UK Men's Basketball

UK notes: Flight home from Florida wasn't much fun for Cats

Florida's Chandler Parsons grabbed the rebound in the second half of the Kentucky at Florida men's SEC basketball game at O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday Feb. 5, 2011.  Florida won 70-68. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff
Florida's Chandler Parsons grabbed the rebound in the second half of the Kentucky at Florida men's SEC basketball game at O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday Feb. 5, 2011. Florida won 70-68. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

Kentucky endured a rocky flight to Lexington after the game at Florida. It wasn't thick clouds or a storm that shook the passengers. There was severe turbulence inside the plane.

Watching the video of UK's 70-68 loss to Florida angered Coach John Calipari. Misery loving company, he ordered individual players to sit by him, watch their misplays and explain themselves.

"Look at this," Calipari said he told each player. "What are you going to say? What's your excuse?"

Of his mood, Calipari said, "I was mean. I was loud."

At one point, the pilot told the passengers there was a decompression problem in the cabin. They might have to return to Gainesville.

Although the flight continued to Lexington without incident, Calipari playfully wondered if his vocal fireworks contributed to the problem. "We're fine," he said he jokingly told the pilot. "I'll be fine."

Safely back in Lexington on Monday, Calipari told reporters for the n-teenth time that Kentucky must be stronger, tougher, more passionate and display a greater will to win.

"The thing that bothered me after Florida was the things at Alabama and Mississippi again happened," Calipari said. "Now I have a problem."

If it happens once, you have a correctable error or teachable moment. If it happens again and again, Calipari sounds an alarm.

"The only good news I can tell you (is) only crisis brings about change," the UK coach told reporters.

Tennessee, which plays UK in Rupp Arena on Tuesday night, will be yet another opponent to present a physical challenge. In praising the Vols, Calipari noted their — shall we say — hands-on approach.

"They're going to bump and grind and grab," Calipari said. "They do it full-court, half-court. They play."

The Cats have not responded in kind nor shown enough "togetherness," Calipari said.

The UK coach dismissed the importance of close-game situations even though the Cats have lost their past two games (and three of the past five) by two-point margins. The real problem, he said, were the prolonged lapses that turn the potential for sizable leads into tight, possession-by-possession finishes.

"We'll win close games," he said. "I'm not concerned with that. ...

"The bottom line is we've got to get better. It's not just winning. We have to get better and we have to shore up these areas so when March rolls around, we're ready to go. Because we're not ready now."

Tired?

With a six-man rotation, fatigue might be a factor in UK's inability to close out opponents.

When asked if he were tired at this stage of the season, Doron Lamb said, "Yeah, I'm tired right now. But I've got to fight it."

Knight a finalist

Brandon Knight is one of 10 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to college basketball's best point guards.

Other finalists are Norris Cole, Cleveland State; Corey Fisher, Villanova; Jimmer Fredette, BYU; DJ Gay, San Diego State; Demetri McCamey, Illinois; Mickey McConnell, St. Mary's; Nolan Smith, Duke; Isaiah Thomas, Washington; and Kemba Walker, Connecticut.

Voters will be able to vote for a player not on this list in the final balloting.

Hopson questionable

Tennessee lists leading scorer Scotty Hopson as questionable for Tuesday's game. He did not play in the past two games after suffering a lateral sprain of his left ankle on Feb. 1.

Hopson, a native of Hopkinsville, averages 16.5 points. He's something of a weather vane for Tennessee. In victories, he's averaged 17.6 points and shot 48.1 percent (40 percent from three-point range). In defeats, he's averaged 14.3 points and shot 37.3 percent (32.4 percent beyond the arc).

Without Hopson, Tennessee won 69-56 at Auburn and lost at home to Alabama, in overtime, 65-60.

Hopson tried to practice Monday, but spent part of the workout off the court with his foot elevated.

Home game?

Having played four of the past five games on the road, Calipari pretended that the SEC had abandoned a balanced schedule for UK this season.

"I thought it was eight and eight," Calipari said in reference to the SEC's regular eight road and eight home games.

"It seems like 10 road games and six home games."

Kentucky returns to the road on Saturday with a game at Vanderbilt, which is 12-1 in Memorial Gym this season.

After Vandy, Kentucky enjoys four home games in a five-game stretch.

Etc.

UK has won 10 of the past 11 meetings against Tennessee in Lexington. ... Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Shannon Spake will call the game for ESPN.

Rosters

Kentucky

PROBABLE STARTERS

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.

1 Darius Miller G 6-7 228 Jr.

3 Terrence Jones F 6-8 244 Fr.

20 Doron Lamb G 6-4 195 Fr.

34 DeAndre Liggins G 6-6 210 Jr.

55 Josh Harrellson F 6-10 275 Sr.

RESERVES

2 Stacey Poole Jr. G 6-4 195 Fr.

4 Jon Hood G 6-7 202 So.

5 Jarrod Polson G 6-2 185 Fr.

12 Brandon Knight G 6-3 185 Fr.

30 Eloy Vargas F 6-11 250 Jr.

statistics

Player FG Pct 3pt Pct FT Pct RPG APG PPG

Jones .455 .309 .652 8.9 1.6 17.9

Knight .458 .417 .782 4.2 3.8 17.5

Lamb .500 .478 .848 2.4 2.3 13.8

Miller .485 .460 .811 4.8 1.8 10.0

Liggins .389 .358 .597 3.7 2.8 8.4

Harrellson .576 .500 .619 8.8 0.5 5.9

Vargas .444 .000 .609 2.4 0.1 2.1

Hood .281 .188 .556 1.0 0.2 1.2

Polson .143 .000 1.000 0.2 0.0 0.5

Poole .111 .250 .500 0.7 0.1 0.3

Team 2.5

Total .459 .404 .703 39.1 13.0 77.1

Opponents .383 .307 .704 34.0 11.2 62.7

Tennessee

PROBABLE STARTERS

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.

