Does it feel better today? Do you still have that taste in your mouth because I know I do, but we have to do this, so as a Monday morning quarterback would, let’s at least take a little time on this Sunday morning to take a look back at what the University of Kentucky actually learned coming out of Bloomington, Indiana after the shocking one point loss to the Hoosiers. I think there is more to take away on the good more than the bad. I know it sucks, but let’s relive this together and after today we can pretend me lying on my floor for an hour after the game never happened.
Marquis Teague may have grown up before our very eyes.
I didn’t get to watch the entire first half because I had color commentating duties, but I did catch a few live blogs and some of the radio broadcast and just listening to Teague was very frustrating. So frustrating in fact that Coach John Calipari didn’t even start Teague to start the second half, but after that brief stint on the bench, when Teague hit the court in the second half he was a WHOLE new player, and it’s possible he could have had one of those growing moments that fans watched in both John Wall and Brandon Knight. Growing pains will still be a problem for Teague, but in a hostile environment he scored 15 points and five assists to three turnovers and only took one three instead of settling for jumpers like he had been. Hats off to Teague for his effort down the stretch.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is going to be ready to play…No matter what.
I don’t think any player on the Kentucky team has helped his draft status in the last few games than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The guy has proven time and time again he has a higher motor than anyone on the floor and when UK needed a big bucket, Kidd-Gilchrist went to the hoop and scored tough bucket after tough bucket. Kidd-Gilchrist seemed to be ready to play from the tip, and he had 18 points to prove that. Good news for Kentucky because they will have to come ready to play on the road in the SEC.
Doron Lamb and Darius Miller provided leadership.
Lamb set the tone early with a three and kept that intensity going the whole game, and the same with Miller late in the second half, the two totally paced UK at different times when UK needed it the most. You could literally see Miller’s demeanor change once he realized the game was in jeopardy and every time Indiana would drain a three, Miller would get the ball and go score, excellent effort on Miller’s behalf and he was just a tad late closing out on Watford late in the game, but had a hand in his face, that’s all you can ask. Lamb was consistent throughout the game for Kentucky and scored just like Miller, in ways that UK needed him to score.
UK WILL learn from this loss…
We say it a lot when Kentucky takes one on the chin on the road, the fact of the matter is sometimes it’s a reasonable excuse and sometimes it’s not. This time it is. UK had a chance to stretch the final few seconds out because they had two fouls to give, Coach Calipari told his team to foul and Teague tried too but when they didn’t call anything, the players on the floor decided to play it out because the game was almost over. Kentucky will learn from those mistakes and they will learn that NO team is going to roll over and die for them, the other teams are blood thirsty against UK and they want blood.
With good things, come the bad, and one thing that concerns me is Terrence Jones.
In my honest opinion, I think something was severely wrong with Jones. I don’t know if something happened before the game, if he felt bad or what. I’m not going to second guess him, everyone has a bad game but it was like Jones wasn’t trying. At one point in the game I had just as many rebounds than Jones, and Jones is 6’9 and I’m a 5’6 chubby white kid sitting on my couch watching the game. Jones did not show up, no clue where his mind was or where his game was, but I’m hoping he finds it somewhere on the ride back to Bloomington because he was by far the better athlete than the guys that was guarding him tonight. Sheesh.
Anthony Davis foul trouble issues.
It’s obvious that this team is a different team when Davis is not on the floor, but it’s the little mistakes that Davis made during those fouls. Now I’ll agree with everyone when I say his fourth was totally bogus and was a no call that was called, but other than that he made silly mistakes. Davis doesn’t have to leave his feet. He can stand straight up and get blocks and Calipari even said he would be fine with Davis standing straight up with his hands up and if the guy scores—he scores. Davis will learn and he will get better, but we have to have him on the floor especially with Jones playing the way he did and Kentucky not having any type of post presence with Davis in foul trouble and Jones giving zero for the team.
FREE THROWS, FREE THROWS, FREE THROWS…
With that being said, Kentucky has a week off to take a look at this game and relax, in the long run this loss will mean nothing more than a good game in December, that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt now, because it does but just remember that this team is capable of doing great things. Last year’s squad was atrocious on the road, but managed to pull it together and make a final four run and nobody remembers the bad, only the good…Come March, nobody will remember Indiana.