Fast-break points from Tom Brady’s revenge party:
21. Malik Monk laughing. The fan backlash to the Kentucky guard’s mirth on the bench late in UK’s 88-66 loss at Florida was misplaced.
20. Response to a taunt. The guard was responding to the UF student section sarcastically singing “Happy Birthday” to him since Saturday was Monk’s 19th.
19. What UK backers should be worried about. In losing three of their past four, the Wildcats’ second-half defense has become a sieve.
18. Taking “D” out of “secon half.” Kentucky has allowed opponents to shoot 50 percent or better in the second half five times in its past six games.
17. Is there a fix? Kentucky does not have a shot-blocking rim protector. It does not have a muscular power forward to push foes off the block. The Cats should, however, have enough athleticism at guard to stay in front of driving dribblers. That’s what can be fixed.
16. 2010-11. Calipari’s second Kentucky team lost six of its first seven SEC road games. However, UK pulled out a victory at Tennessee in the regular-season finale and rode that momentum to the Final Four.
15. 2013-14. Calipari’s fifth Kentucky team lost three of its final four regular season games. Yet UK “tweaked” itself in the SEC Tournament, lost by one in the finals to Florida and rode that momentum to the NCAA title game.
14. Moral of the story. There’s no certainty the current Cats will figure things out and put together a March run. The two seasons above are a reminder they still could.
13. Julian Edelman vs. UK. The New England Super Bowl hero started at quarterback for Kent State in Commonwealth Stadium in 2007’s second game.
12. A dual threat. Kent State lost 56-20, but Edelman ran for 135 yards and threw for 129 yards and a touchdown.
11. Boyle County pride. Though Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme was injured and did not play in Super Bowl LI, it was the third time his team has made the big game. The Boyle County High School product was also on the losing side in 2010 (Indianapolis) and 2014 (Denver).
10. Paducah Tilghman pride. Tilghman did not have anyone playing in Super Bowl LI, but it did have three alumni covering the game as sportswriters. Thomas George (class of 1977) was there for SB Nation; Jerry Brewer (1996) for the Washington Post; and Kyle Hightower (2000) for The Associated Press.
9. EKU pride. Former Eastern Kentucky tight end Matt Lengel began the 2016 NFL season on the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad. Signed by New England in November, the Mechanicsburg, Pa., product earned a Super Bowl ring Sunday.
8. UK vs. U of L. In 2017 football recruiting, Kentucky and Louisville essentially fought to a draw. Rivals.com ranked UK’s class 26th in the country, U of L 29th. However, Louisville’s average “star rating” (3.14) for its 22 recruits was slightly higher than Kentucky’s (3.04) for its 24 signees.
7. From teammates to rivals. Austin Dotson and Cole Bentley were teammates at Belfry High School. Starting next season, they will be rivals. Offensive tackle Dotson signed with Kentucky on Wednesday, while offensive guard Bentley enrolled early at Louisville.
6. Not that big a change. “(Cole and I) have always had the thing of wanting to compete against each other to see who the real ‘big dog’ was, see who was ‘The Man’ and who was ‘The Boy,’” Dotson says. “I think we are going to try to continue that on.”
5. The two Lamars. Lamar Thomas, the Louisville assistant coach who recruited Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson for Bobby Petrino, famously left for a job on the UK coaching staff after the 2015 season.
4. No hard feelings. In town last week to accept the 2016 Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year Award, Jackson said he and Thomas still talk and text. “I feel like Lamar Thomas, if he felt like he should have been at Kentucky, then ... I’m behind him 100 percent,” Jackson said.
3. Stoops’ role? After an 0-2 start, the 2016 Kentucky football season turned (to seven wins in the final 11 games) after head coach Mark Stoops “became more involved” with running the defense.
1. Not stupid. “At the end of the day, I will coordinate the defense, I will implement it,” House says. “But you’ve got a great defensive mind 20 feet down the hall from the defensive staff room. It would be stupid not to have (Stoops) highly involved.”