The singer Meat Loaf, whose basketball acumen is of unknown quality, had it about right when he said two out of three ain't bad.
That's how Kentucky Coach John Calipari calculates the chances of something good happening when his players take a shot. So it annoys him when there's a failure to launch. Or at least a hesitation to launch.
"What I'm trying to say to our guys is we are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country," Calipari said on a Southeastern Conference coaches' teleconference Monday. "Only three things can happen when you shoot the ball:
"You make it. I like that.
"You miss it, and we rebound and make that. I like that.
"Or they rebound the ball. Don't like that, but that's OK because we've got two of three (chances at something good)."
Through Sunday's games, Kentucky led the nation in rebound margin (plus 9.8). That advantage might be telling this week when UK plays against South Carolina on Thursday and Tennessee on Saturday. Neither opponent ranks among the nation's top 140 teams in rebound margin: South Carolina No. 299 (minus 4.3) and Tennessee No. 144 (plus 1.3).
Calipari also noted that UK leads the league in three-point accuracy for all games (36.6 percent), although that percentage shrinks to 31.1 in league play.
So why did the Cats hesitate "three or four" times, by Calipari's count, at Vanderbilt last weekend?
"What happens is we get some guys not making shots," Calipari said. "Now they don't want to shoot. Well, you can't be in the game. The consequence is you cannot be in the game. That's the consequence. You've got to shoot it."
Then, Calipari suggested a player's reply as "Well, what if I go O-for-five? I'm embarrassed'
"I understand that," Calipari said. "Then get in the gym and spend more time in there at night. Be there at 11 o'clock at night."
Calipari suggested that UK is a better perimeter shooting team than observers may think. He noted that Vanderbilt played man-to-man, instead of the customary zones used by opponents, as a nod to the Cats' perimeter shooting.
Vandy Coach Kevin Stallings "thought if we give them contested threes versus open threes, we're going to be better off," Calipari said.
'GameDay' record safe?
Syracuse officials do not expect to break Kentucky's record for attendance to a ESPN College GameDay telecast. Syracuse will not even attempt to break UK's record.
Kentucky fans filled Rupp Arena for GameDay on Feb. 13. The crowd of nearly 24,000 was about three times more people than had ever been in attendance for the TV show, which ESPN launched four years ago.
GameDay is at Syracuse this coming Saturday. It will originate from the Carrier Dome, which can seat more than 30,000.
But Syracuse is not taking aim at UK's GameDay record, spokesman Pete Moore said. The school expects about the same 5- to 6,000 that attended two previous GameDay shows from Syracuse, he said.
The school's relatively small enrollment (12,000) and widespread fan base in New York State make filling the Carrier Dome for a TV show less likely than it might seem.
Syracuse is seeking to break the record for attendance at a game played in an on-campus arena. The old record is 33,633 set by Syracuse when the Orange played Villanova in 2006 (fan-favorite guard Gerry McNamara's last home game).
Syracuse again plays Villanova this coming Saturday. The school has already sold 34,616 tickets, Moore said.
SEC honors Cousins
For the fourth time this season, the SEC named Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins its Freshman of the Week.
Teammate John Wall has won the award five times.
Only one player in SEC history, James Robinson, has won the award more often. He won it six times in the 1990-91 season.
Of the 15 Freshman of the Week awards this season, a UK player has won 11: Five by Wall, four by Cousins and two by Eric Bledsoe.
Cousins averaged 19 points and 9.5 rebounds in victories at Mississippi State and at No. 17 Vanderbilt last week. He recorded his 16th double-double of the season at Mississippi State with 19 points while pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds. Against Vanderbilt he scored 19 points to go with five rebounds and three steals. Cousins has scored in double figures in 18 of his last 19 games.
The SEC named Tennessee big man Wayne Chism as its Player of the Week.