Kentucky coaches gave their players a detailed road map of where Elston Turner likes to go on a basketball court, and what he likes to do once he gets there.
"If he drives right, he's going to pull up," Ryan Harrow said. "If he goes left, he's going to step back. If you face him up, he's trying to do a crossover.
"But Coach told us, he never goes to the hole, so we need to play him tight."
So much detail. Of so little value.
Turner scored a career-high 40 points to lead Texas A&M to a stunning 83-71 victory over Kentucky Saturday.
It was history on multiple levels. Turner's 40 points marked the most scored against Kentucky since Duke's Jason Williams had 38 on Dec. 18, 2001. It was the most scored by a UK opponent in Rupp Arena since LSU's Chris Jackson had 41 on Feb. 15, 1990.
"I thank God for this," Turner said. "This is something I've been wanting my whole life. My whole life."
It made Texas A&M's first road game in the Southeastern Conference one to remember.
"An incredible performance," A&M Coach Billy Kennedy said. "One of the best I've ever been part of."
Turner, a 6-foot-5 senior guard whose father (same name) scored 1,805 points for Ole Miss, made 14 of 19 shots in joining Jackson, David Robinson of Navy and UK's Derrick Miller as the only players to score 40 or more points in Rupp Arena.
His career-high six three-pointers surprised Kentucky.
"We were expecting more of just a mid-range game," Nerlens Noel said.
You couldn't blame Kyle Wiltjer, whose defense at Vanderbilt two nights earlier caused much consternation. The one time Wiltjer switched onto Turner, UK Coach John Calipari frantically called for Noel to help trap Turner and force him to pass.
"That's as good as it gets, the way he shot the ball," Calipari said.
Turner, whose 25 first-half points left him only one point shy of his previous career-high (26 against Troy and Houston earlier this season), scored all his points against freshmen.
"Kentucky's young and you could see it," Kennedy said. "They got frustrated, and we were able to take advantage of it."
More than once, UK defenders (Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin) slumped their shoulders and looked up in bewilderment when Turner hit three-pointers.
"I really think it sends the (A&M) team a message," Turner said of the UK players' reactions. "We're almost coming out with a win. We could tell they were frustrated. When a team's frustrated, that's when you step on them. I told the team, 'They're frustrated. We're almost home.'"
The trip home started with A&M's first basket. Turner hit a three-pointer over Poythress. Barely three minutes later, Poythress was late coming off a screen and Turner hit another three-pointer.
"Mistake," the UK coach said of beginning the game with Poythress guarding Turner. "It was a mistake. I was talked into it. I didn't want to do it and it was my decision. It was a mistake because from that point on, he was getting 50. Stupid on my part to do that."
The coaching staff convinced Calipari it was better to have Poythress on Turner, the Aggies' leading scorer (15.5 ppg), rather than a small, quick guard.
Turner scored 20 of A&M's first 29 points. He made 10 of 13 first-half shots. His teammates made four of 17.
Goodwin was the defender when Turner went without a second-half field goal until only 9:34 remained.
"I knew they were going to come out aggressive in the second half," Turner said. "I tried to get my teammates involved."
Kentucky, which suffered its most lopsided home loss since a 89-75 setback to Louisville on Jan. 5, 2008, did not wilt. Though trailing by as much as nine points early in the second half, UK took a 62-58 lead with six minutes left.
Then Turner hit a three-pointer to begin a 16-1 run.
Calipari lamented the lack of heady play during what he called "gut time." The Cats got to the line for only six free throws in the final six minutes. The Cats grabbed only five rebounds in the final six minutes-plus. And, Calipari said, the Cats tried to make the hard play rather than the easy play.
"Maybe they just got a little excited," Harrow said. "We got up and were making a run. They just wanted to make the big play. But you can't do that."
Turner forced little. With A&M leading 68-63 and UK preoccupied with keeping him from scoring, Turner found guard Fabyon Harris wide open in the right corner. Harris swished a three-pointer.
"That was a big-time play," Kennedy said. "That was the play of the game that I thought broke their back."
Afterward, Turner and A&M savored the personal and team accomplishments.
"This is, by far, the best performance I've ever had," said Turner, who earlier this season hit a long three-pointer to beat Washington State 55-54.
Added Kennedy: "This was a special performance. It took a 40-point game to beat Kentucky at Kentucky."
Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com