UK Men's Basketball

Bloodied Stevenson earns points for restraint

If this had been a regular-season game, Kentucky forward Perry Stevenson would have tied a Rupp Arena record with 20 rebounds. His seven blocks would have been two shy of a Rupp Arena record.

"Too bad it doesn't count," Stevenson said with his typical deadpan delivery. "I'll brag about it later to my kids and grandkids."

More immediately, Stevenson had to live with UK Coach Billy Gillispie's displeasure. Gaudy numbers masked a sloppy performance, the coach said.

"Last year, I thought he was hard on us," Stevenson said of Gillispie's critique. "But it was definitely for a reason."

When asked how he thought he played, Stevenson mimicked his coach.

"I just thought it was sub-par," he said. "I thought it could have been a lot better to help the team."

Stevenson probably rated at least one kudo. In the second half, he showed commendable restraint when an opponent bloodied his lip. Instead of retaliating, he walked to halfcourt.

"I was counting in my head, refreshing myself on numbers," he said. "I got up to 10 or 11."

Counting saved him from a "huge mistake," Stevenson said.

Oh those refs

The 58 fouls, two technicals and 72 free-throw attempts led to media speculation that the referees were showing off for SEC Supervisor of Officials Gerald Boudreaux, who attended the game.

"As a player, you have to adjust ... because you can't control how the referees will blow the whistle," Ramon Harris said. "You can't worry about how the referees will call a play. You just have to focus on your job as a player, and help your teammates out."

Harrellson slips

Josh Harrellson, the hero of Monday's exhibition with 21 points and 12 rebounds, slipped. He had two points and no rebounds in three minutes.

"He has to understand the approach you must take to be ready to play every single time," Gillispie said. "Last game is over, done, forget it, move on. Every single day is a battle in practice."

Stewart rises

A.J. Stewart had a busy statistical line: five points, three rebounds, one assist, three turnovers and three blocks.

"He gave us energy," Gillispie said. "He's still missing too many assignments. We all know he's a good athlete. If he becomes a more disciplined player to where he does carry out assignments on offense and defense, he definitely can be a major help to us."

Stewart can be a low-post presence, a particularly valuable commodity when Patrick Patterson gets in foul trouble, Gillispie said.

Crawford returns

Former UK player Joe Crawford attended the game. He said he will be playing for the Los Angeles Lakers' team in the NBA's Developmental League this season.

Crawford considered two options: play for the Lakers' team in the "D" league or enter his name in the "D" league draft. The deadline for a decision was Wednesday.

Considering the Lakers' team is based in Los Angeles, that must have been an easy decision.

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