanderbilt by 20 and won the game but could not get the same result against MSU.
The second thing that killed us was definitely the blocks. Everyone who watched the game knew that UK thought twice about bringing it in every time because of the defensive stopper that is Jarvis Varnado. Varnado tied his season high with 10 blocks, 10 blocks! Although it seemed like he got more body and arm than he did ball on a few of them Kentucky really did not deserve the calls because they refused to go right at his chest and make him make a great play. Every time he blocked a shot we were going straight up and all he had to do was stand there and jump as soon as the offensive player did. Varnado ended up with only two fouls and as physical as he was playing if we would have just attacked him we would have definitely drawn more fouls on him. The only time I can remember us going right at him was when Joe Crawford drove the lane and that resulted in a dunk that will one day be on a poster. Billy Gillispie needs to start making better halftime adjustments because as mediocre as we played in the first half we played much worse in the second.
The third we lost to MSU was foul shooting. It isn’t that we shot bad it was the lack of attempts that bothers me. Mississippi State got to the line 33 times to our 12. Even though we hit 11 of them if we would have got to the line anywhere close to the amount that they did this post would have a different tone because we would have won with ease. UK is the best FT shooting team in the SEC and if we would have gotten to the line 10-13 more times than we did we would have pulled this one out.
The last thing that we should have done better than MIGHT HAVE led us to a win was the fact that Patrick Patterson only had 10 points. Patterson is the teams’ leading scorer but he only could muster 10 points. Had he reached his season average we probably pull this victory out because by him scoring that most likely means that Varnado gets in foul trouble and if that happens there is no doubt in my mind we would have won. We still need to do a better job getting the ball to Patterson more and making good entry passes when we do try to get it to him. Numerous times this season we have made horrible attempts of trying to feed Patrick the rock but it goes way too low or high or the defender hits it, we need to make solid, crisp passes to him and let him do his job, and that is to bang around down low and try to make the defensive foul him.
One thing that I can say that I liked was our fight. We never gave up even when we were down by double digits and we at least made it respectable. It seems like Joe Crawford is finally starting to buy into Billy Ball and if we can get the whole team to play as one and to play in sync we will be a tough team to beat down the stretch. One way I can tell Crawford is buying in is by is number of assists. On the season he is averaging only just over 2 pg, but he came out against the Bulldogs and did a very good job distributing the ball and that led to 5 assists.
Jan. 19 @ Florida
9:00 pm EST on ESPN