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March 1, 2007

Dawgs show guts, but lose to Cats


Stukes didn't play. (Suspension)
Mercer didn't play. (Knee injury)
Bliss didn't play. (Hip Injury)
Jackson didn't play. (Shoulder dislocation)

You can't go into Rupp Arena with two of your best players missing, some key depth gone and expect a win. Despite all that...the players on the floor got after it as much as they could given the minutes played.

The Package

Steve Newman delivered 17 points hitting shots from all over the place in a 39 minute display of "how big a boy are you." It was probably the second best game of his career behind his freakishly good performance in Fayetteville. UK fans leaving the building heard the following announcement on the PA system...

"Attention Rupp Arena janitors:
Please bring mops to the court.
It's covered with Steve Newman's guts."

Just as impressively, Woodbury played 35 minutes (more than double his normal 16.9 minutes), and he made the most of it. He went 4 of 9 from beyond the arc, showed a nice mid-range jumper, and slashed along the baseline all while going 3 of 5 from inside the three point line. Woodbury also protected the ball with only two turnovers. The kid flat out has huge upside. This may be crazy talk, but I think his jumper looks like Jarvis Hayes.

Another plus, the team only turned the ball over twice in the second half after being careless with the ball in the first half.

Why did we lose if so much went well?
    1. UK shot LIGHTS OUT in the second half. They went 8 for 11 from beyond the arc in the second half. Granted, we probably stayed in the 2-3 zone too long when they were RAINING three pointers. But you're not beating anyone who goes 72.7% from the 3 point line. Overall, they shot 18-27 (66.7%) in the 2nd half.

    2. I think that our depth issues forced us to stay in the zone longer than we wanted. We needed the zone to protect the players' legs as each starter went over 30 minutes. In fact, Gaines went 40 minutes and Newman gutted out 39 min.

    3. The team settled for too many threes. Some of that was being over matched talentwise. Some of it was the ongoing offensive half court issues. When you shoot 31 three pointers, you're not likely going to win.
Not that anyone asked...but my two cents on suspending Stukes.

Felton being such a hard ass sometimes seems almost self destructive. He picks some crazy moments to make a stand. I understand wanting to "break the colts," but damn. I'm also tired of having an irrelevant basketball program. So I badly want(ed) to think Felton overreacted.

HOWEVER.... if Stukes pulled a nutty and went mental on a member of the coaching/support staff (as the AJC and says) then you have to suspend him. The AJC says:
It would have helped Georgia considerably if Stukes had been around Wednesday. But the Bulldogs' third-leading scorer and record-setting 3-point shooter was left behind in Athens after getting into "an inappropriate verbal altercation" with a member of Georgia's strength and conditioning staff as he "chose not to go to a mandatory weight workout" following practice at Stegeman Coliseum on Tuesday, coach Dennis Felton said.

"It's extremely disappointing," Felton said after the game. "You expect your seniors to lead the way."
Hopefully, he gets back for the UT game. We're going to need him. I hope he thinks it was worth it.

See Also:
-- Box Score -
-- Recap -
-- Stukes pulled a nutty / Recap -



Anonymous said...

Gaines puts in that type of gutty performance every night. I hope we never take that for granted.

Anonymous said...

Someone remind me again how and why Randolph Morris was allowed to come back to UK?

Anonymous said...

the NCAA's gotta protect their assets. Same reason Duke's never been busted.

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