UK vs. South Carolina – Post Game
Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 27, 2008
Sorry it took so long to put up but here is the UK, USC post game report.
Kentucky did something that ‘Cat fans rarely see them do, and that is they started out strong and started out fast. UK scored 5 seconds into the game with a quick feed from Ramel Bradley to Patrick Patterson and Bradely nailed two threes right off the bat and helped UK get ahead early. It looked as though Kentucky was not used to being ahead at halftime by the way they started the second half, by allowing Carolina to hit 4 consecutive threes and start out the half on a 12-0 run and quickly took back the lead and made UK play from behind for more than half of the second half. UK did a great job in my opinion of fighting back and not trying to jack up three pointers to get right back in the game, they stuck to their gameplan and really earned the 78-70 win against USC yesterday in Rupp Arena. What made me even more suprised was the fact that UK played so well even without injured star Joe Crawford, who is still suffering from the plantar fasciitis that has plagued him all year. Derrick Jasper and Jodie Meeks both played through their injuries and both played key roles in the victory. Meeks scored 13 points and was 5-7 from the free throw line and Jasper had his usual 5 boards and hit a very timely three pointer to give UK a 2 point lead with only about 4 minutes left. Jasper played pretty good defense on Devan Downey in the second half and made him force a bunch of long attempts, even though he hit a few of them.
The main reason that Kentucky won was because of the free throw differential, Kentucky shot 23 free throws compared to the 3 that USC shot. Kentucky is 9th in the nation in free throw percentage and if they shoot 21 more than you odds are you are not going to win, especially if Ramel Bradley shoots 6 of them.
KEYS TO THE GAME… AFTER THE GAME
This is a new feature to the blog that I started after the Tennessee game, UK accomplished 1 1/2 of the KEYS TO THE GAME that I put in the UK vs. South Carolina preview. The only key that Kentucky was completely successful on was the fact that they dominated the boards against the Gamecocks. The Wildcats out-rebounded USC 35-23 overall and 13-9 on the offensive boards. Pat Patterson was a beast down low on the glass realing in 9 rebounds and securing them when it counted and when the game was close. South Carolina was one and done on most of their possessions and really had to take good shots to try to stay in the game. I stated in the preview that UK had to dominate the boards to prevent themselves from falling into the trap game that South Carolina was trying to make it. Kentucky had five players with at least 5 rebounds while USC only had 2 of them. In other words out of the 7 players Kentucky played 71% of them reached at least 5 rebounds while USC only had 20% of their players reach 5 boards or more.
The reason I said that UK fulfilled 1 1/2 of their KEYS was because they kind of reached one of them, which should explain the 1/2. I said that they needed to play with the same concentration as they did against Tennessee. They did for the most part but for the first 8-10 minutes of the second half UK was completely out-played and almost lost the game. USC hit 12 threes in the game and I would say 7 of them came in that 8 minute span. As soon as Gillispie put Ramel Bradley on Zam Fredrick that is when we started to come back and pull away. Fredrick scored 9 points in the first four minutes of the second half but failed to score in the last 16, which is when Bradley took over the responsibility of guarding him. Bradley has now successfully defended one of the stars from the opposition in each of the last two games, after shutting down Chris Lofton in the second half of the tuesday night game against UT. Bradley has really been the driving force in the second half runs that UK has gone on in the past few games, that can be credited to the fact that Bradley has average 15 ppg in the second half of ball games over the past 6 games, scoring 13 points yesterday afternoon. If you take those 15 points and add the shut down defense that he has played Bradley has really given UK about 25 points in the second half of games in the last 6 or so.
Kentucky did not accomplish one of the KEYS, and that was shutting down USC’s guards. Like I said in the UK/USC preview Devan Downey was going to kill UK and of course he did, also for about 25 minutes Zam Fredrick was scortching the nets and in the second half Evaldus Baniulis hit 4 three pointers . The guards and Banuilis for the Gamecocks accounted for 56 of the 70 points, UK did a really nice job shutting down the points in the paint but we did not defend against the threes and perimeter shots very well, until Bradley switched onto Fredrick.
The suprise of the game was how dominate Ramel Bradley really can be, he played like an All-American yesterday and I would be completely suprised if he does not make the All-SEC first team. The only point guard that I see that might knock him out of first team consideration is JaMont Gordon of Mississippi State. Bradley recorded his second career double-double and was frankly unstoppably in the game. He has played 214 of the possible 215 minutes in SEC play and has scored 20+ points in every SEC game but 1. Bradley is turning into an Acie Law VI type player for Gillispie who helped Law gain alot of ability and guided him to a lottery pick in last year’s NBA Draft.
I was very suprised how little Mark Coury has been playing the last couple games, though honestly I can not say I am not happy. Coury played only 4 minutes yesterday mainly due to the fact that Perry Stevenson is playing extremely well. I think it is easy to see that Stevenson is much better than Coury and should really take all of his playing time.
Sorry that I missed informed you guys about the injury status of Joe Crawford in the UK/USC preview, I said that he definetley was not going to miss time and he actually was not supposed to until the morning of the game when he said he was not ready to go. Matt May of Catspause.com said that UK probably held him out knowing that they had another week until their next game at Georgia and his foot injuy is one that takes some rest, so I would not expect him to miss the game on saturday.
Feb. 2 at Georgia
1:00 pm EST on CBS