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It had to happen some time…

Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 26, 2010

Kentucky picked up their first loss tuesday night as all 9,000 South Carolina sports fans seemed to be in USC’s arena to see the Gamecocks knock off their first ever #1 team with a 68-62 win over UK.

Devan Downey finished with 30 points (9-28 FG; 2-5 3PT), most of which came in the second half when it appeared UK could not guard him.

The Cincinnati transfer, who shot less than 33%  against the Cats, was completely shut down in the first half and had the belief that if he kept taking bad, contested shots over-and-over then it would all work itself out, and he was right. When it seemed that Downey was playing H-O-R-S-E with the entire UK team he began to knock down shots when his teammates were not able to.

Why It Happened

– The biggest reason UK was upset by the Gamecocks was obviously the great second-half by Devan Downey. Even the casual fan had to assume with the dreadful way he played in the first half that he would come out with a vegence in the second-half. Coach Calipari through many players at Downey to try to find a quality matchup and no one could do it. DeAndre Liggins, Eric Bledsoe, and John Wall were all inable to do a good job on the 5-foot-9 Downey when it mattered most.

– If you watched the game you noticed Jimmy ‘Human Replay Film’ Dykes constantly saying that UK had ALL of their second-half points from freshmen and the lack of diversity really cost the Cats. Patrick Patterson finished with only 5 points and 8 rebounds, failing to sink any type of basket in the last 20 minutes.

– It seems that relying heavily on John Wall finally caught up to the Cats in a game, as Wall, who did manage to score 19 points, was not very effective in the second-half until it was too late. A late and-1 layup brought the game to a one-point contest, but UK was not able to do ANYTHING with the USCjr guards late in the game.

– The bench once again failed to show up for the Cats. Darnell Dodson nailed a nice three-pointer early in the first half but converted only a run-out dunk the rest of the game, even missing a crucial wide-open layup after stripping one of the USC players. Dodson failed to block out at all and allowed his man to consistently beat him off the dribble. If Dodson is not hitting jump shots he has absolutely no value in the UK rotation because he is a liability on the defensive end.

Daniel Orton was once again unable to convert point-blank lay-ins against undersized defenders. Obviously the drunken, uniformed crowd was one reason for no fouls being called underneath on him by Orton had plenty of opportunities to convert key plays offensively and did not.

What We Liked

– There was really only one thing. Big Cuz.

DeMarcus Cousins was there in the post EVERY TIME the Cats needed him. Unfortunately Eric Bledsoe and John Wall chose to over-penetrate and throw up wild shots than take the odds in the post. Cousins had his best game of the season, finishing with 27 points and 12 rebounds against the under-sized Gamecocks.

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