Saturday, March 28, 2015

Revisiting the Kentucky Game

As painful as this is, yes, I'm going to go there.

Kentucky is just man-handling teams in the NCAA tournament.  The game against West Virginia was brutal.  Didn't watch it.  Didn't need to.  Knew Kentucky would win in convincing fashion.

Hard to believe that UGA gave Kentucky one of its toughest outs of the year.  Sure, there were the games against other SEC foes.  Sure, Kentucky barely outlasted a couple of teams(LSU and Missouri?), winning late or in overtime.  But neither of those teams were beating Kentucky by 9 points in the second half.

Besides, I don't care about the other teams.

Georgia should have won that game.  The game in Athens.  The game in which we were beating them soundly, and the Kentucky guys looked confused.

We needed a few things to go our way:

1.  Free throws.

Maddening to watch us go 9 of 18 in the most important game of the year.  50 percent!

2.  Balanced Scoring.

By and large, we had it.

3.  Good game by J.J. Frazier

Didn't get it.  He went 2 of 8 from the field, 1 of 5 from behind the arc.  He even missed his two free throw attempts.

4.  Great Game from Our Bigs

Was so proud to see Marcus Thornton, Nemi Djurisic and Yante Maten all shoot 50 percent or better from the floor.  Our three big men each outscored Dakari Johnson and Willie Cauley-Stein.  Nemi played out of his mind.

5.  Take away the Lob Pass

Mission accomplished.  Sure they must have had a couple, but I don't remember any.

6.  Great Coaching by Fox

We had it.  Great game plan.  We bodied their big men and made them shoot over the top.  Slowed the game down.  Made them defend our big men off the dribble.

7.  Win the Turnover Margin

They only had 3 turnovers the entire game.  We had 11.

8.  Get some Home Cooking

Think the refs hurt us more than helped us.

9.  Out-Shoot them from Deep

We went 3 of 17.  They shot 4 of 15.

10.  Be Tough on the Glass

We actually out-rebounded them, 41 to 38.

On the whole, we did what we needed to do.  

Their big man, Towns, was 8 of 12 from the floor.  He was hooking our defensive player with his elbow and shooting the jump hook.  I was practically screaming at the t.v. for Fox to call a double-down to make Towns go to his left.  Every time he bounced the ball, I would have had one of our guards running at him full speed.

In the end, we lost by 8.  We were right there, though.  If we had hit two more three-pointers, just 5 for 17, and shot 70 percent from the line, we would have won.

Woulda, coulda.  I know.  Frustrating.  They'll probably go 40 and 0 and win the whole thing, but we had them.

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