1:41 That is a time to remember. That is the time left on the clock in the first half when the one and only moving pick call was made on UA. And that simply amazes me. I hardly ever complain about how a game is called, but the moving picks from UA were so blatant and across the board that I am floored three grown men standing on the floor couldn’t see it. They weren’t the lean in kind. They weren’t the get there late and not be set up kind. They were the wait till the offensive player who is using the scree goes by then play offensive lineman by continuing to move your feet to stay in front of a guy type. Some coaches teach it I guess because UA performed it to perfection and only got dinged once for it. Alrighty, I spoke my piece on it, I am done..
As for UK, the bodies showed up but they left their heads somewhere else. It was across the board, aside for maybe Stevenson. Porter, Meeks, Harris and Patterson were equally inept, to go along with the typical ineptness of Liggins. I actually liked Miller in this game, but his D just isn’t where it needs to be. Of course I am sure the boards will be filled with Porter hate, and probably some Harris hate as all those who said neither would ever amount to much and wish to be “right” get to blow their horns. I think there should be a rule that if you can’t acknowledge when a kid does good things, then you can’t bang on them when they screw up, so people should be glad I’m not the one making up the rules. BUT, I have been in Porter and Harris’ corner all along (I’m actually in every cat’s corner) so I get to bust them good. It starts with Porter, who had his head firmly planted up somewhere else. One of his intangibles of late has been to supply the steadying force on the floor. That went way out the window last night. Harris followed suit and looked like it was the first time he’s ever stepped on a college floor. Patterson and Meeks were just as bad, but when your role is to score, people tend to give you a break. Not me. Those two deserve to run the stairs until they fall down. If you wish to be the corner stones of this team, you must take more than your share when you don’t bring it like you should. People worried the Georgia game could have been a trap game. turns out, it was UA.
Turnovers, turnovers turnovers. They continue to plague this team. And the UA game showed the worst kind which are the fumble, bumble not trying to do the right thing kind. Its one thing to make a bad pass when you are trying to run a set. Stuff happens. But its quite another thing to just drop the ball in traffic, throw it somewhere no one expects you to throw it, or dribble off your own leg. This team can be very good, but they have got to learn how to value the ball. And I am not giving UA credit for those turnovers. It was all on the Cats.
So what did go right? Stevenson. Easily my player of the game. Yeah, Meeks got 31 and Patterson got 21 and 18. But Stevenson was the only one that I thought was actually into the game. Stevenson had some turnovers as well, but three of them should not have been called. Most probably did not even notice his game. He had to guard both at the basket and away from the basket. He had to usually guard a smaller guy, which typically means a quicker guy. Not when you are talking Stevenson. That could be a major match up problem for other teams. But it becomes a match up problem in favor of UK when Stevenson is on the floor because UK makes you pay by taking full advantage of Stevenson’s length. That, to me, was the difference in UK being 4-0 or being 3-1 in the SEC.
Liggins. If Porter played so poorly, and he certainly did, why did Liggins not get more time? Because he played much worse. His problems continue on the defensive end, and they start with those picks. Not just in this game, but in every game save three. Players usually note a pick and either fight high or low, depended on what D is called. Liggins is like a fly to fly paper when it comes to screens. He is tractor beamed right into the middle of the screen and sticks to it like glue, leaving the other defender to have to decide at the time make a switch that is only supposed to happen for a split second. Instead, Liggins is STILL stuck to the screen. That could very well be the one and only reason he doesn’t get more time. That and he seems to think you aren’t doing anything if you aren’t jacking up shots even if they are not in the flow and you shouldn’t be taking them. He’s staying in front better now, but he has got to figure out how to handle screens properly. And he has got to understand that his primary job should be to make others better on the floor. And stop jacking up 17 % shots.
All in all, I guess this is one more sign that this team is, in fact, getting better. In the recent past, the margin for error was so slim that to play as they did last night would have been a double digit loss to a lesser team than UA. As it is, it was a nine point W and the game wasn’t really in doubt coming down the stretch. And I never really felt like the game was ever in doubt in the first place. But the Cats will not be able to get away with this type of an effort come Saturday.