UK @ Vanderbilt – Post Game
Posted by ibleedblue040 on February 13, 2008
Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable. Anybody else have words to describe the atrocious basketball that we played last night in Nashville against the Vanderbilt Commodores? Kentucky needed to win this game to continue their trek to the NCAA Tournament or needed to at least have a good showing in a very tough enviornment at Memorial Gymnasium. Well I guess the Kentucky players did not get the memo because they got beat by a final score of 93-52 last night, the worst defeat since 1989, in front of a crazy, emotional crowd. Vanderbilt fed off of the emotion of the crowd and played almost flawless in the first half on their way to a 30 point halftime lead. Kentucky scored only 11 points in the first half, I repeat 11 IN THE FIRST HALF!!!!
Blame for the loss can be split many ways. First off Billy Gillispie gets alot of the blame for not preparing this team at all. It looked as though they did not know how to run plays on offense and could not fight through a single pick on defense. I am wondering if during these grueling practices that we are hearing about that Gillispie runs he goes over plays and they discuss what the opposition is going to do and what their strengths are and what not. Some of the blame falls on Mr. Tubby Smith as well, though it is probably less than Gillispie. Smith obviously left only a couple players of any talent at Kentucky and the rest are a bunch of rejects who Tubby thought had potential I guess. The only 5 players that have ANY buisness being at Kentucky that Smith left are Derrick Jasper, Jodie Meeks, Ramel Bradley, Joe Crawford, and I would say Stevenson too. Ramon Harris, Jared Carter, Mark Coury, and even AJ Stewart SHOULD NOT BE AT KENTUCKY! You see teams like North Carolina who recruit three 5-star players a year and continually get the best of the best to put on the Baby Blue and White, and then you see Kentucky, a team that has more tradition than anybody, the best fanbase anywhere, and the best facilities in the nation and yet we can not know for sure that in any given recruiting class if any of them have any talent! Mark Coury would not average 10 points in Division-II basketball so there is no way that he should be at the University of Kentucky. The last blame must go to the players. They looked like they were not even trying out there, when someone got stuck in the corner no one would rush over and get the ball and quickly set the offense back up. We had no backup plan if they were shutting down Patrick Patterson and it showed last night as we had more turnovers than field-goals in the first half.
KEYS TO THE GAME… After The Game
For those of you that actually watched the game it should be no suprise that Kentucky did not complete any of the three KEYS TO THE GAME that I said would have to be completed to have a chance of winning. The last time they did not complete any of the tasks was in the Florida game and that also resulted in a loss. The first KEY TO THE GAME was for UK to start off fast and get some quick buckets and try to make the crowsd a non-factor. Well…… that did not happen. Vanderbilt shot out of the gates with an early 15-3 lead and did not look back. Anything they wanted to do on offense they did, Shan Foster continually rubbed off screens and got a wide open jumper. If Kentucky had taken maybe a 10-4 lead or so then the crowd would not have been so loud and we would have been able to manage our offense and hear Billy Gillispie bark commands from the other end of the court.
The second KEY TO THE GAME that we did not accomplish was for UK to guard against the perimeter jumpers of Vanderbilt. That did not happen at all either! Vanderbilt was 7-16 from three-point range and had a number of others that were right inside the line. Everyone knows (or should know) that Vanderbilt can shoot threes, they have hit at least one three in every game since the three-point line was instituted, and yet we allowed them to get wide open looks, get their feet set, and shoot the three without getting a hand in their face. Vanderbilt had 5 people hit at least one three-pointer and only Ross Neltner’s three should come as a suprise because the other players that hit threes are all very good shooters. Some how we still allowed Shan Foster to hit 2 of them and Alex Gordon connected for one as well.
The third KEY TO THE GAME that we failed to complete was to simply guard Shan Foster. Foster killed Kentucky in their comeback in Rupp Arena in January and I knew that they had to defend him very well to slow down their high powered offense. I said in the UK/Vandy preview that we needed to hold Foster to under 20 points to have a chance and he got exactly 20 points. Foster was on fire early and continued that in the second half by 8-10 from the field and 2-3 from three-point land. Simply put if I saw Shan Foster’s stats after the game without seeing the final score and I saw he had 20 points I would know that we lost. Now obviously even if he had 40 points I would not have thought we would lose by 40.
As you can tell there is no suprise section to this post game entry because the whole game was a suprise and I do not think I could put it into words how astonished I am
Jodie Meeks actually played yesterday, although he was put in when we were down by 40 it was good to know that he was there and he will be ready to go any time we need him
The main thing that I think we need to work on before we play next is to find a second option when we can not pass it to Patrick Patterson, we looked lost whenever they were double teaming him and we could not get it into him. We need to find some creative ways to get him the ball or set up a second option
Feb. 16 @ LSU
1:00 pm EST on RAYCOM Sports