As Mel Brooks said in the movie, The History of the World, Part I: "It's good to be king." Well, winning agrees with Kentucky basketball.
Even if the opponent is lowly Tennessee State (which had the third-worst Ratings Percentage Index among all 343 Division I teams on Sunday), the Cats enjoyed Monday night's 102-58 victory.
When asked to describe the team's mood, Patrick Patterson said, "It's cheerful."
The good cheer extends to UK Coach Billy Gillispie.
"With Coach Gillispie, there's a lot more joking around," Patterson said. "There's a lot more fun."
After playing nine minutes against Appalachian State on Saturday, Ramon Harris did not get off the bench.
Gillispie explained that Harris got hit with an elbow to the lower back during Sunday's practice. His back stiffened up.
"He tried to warm up, but he couldn't get loose," the UK coach said.
You might think 78 points in two games might send Jodie Meeks' confidence through the Rupp Arena roof.
Not so, he said.
"I'm always a guy who doesn't lack for confidence," Meeks said. "I'm shooting every day whether I've been hitting shots or not." The last UK player to score 30 or more points in consecutive games was Derrick Miller in 1989-90. He had 36 points against Tennessee Tech and 32 against Kansas.
Meeks' 27 points before halftime matched the UK record for a half. Tayshaun Prince (against North Carolina in 2001) and Miller (against Kansas in 1989) also had 27 in a half.
When Meeks left the game with 4:41 left, he and Gillispie had a talk at the bench that looked like coaching rather than congratulations.
Gillispie gave him a do-better talk about defense.
"Don't expect anybody to help me with my man," Meeks said. "I respect that. If he doesn't want me to improve, I won't."
Thirteen top NCAA head coaches including Tubby Smith, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, Frank Beamer and Rick Neuheisel will team with celebrity alumni in a charity golf event on Christmas Day.The teams will look to win portions of a $350,000 pot of scholarship money in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Alma Mater at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga.
The event will be televised by CBS beginning at 2:30 p.m. Bill Macatee and Bill Raftery will call the action.
The event will award $350,000 in scholarship winnings among the 13 university teams and will donate $115,000 more to charity.
Players and teams participating are: Alabama (Ken Stabler and Saban), Arizona State (Michael Haynes and Frank Kush), Auburn (Pat Sullivan and Tommy Tuberville), Boston College (Chris O'Donnell and Jeff Jagodzinski), Colorado (Kordell Stewart and Bill McCartney), Georgia Tech (Paul Johnson and Jon Barry), Maryland (Neil O'Donnell and Ralph Friedgen), Michigan (Brian Griese and Rich Rodriquez), Minnesota (Jim Peterson and Smith), South Carolina (Sterling Sharpe and Spurrier), UCLA (Sinjin Smith and Neuheisel), Virginia Tech (Dell Curry and Frank Beamer) and Wake Forest (Billy Packer and Jim Grobe).
Before the game against Tennessee State, Kentucky honored former All-American Vernon Hatton.
UK presented Hatton with a section of the court used in Memorial Coliseum. The section marks the spot from which he hit a 47-foot shot against Temple on Dec. 7, 1957 to send the game into double overtime. UK won in three overtimes 85-83.
UK (9-3) has won all but one game since the loss at North Carolina on Nov. 18. ... The slow starts are a thing of the past. For the third straight game, the Cats scored the first 10 points. UK led Tennessee State 15-0. ... UK had made 25 straight free throws until DeAndre Liggins missed in the second half.