Last night’s game was a great game, there is nothing else you can say. The atmosphere was a tournament atmosphere, and Big Blue Nation came out in full force as they overshadowed any Duke fans that were in the crowd. We went to Atlanta knowing that Ryan Harrow wasn’t going to make the trip because of the flu. That already put us in a bad spot, because point guard play is crucial in beating good teams such as Duke. Ryan Harrow was the only player om Kentucky’s roster that had any experience againist Duke, he had 15 points and 5 assist againist them his freshman year at NC State. I dont know if that would have made a difference, but we can always wonder.
I learned alot about this team last night and even with a loss I was very pleased with the effort, and want to share some things we learned last night.
1. This young team will not quit when the time gets tough. Duke made a run like they always do, and started hitting the 3 point shot that they do so well. Kentucky couldn’t get anything going on offense and before we knew it Duke’s lead was 14 points with 6 minutes to go. John Calipari called a timeout and settled his young bunch down. After the timeout, Kentucky came out with a lot more energy and poise. They picked it up on the defensive end and started making stops. With 2 minutes left in the game it was a 3 point game and Kentucky had a chance to tie, but a 3 pointer from Julius Mays didn’t fall. This is a young group, but they have a lot of pride and will not quit.
2. Alex Poythress is a beast. We have been waiting for Alex to have a break out game and become that physical stud that he is. Well, last night that was what he did nobody on Duke’s squad could stop him. He can be the best player on the team if not in the nation. This game reminded me of last year of when Darius Miller was struggling and MKG told Coach Calipari to start Darius to try and get him going. It worked and Darius Miller was a huge reason why we won the national title. We lost, but Alex poythress may have broken out of his shell and that will help us down the long road and when the time counts.
3. Nerlens Noel is becoming a force down low. I have heard from critics that he doesn’t have any offensive game, well since he has been on campus and practicing I see nothing but improvement from the big guy. From the blue/white game to now, he has improved so much in all areas of the game. Nerlens not only has improved, but he hussles more than anybody on the team and you cant teach that. Noel ended up with 18 points and actually fouled Mason Plumlee out of the game. I am very excited about Nerlens this year and fans/media or whoever is still comparing him to Anthony Davis STOP. They have totally different games and it’s not fair to compare either one.
4. WE NEED RYAN HARROW!!!!!! Jarrod Polson was a great story, but last night he was out of place and couldn’t guard the Duke guards. I love Jarrod’s game and he is a great story, but when Ryan Harrow doesn’t play we have to play Archie at the point and he can’t attack like he wants. Once again WE NEED RYAN HARROW!!!
Overall, I was very happy with the teams efforts and ability to stay together and almost win the game. Fans relax this team will be fine by the beginning of January and watch out, because they have most room for improvement than any other team in nation. John Calipari is our coach and that alone should make everybody in the Big Blue Nation happy.
Kentucky gets back in action Friday when they host Lafayette at 7:00.