Notes

UK-LSU notes: Darius Miller scores, but Calipari wants more

Senior scores but leaves Calipari wanting more

jtipton@herald-leader.comJanuary 29, 2012 

BATON ROUGE, La. — Darius Miller continued his hot shooting. Kentucky Coach John Calipari continued to note how the senior from Maysville could be even more effective.

In Kentucky's 74-50 victory at Louisiana State on Saturday, Miller scored 13 points. His 3-for-5 accuracy from three-point range made him 13-for-24 from beyond the arc against Southeastern Conference opponents.

"I'm just letting it go, now," said Miller, who opened the season by making only one of 11 three-point shots in the first five games (eight of 33 in the first 10). "I was kind of hesitant at the beginning of the season."

Calipari wished aloud for Miller to play without reservation in areas other than scoring.

"We want him to score the ball," the UK coach said. "We want him to do those things. But I also want him to come up with loose balls."

Calipari cited three loose balls he thought Miller could have gotten but did not get.

"He didn't even stick his nose in there," Calipari said. "... You want to shoot all jumpers. Get your nose in there. Those loose balls in close games are the difference between winning and losing."

Miller had one rebound in 29 minutes. That gave him 11 in seven SEC games.

On the plus side, Miller's 13 points gave him 1,081 and moved him into 48th place on UK's career list. He moved past Dirk Minniefield, Rex Chapman and Billy Ray Lickert. Next up? Jeff Sheppard at 1,091.

Scoring, schmoring

On the other end of the spectrum was freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He didn't make a shot (0-for-5 from the field, 0-for-1 from three-point range).

Yet Kidd-Gilchrist had eight rebounds, matched his SEC high with four assists and made two steals.

"Here he is, doing everything he has to even though he's not making baskets," Calipari said of Kidd-Gilchrist.

Before the game, LSU Coach Trent Johnson likened Kidd-Gilchrist to one of his gamers at Stanford, forward Mark Madsen.

"Mark would be playing so hard, but he'd be helping you up," Johnson said. "(Kidd-Gilchrist) is just everywhere. He's not saying anything to you. He's so locked in. You want to say, 'Man, leave me alone.' But he never says anything."

Hickey struggles

Freshman Anthony Hickey, the 2011 Kentucky Mr. Basketball, struggled.

He missed his first four shots and didn't score until hitting a three-pointer with 9:49 left. That marked LSU's only three-pointer in nine attempts. He finished with five points.

On the plus side, Hickey had five assists and no turnovers in 32 minutes.

"I didn't want Marquis (Teague) playing Hickey," Calipari said. "I didn't want it to be Marquis playing Hickey. I didn't want it to be a back-and-forth (duel). I wanted (Teague) to keep running our team. So I put Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) on him."

Kidd-Gilchrist "defended his butt off," Calipari said.

Hickey sounded reasonably satisfied.

"It was great, especially having them come here," he said of the experience. "We fought, and it didn't go out the right way. It was great to play the No. 1 team, and we are going to learn from this."

No sellout

For the first time this season, Kentucky played a road game that did not feature a sellout crowd.

LSU announced a crowd of 10,060, and 11,631 tickets sold.

The Pete Maravich Assembly Center has a listed capacity of 13,215.

Sellout crowds watched UK play at Indiana, at Auburn, at Tennessee and at Georgia earlier this season.

Free throws

Terrence Jones took delight in making seven of eight free throws. He had made only seven of 16 in the two most recent games.

"A real achievement for me," he said. "It's what I've been working out for."

On the other side of the continuum, Anthony Davis made only four of 10 free throws. If he wanted a rationale, he could have cited the physical beating he took.

Davis came into the game as the second-best free-throw shooter in league play: 24-for-28 (.857). Only John Jenkins of Vandy (19-for-19) had done better.

Etc.

Davis' three blocks gave him 101 for the season. Only seven SEC players have ever blocked 100 or more shots in a season.

The league record is 170, set by Jarvis Varnado of Mississippi State.

On the SEC's all-time list for freshmen, Davis moved past Tyrus Thomas of LSU and into second place.

Only Shaquille O'Neal has had more blocks than Davis. O'Neal blocked 115 shots as a freshman for LSU in 1989-90.

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