The second half started with the Aggies going up 38-31, then John Calipari tried to light a spark under his team’s rear by getting a technical foul called on him. It worked. For a while. Archie Goodwin came out of his funk and started slashing to the basket and getting to the foul line. Julius Mays woke up and hit some key three pointers. Ryan Harrow hit a couple of his signature lay ups and tear drops in the lane. Nerlens Noel continued to be a beast.
Things were looking up and the Wildcats were up with five points with a little more than five minutes left to go. And then the wheels came off in a stunning way. The Aggies went on a 18-5 run and completely crushed the Wildcats in the last minutes of the game. Elston Turner continued to be a Wildcat killer as he nailed deep three after deep three. And these weren’t your garden variety deep threes. These were deep threes with a hand in the face. These were deep threes from the “UK” logo in the middle of the court. Fans were having Tayshaun Prince flashbacks. He finished with 40 points.
Willie Cauley-Stein was limited with foul trouble. Kyle Wiltjer had zeron effect on the game with no points, two rebounds, and a turnover. Wiltjer was 0-2 from the field and 0-1 from three point range.
Losing a game is bad enough, but this team was embarrassed on their home court in front of a sold out arena and some key recruits in football in basketball. I know, the players need not focus on recruits, but they represent the best of what the university has to offer as far as athletics are concerned.
So here they sit at 10-5 and 1-1. They haven’t won a game against a quality team all season. They go into disturbing funks and droughts. They can’t hold leads. Their defense and effort is questionable. To sum it all up, they are a freshman laden team with nary a leader in sight.
I take that last part back. Nerlens Noel is the one guy on this team that shows continuous effort and heart. He finished the game with a near triple double. He had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 7 blocks. It’s unfortunate that his big day was all for naught. He needs more from his teammates. He needs Poythress to stop up and be that second guy.
Four Cats scored in double digits today but it wasn’t enough. Right now this team is mediocre and March is starting to look bleak.
There’s a long way to go in the SEC, sixteen games left long, and for once I find that a scary prospect.