Sports

Billy, you're better than that

Random notes from all the drama that was Kentucky-Florida:

■ Not sure what Billy Gillispie is trying to prove with his behavior in those halftime interviews with ESPN's Jeannine Edwards, but truth is the Kentucky coach comes off as something of a jerk, which doesn't do anybody any good.

It's all so unnecessary, too. All Billy G. has to do is give a couple of clichés and continue on to the locker room. But instead of scolding Edwards for her question as he did at Mississippi, Gillispie claimed Tuesday he didn't hear the question, then told Edwards he didn't know where she got the Nick Calathes "vision" question when it was he the day before who complimented Calathes' "great vision."

It's a tired act, one bordering on sexism, and Gillispie needs to retire it. It's a poor reflection on him and the school he represents. If he doesn't want to do those interviews, there are plenty of coaches out there who would be happy to take his paycheck — and talk to ESPN.

To paraphrase an old C.M. Newton saying, "Come on, Billy, you're better than that."

■ So with a four-way tie in the East, which team has the better path down the stretch?

Says here the edge goes to South Carolina.

The Gamecocks are done with Florida and get Kentucky and Tennessee at home. Besides Columbia, the Cats also must visit Gainesville. Florida gets Kentucky and Tennessee at home, but the Gators do have a trip to Louisiana State.

Tennessee has the toughest road. The Vols are at Kentucky, South Carolina and Florida. To win the East, UT is going to have to earn it.

■ Tuesday night's most overlooked stat: Florida made just four of 14 three-pointers. The Gators are 11-0 in games in which they have made eight or more threes. Billy Donovan's club had made 10 or more treys in half their eight conference games. And Kentucky had just come off an outing in which it allowed Mississippi State 14 made triples. Yet the Cats held Florida to just four.

■ Florida forward Chand ler Parsons was coming off his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against South Carolina. He buried seven of eight threes in the Gators' trouncing of Vanderbilt in Nashville. Tuesday night in Rupp, the sophomore missed all four of his shots, including his only three-point attempt. He also missed two big free throws with 2:40 remaining.

■ What a streaky series. Kentucky won eight in a row over Florida. Then Florida won seven in a row over Kentucky. Now the Cats have taken two straight from the Gators.

■ We don't see practice, so you don't know all the reasons why Kevin Galloway hasn't consistently seen the floor. But he sure took advantage of his minutes Tuesday night. Nine assists. Eight rebounds. He led the Cats with four offensive boards. Now that's the way a point guard is supposed to play.

■ Kentucky fans don't like Ca lathes, but they'd love him if he were a Cat. And while Jodie Meeks is the league's best scorer, Calathes is the league's best all-around performer. Come on, it's hard to argue with the sophomore's 33 points, seven rebounds and three assists, even if he did miss the free throws at the end.

■ The Gators were averaging 17 assists a game. They finished with nine on Tuesday.

■ Give Florida credit for one thing. The Gators play great free-throw defense in Rupp. Last year, UK made nine of 20 free throws when playing visiting Florida. Tuesday, the Cats were 9-for-16 from the line. Yet Kentucky won both games.

■ I love this post-game quote from Donovan, and what it says about Meeks: "As we were shaking hands at the end of the game (Meeks) says, 'Coach, I was really lucky tonight.' I always admire someone who is that humble. He is a great kid, and he has had an unbelievable year."

■ If you told Florida that it would lose Walter Hodge with 16:12 to go, and Kentucky would lose Patrick Patterson with 9:06 to go, I think the Gators would take that trade.

■ One of the readers of my in-game Liveblog (johnclay.bloginky.com) commented after the halftime interview Tuesday, "Has this turned into a play school-type crush where the boy is mean and aloof to the girl because he really likes her?"

■ Another wrote: "Wedding Bells are Ringing, BCG and Jeannine Edwards to marry!"

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