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What else can be said about that game th..."/>

We Are Back; Kentucky dominates, roasts Hogs 101-70


by Alan Smith

What else can be said about that game that hasn’t been said already? The Cats played the most complete game of the season (despite an 18-3 Arkansas run) and dominated from start to finish, humiliating Arkansas 101-70 and pretty much securing a #1 ranking. It will be UK’s first #1 ranking since a dominating season in 2003, when they also had a winning streak of 26 straight games. This season seems to resemble that season and others where they had maintained a #1 ranking for a long time, with a quick offense and a stiffling defense.

This game was practically over from tipoff, as UK got out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back. I wouldn’t say that they developed a “killer instinct”, they just figured out how to use it. And the beauty of it was the fact that they learned to use it at the beginning of the game, which made it impossible for Arkansas to catch up, or even make the game competitive for that matter.

What hurt Arkansas this game was the fact that their frontcourt got into early foul trouble. Michael Washington and Marshawn Powell were troubled all game with foul trouble, allowing Demarcus Cousins to have another dominating game with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton were also dominate with a combined 15 points and 12 rebounds and 4 blocks early on by Orton. What also hurt Arkansas today was their lack of transition defense. UK’s stiffling defense was able to create forced shots by Arkansas on the perimeter, allowing John Wall and Eric Bledsoe to get out in the open lanes and feed the ball to people like Darius Miller, who led the team with a career-high 18 points on 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Cats shooting and highlight reel plays carried over from an impressive 57-27 halftime lead, to an 80-34 lead only six minutes into the second half. It was overwhelmingly enough to end the game there. John Wall led that run with some of his 16 points and 7 assists.  As Corey Price noted earlier in his “Inside the Numbers column” Wall is now just 3 assists away from passing Dirk Minniefield for UK’s assist record by a freshman.   The Cats stiffling defense remained a factor throughout the game until the final horn. It propelled them to force 14 turnovers on the Hogs to some fast-break points on the other end. The leading scorer on the season for Arkansas, Rotnei Clarke, seemed to be fazed by the crowd and the defense and never seemed to get into the game until late when Arkansas started to score and play harder. Even then, the Hogs only made it within 30 points when it was 92-62 with four minutes remaining, but Clarke was limited to 13 points on 5-15 shooting. Washington and Powell also seemed to be lost throughout the game, combining for 20 points and 13 rebounds. Courtney Fortson lead Arkansas with 21 points.

It was the first game of the season the Cats had been firing on all cylinders, which shows with the fact that every UK player but Mark Krebs scored throughout the game. All starters but Patrick Patterson scored in double-digits. UK seemed alert on defense and quick on offense, traits of a well-coached Calipari team. If the Cats can show up and play close to this every game, they should have a #1 ranking that can never be relinquished the rest of the season.

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