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The GBU: Hog Edition

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  • The GBU: Hog Edition

    The Good

    * Tyler the Creator. The scuttle the last couple of days has been, unfortunately, that Tyler Herro is being discussed as a first-round pick. Which is disappointing because I love the idea of him as a sophomore. But as a freshman I truly believe he's one of the more intriguing players of the Cal era, which is obviously high praise. The kid can just play the game. One underrated thing about Cal, and it's something that's rarely discussed, is that the man is a pretty good talent scout. Yes, he goes after mostly can't-miss NBA prospects. But then you have the Bookers and the Gilgeous-Alexanders and the Tyler Herros--guys who sort of came out of nowhere to become college stars. And Herro is indeed a star. He plays the game with a grit and a toughness and if you don't love him, you don't know the game of basketball.

    * Will to Win. Kentucky could have dropped an embarrassing one last night, but the Cats reversed a trend we've seen in the last month where we'll play great in first halves and fade in second. Last night the defense clamped down and Arkansas could do virtually nothing for the last 20:00. Only when Nick Richards couldn't grab rebounds against the Gafford kid did Arkansas have much semblance of an offense. Otherwise it was all Cats.

    * The Very Tall and Very Large-Handed Mound of Rebound. Nick Richards grabbed an oddly quiet 15 rebounds last night. Even though I don't think he played a great game, and was involved in some spectacularly horrid plays, he did grab the basketball when it came off the defense board. Have to give the guy credit there.

    * Defense Wins. If Kentucky wants to win a national title, we have to get the effort we saw in the second half defensively. It's really the only way it can happen, because this team is not a good enough halfcourt team offensively and the shooting's still too streaky. But when we really get after it we've got some guys who can be elite defenders, and the good news for Kentucky is that we've seen that kind of defensive effort more often than not after the Alabama disaster.

    * Did Duke Win? No.

    The Bad

    * Halfcourt Oof. Arkansas was the aggressor in the first half, really making it hard for Kentucky to even get into its sets. That was a game where Reid Travis would have greatly helped, because one thing that guy can do is post up and receive the basketball on the block. We couldn't even get the ball onto the block to start our offense, and that was messing everything up. That was basically guys not coming ready to play, as Jimmy Dykes pointed out probably 217 times.

    * Hagans, Yuck. Ashton Hagans had a tremendous second half defensively. His first half was probably the worst I've seen him play. Arkansas was playing that sloughing half-zone/half-man thing, and Hagans was utterly confused. You'll notice that when he's going wrong, what he does is take the ball right onto the elbow and then stop. He doesn't have that extra gear yet or the power we've seen from Cal's great point guards, so what happens is that he gets trapped in no-man's land too much. That happened at least eight or nine times in the first half last night, and when your point guard is playing like that you just can't operate.

    * Johnson's Start. Keldon Johnson was equally bad in the first half, throwing up such unimaginably bad shots that it appeared he may have had a hit of Nyquil before gametime. He got going offensively in the second half, but from his weird turnovers to his short threes to the missed free throws, it wasn't Johnson's finest hour.

    * The Stripe o' Pain. Tough night at the foul line last night for a team that's usually very solid. Last night it was an adventure, and that's another stat that you look to in March when you're trying to figure out how Kentucky can lose to a lower-seeded team.

    The Ugly

    * E.J. Not Today. They were trying to feed Montgomery early in that game. I think Cal felt like that could be a game that he got off early in and put up some big numbers. Not so much. After knocking down his first jumper, Montgomery proceeded to fumble a couple of passes and look like he was backing down from Arkansas' physicality. At that point Richards came in and we saw Montgomery only sparingly for the rest of the game. I continue to think Montgomery is a key part of this team, but it's still as an energy guy and a player who can chase tough rebounds off the bench. He hasn't shown that he can play sustained minutes.

    * The Old PJ. For the first time in quite awhile, PJ Washington reverted last night. The player we saw in that game was pretty much a carbon copy of the one we saw so many times his freshman year, and that's disappointing because he had put so many dominant games together. You knew we were in for a tough night when he couldn't even seal his man to receive the basketball, and that's an effort thing. He missed threes he's been making, he whiffed on rebounds, he clanked foul shots, he blew block-outs. It was one of his poorest games of the season and luckily it didn't get us an L.

    * Cue Circus Music. The last two minutes were an adventure last night, as Kentucky struggled to do such simple thing as key in-bounds passes and make game-icing free throws. The PJ Washington throw-in was cataclysmically awful, and if you're looking for another thing that could doom Kentucky in close games it might be our inability to get the ball where it needs to go against pressure.

    * Mike Anderson is a Jerk. Really, really dislike that guy. Definitely my least favorite SEC coach.

    Last edited by Will Lavender; 02-27-2019, 07:39 AM.

  • #2
    The thing about Mike Anderson is interesting because it seems he and Cal pretty much despise each other. Just one of the most unlikable people in the SEC and in general, I can't stand Arkansas.
    When he was a kid Lord, he never imagined all the ways that the city could bring a country boy down.

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    • #3
      Herro was phenomenal, especially for playing a bit hobbled.

      Aside from Willie Cauley-Stein and Gilgeous-Alexander, I don't think there's been another player in the Cal era that has exceeded my hopes this much.

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      • #4
        Joe Lunardi‏Verified account @ESPNLunardi 1m1 minute ago Thinking about dropping Kentucky from the top line after lackluster performance last night...

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        • #5
          ^ Without Travis Kentucky could well be hammered Saturday.

          I would expect, were that to happen, we would be back on the 2 line.

          There's still time after that to bring the seed back but we'll never win in Knoxville if we give that effort.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post
            Joe Lunardi‏Verified account @ESPNLunardi 1m1 minute ago Thinking about dropping Kentucky from the top line after lackluster performance last night...
            What a moron.
            Jordan Peterson is my spirit animal...

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            • #7
              I still think UK ends a two seed. All good depending on WHERE and WHO.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post
                Joe Lunardi‏Verified account @ESPNLunardi 1m1 minute ago Thinking about dropping Kentucky from the top line after lackluster performance last night...
                I bet he's not thinking about dropping Duke from the top line after their lackluster performance (and loss) last night.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KCKUKFan View Post

                  I bet he's not thinking about dropping Duke from the top line after their lackluster performance (and loss) last night.
                  Without #1 pick in draft playing, Duke will get the benefit of the doubt. Travis is a big loss and UK may have played their best game without him and also one of the worst halves without him. Kentucky will have to play great on Saturday and I think Tennessee will be favored by 3 or 4 points.

                  I really think this year may come down to winner of SEC getting number 1 seed unless LSU or another team pulls off some major upsets.

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                  • #10
                    We squeaked out a win, I'll take it, but I am nervous about Saturday.


                    Can you all explain to me what it is about Coach Anderson that folks hate?
                    Last edited by 85 Fly; 02-27-2019, 05:54 PM.

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                    • #11
                      ^ Collusion-Gate is the main thing for me. He's like Nolan Richardson-Lite

                      (I say Collusion-Gate as a very light joke about him joining Coach Smith for one of our practices in 2004, and later he, Squeaky Johnson & Ronnell/Donnell Taylor broke our hearts)

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                      The GBU: Hog Edition

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