Kentucky big man Patrick Patterson is good. But there's a limit to just how good.
Two plays in UK's rout of Missouri-St. Louis Monday night proved the point.
On one play, teammate Jodie Meeks threw a lob that went at least three feet over Patterson's outstretched hand.
When a reporter playfully asked Patterson why he didn't catch and lob and dunk it home, he said in a deadpan voice, "Because I'm not Dwight Howard."
On another play, Patterson found himself near the basket with a clear path for a dunk. But as he rose, he could only get the ball to the rim. It bounced away harmlessly.
"I was surprised," Patterson said. "I realized I was too far out."
When asked how it felt to misfire in such a public way, Patterson said, "It's funny. You've just got to move on even though your teammates are laughing and making jokes."
Of course, Patterson had plenty of good plays. He scored 24 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had three assists.
Big man Jared Carter continued to show more of the passion UK Coach Billy Gillispie wants.
In his six minutes, Carter threw himself into the rebound tussle and, most noticeably, charged into a defender going up for a dunk.
"He's getting better," Gillispie said before dissecting the charge. Carter bowled over freshman Sam Buxton, who was nine inches shorter.
"He didn't feel the defense," Gillispie said. "That was the only bad thing. It's a good sign he was aggressive, but he should have done a better job feeling the defense on his back."
Gillispie again noted how UK would value a contribution from Carter. "He just needs playing time and confidence."
As Kentucky warmed up to play Missouri-St. Louis, transfer Matt Pilgrim watched in street clothes under a basket.
This was the clearest sign that Pilgrim will not play this season if the NCAA does not waive its rule requiring a transfer to sit out a season. He transferred to UK after playing the last two seasons for Hampton.
Gillispie has spoken of an appeal to have the NCAA waive the requirement to sit out a season.
NCAA said on Monday that it had not received a request for a waiver for Pilgrim. Gillispie said UK was continuing to gather information for the appeal.
Sophomore A.J. Stewart did not dress out. Gillispie cited a "minor discipline situation" that would not be long-lasting.
"He'll be back ready to roll on Wednesday," Gillispie said.
The 111 points easily surpassed the most scored by UK last season: 92 against Florida International. The Cats haven't hit the century mark since beating Eastern Kentucky 101-72 on Dec. 23, 2003 ... Kentucky led 63-23 at halftime. The 63 points marked more than UK scored in eight games last season. ... When Missouri-St. Louis scored to reduce UK's first-half lead to 40-12, a fan could be heard yelling, "Play some 'D.' " When the visitors scored on the next possession, the fan grew anxious. "C'mon, c'mon," he yelled.