UK Men's Basketball

John Clay: Holiday leftovers from Cats-Cards

Louisville Cardinals guard Peyton Siva was sandwiched by Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins, left, and Josh Harrellson while Brandon Knight trailed. Siva had a tough time handling the Cats' pressure, finishing with six points on 2-for-9 shooting.
Louisville Cardinals guard Peyton Siva was sandwiched by Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins, left, and Josh Harrellson while Brandon Knight trailed. Siva had a tough time handling the Cats' pressure, finishing with six points on 2-for-9 shooting.

With another Cats-Cards hoops edition officially in the books, let's play 20 questions.

1. What got into Josh Harrellson? Rick Pitino's stubbornness got into Harrellson. Pitino kept doubling Terrence Jones. In the second half, Jones kept passing out of the double teams. Harrellson did a great job making himself available. Second period, I counted three Jones assists for Harrellson hoops.

2. What does that say about Jones? Our not-so-little boy is growing up.

3. Why is Billy Gillispie's significance in the series growing? In the past seven years, he's the only Kentucky coach Pitino has beaten. He's 2-0 vs. Gillispie, 2-6 vs. Tubby Smith and John Calipari.

4. Will Pitino ever beat UK again? Not next year.

5. What was the game's biggest individual play? Brandon Knight's three-pointer in front of the Kentucky bench with 9:08 left after Louisville had cut the Kentucky lead to 54-45.

6. What was the game's most overlooked aspect? Darius Miller's aggressiveness in the first half. He helped UK turn a 12-6 deficit into a 21-14 lead.

7. The most overlooked stat? Kentucky was the first team this season to have more assists (14) than turnovers (13) against Louisville.

8. The most misleading stat? Preston Knowles' 22 points. He had a great second half. But Pitino's right — Louisville needed him more in the first half.

9. Why were Pitino and assistant Ralph Willard arguing on the Louisville bench? Louisville was trailing 69-56 at the time, and there must always be someone to blame.

10. Was that a dirty play Terrence Jennings made at game's end on DeAndre Liggins? Liggins went for the layup. A frustrated Jennings went for the strip, missed, and caught the back of Liggins' heel. The play's intent lies in the eyes of the beholders, or what color the beholder was wearing at the time.

11. How is life not fair? Kentucky took three days off and played probably its best all-around game of the season. Louisville worked every day, including Christmas, and lost by 15. (Should be noted in past games, UK fans banged on Tubby Smith for giving his team time off before the Louisville game.)

12. Why is practice overrated? In post-game press conference, John Calipari said that on Thursday his team had its worst practice in the two years he has been at Kentucky.

13. What was the most overrated factor going into the game? The referee Mike Stuart.

14. How much did Louisville miss Rakeem Buckles? Crazy to say Louisville didn't miss its 6-foot-9 forward, out with an injured hand. Gorgui Dieng twisting his ankle in warm-ups didn't help the Cardinals' cause. Those together are not worth 15 points, however.

15. What was going on with that CBS halftime interview of Bruce Pearl? The teary Tennessee coach hopes to one day be Speaker of the House, even if he cannot recognize pictures of his own house.

16. The key to Louisville in 2011? Peyton Siva. The point guard couldn't handle DeAndre Liggins' length and tried to do too much Saturday.

17. The key to Kentucky in 2011? Eloy Vargas has to show some improvement and give Calipari a seventh player. (Provided Free Enes remains No Enes.)

18. Should John Calipari give Harrellson his Twitter account back? Were I Josh, I'd save all my material for the book.

19. What's the best thing about the KFC Yum Center? The new media work room is 10 times bigger than the old media work room, but then I'm all about me.

20. What's the second-best thing about the KFC Yum Center? Saturday, it offered Louisville fans a variety of ways to drown their sorrows.

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