John Clay's notes: Noel stole show, but many Cats contributed in win at Ole Miss

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistJanuary 30, 2013 

Ole Miss' Aaron Jones (34) fouled Kentucky's Archie Goodwin (10) in the first half of the Kentucky at Ole Miss men's basketball game at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Miss.,, on Jan. 29, 2013. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

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Random notes:

■ Lost in the shuffle of Kentucky's 87-74 win at No. 16 Ole Miss was Archie Goodwin's 24 points.

Two days after his head coach, John Calipari, used his website to post a defense of the freshman guard, Goodwin turned in his best scoring game since he put up 28 points against Morehead State on Nov. 21.

■ As for Nerlens Noel's amazing shot-blocking performance — a school-record dozen swats — on Tuesday night, we should refer to Noel as the long arm of the law.

■ Wonder if Jay Bilas still thinks Noel is one of the five most overrated prospects in college basketball this season?

■ Not only did Ole Miss volume shooter Marshall Henderson make only five of 19 shots, the junior guard's last field goal came at the 18:11 mark.

■ There was no jersey-popping on Tuesday.

■ Now, after losing to Kentucky at home, Ole Miss goes on the road Saturday to play Florida.

■ At halftime Tuesday night, Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze did a news conference in the media room. Sitting on the front row was Morgan Freeman.

■ Kentucky scored 36 points in the first 9:44 of the second half against the Rebels.

The Cats then went the next 6:09 without scoring a single point.

And they won anyway.

■ John Calipari gave a stirring plug on behalf of Ole Miss building a new basketball arena. The UK coach pronounced the Oxford campus one of the prettiest and most impressive he had ever seen.

"Except for this building," said Calipari of the Tad Smith Coliseum.

■ A tip for future opponents when playing host to Kentucky: Tone it down.

Auburn went all out, retiring the late Mike Mitchell's jersey, having Charles Barkley on hand, and lost to Kentucky by 22.

Ole Miss had Morgan Freeman, Shepard Smith, a white-out with special T-shirts, and lost to UK by 13.

■ My Super Bowl pick: 49ers 31, Ravens 21.

■ Did you notice that Ole Miss took 85 shots on Tuesday? The Rebels had 26 offensive rebounds.

■ Noel has blocked 49 shots in his first seven SEC games. Anthony Davis blocked 34 shots in his first seven SEC games.

■ Glad Willie Cauley-Stein made the trip to Ole Miss even if the freshman forward did not play. It was worth it just to see that bow tie.

■ Yes, Kyle Wiltjer had a season-high 26 points on Tuesday. Better still, he had seven rebounds, three assists and — count 'em — three steals.

■ Despite his late start, the way Mark Stoops is getting his foot in the door with top-shelf recruits, makes you wonder what he will be able to do when he's actually had a year under his belt to recruit this time next season.

■ Did you see where the Tennessee athletic department is $200 million in debt? That's what happens when you keep paying coaches not to coach.

■ They didn't call A-Rod A-Fraud in the Yankees' locker room for nothing.

■ Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis talked to Bill Self recently and the Kansas coach said he was greatly influenced by something Eddie Sutton once told him.

"We try to get easy baskets," Self said, "and we try not to give them up."

■ Don't overlook the first-half contributions of Jarrod Polson and Jon Hood on Tuesday. The latter grabbed three rebounds in eight minutes. He also had an assist.

■ Is anyone really surprised that Randy Moss believes he is the greatest receiver in pro football history?

■ A California judge ruled that the NCAA cannot keep athletes from pursuing television revenue from live broadcasts. If allowed to stand in appeals court, that would be a true game-changer.

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: jclay@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog: johnclay.bloginky.com

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