2 Melvin Goins G 5-11180 r.

12 Tobias Harris F 6-8 226 Fr.

23 Cameron Tatum G 6-6 192 Jr.

24 Josh Bone G 6-3 197 Sr.

25 John Fields F 6-9 222 Sr.

RESERVES

0 Renaldo Woolridge F 6-9 212 Jr.

1 Jordan McRae G 6-6 173 Fr.

10 Michael Hubert G 6-2 205 Sr.

11 Trae Golden G 6-1 207 Fr.

13 Skylar McBee G 6-3 184 So.

14 Tyler Summitt G 6-0 175 Fr.

15 Rob Murphy F 6-7 232 Jr.

20 Kenny Hall F 6-8 215 So.

22 Steven Pearl F 6-5 235 Sr.

32 Scotty Hopson G 6-7 200 Jr.

33 Brian Williams C 6-10 272 Sr.

34 Jeronne Maymon F 6-7 258 So.

statistics

Player FG Pct 3pt Pct FT Pct RPG APG PPG

Woolridge .353 .000 .500 1.4 0.2 1.6

McRae .353 .143 .455 0.9 0.0 2.0

Goins .366 .358 .780 3.1 3.0 7.8

Hubert .000 .000 .500 0.0 0.0 0.3

Golden .333 .240 .806 1.5 2.5 3.7

Harris .444 .313 .727 7.7 1.6 14.8

McBee .308 .315 .882 1.1 0.7 3.4

Summitt 1.000 1.000 .000 0.3 0.0 0.8

Hall .500 .000 .611 1.6 0.1 2.1

Pearl .548 .000 .500 1.2 0.7 1.7

Tatum .416 .308 .709 3.7 2.2 10.5

Bone .333 .300 1.000 1.3 0.4 2.8

Fields .636 .000 .458 3.7 0.2 3.5

Hopson .445 .372 .758 3.3 1.4 16.5

Williams .525 .000 .534 7.7 1.4 6.9

Maymon .560 .000 .214 3.5 0.1 3.9

Team 3.4

Total .435 .315 .685 39.7 14.0 72.4

Opponents .410 .330 .689 33.4 12.6 67.1

RESULTS, SCHEDULEs

All times EST and p.m.; home games in all caps

Kentucky (16-6, 4-4 SEC)

Date Opponent Result

Nov. 12 ETSU W, 88-65

Nov. 19 a-Portland W, 79-48

Nov. 22 b-Oklahoma W, 76-64

Nov. 23 b-Washington W, 74-67

Nov. 24 b-Connecticut L, 84-67

Nov. 30 BOSTON W, 91-57

Dec. 4 at North Carolina L, 75-73

Dec. 8 c-Notre Dame W, 72-58

Dec. 11 INDIANA W, 81-62

Dec. 18 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE W, 85-60

Dec. 22 WINTHROP W, 89-52

Dec. 28 COPPIN STATE W, 91-61

Dec. 31 at Louisville W, 78-63

Jan. 3 PENN W, 86-62

Jan. 8 at Georgia L, 77-70

Jan. 11 AUBURN W, 78-54

Jan. 15 LOUISIANA STATE W, 82-44

Jan. 18 at Alabama L, 68-66

Jan. 22 at South Carolina W, 67-58

Jan. 29 GEORGIA W, 66-60

Feb. 1 at Mississippi L, 71-69

Feb. 5 at Florida L, 70-68

Date Opponent Time TV

Feb. 8 TENNESSEE 9 ESPN

Feb. 12 at Vanderbilt 1 CBS-27

Feb. 15 MISSISSIPPI STATE 7 ESPN

Feb. 19 SOUTH CAROLINA 4 SEC Network

Feb. 23 at Arkansas 8 SEC Network

Feb. 26 FLORIDA 4 CBS-27

Mar. 1 VANDERBILT 9 ESPN

Mar. 6 at Tennessee Noon CBS-27

Mar. 10-13d-TBA TBA ABC-36

a-at Rose Garden, Portland, Ore.; b-Maui Invitational (Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii); c-SEC/Big East Invitational (Freedom Hall, Louisville); d-SEC Tournament at Atlanta, Ga. (Georgia Dome)

Tennessee (15-8, 5-3 SEC )

Date Opponent Result

Nov. 12ChattanoogaW, 82-62

Nov. 16 BELMONT W, 85-76

Nov. 17 MISSOURI STATE W, 60-56

Nov. 24a-Virginia CommonwealthW, 77-72

Nov. 26 a-Villanova W, 78-68

Nov. 30 MIDDLE TENNESSEE W, 86-56

Dec. 11 at Pittsburgh W, 83-76

Dec. 14 OAKLAND L, 89-82

Dec. 17 at Charlotte L, 49-48

Dec. 21 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA L, 65-64

Dec. 23 BELMONT W, 66-65

Dec. 29 TENNESSEE-MartinW, 68-62

Dec. 31College of CharlestonL, 91-78

Jan. 5 MEMPHIS W, 104-84

Jan. 8 at Arkansas L, 68-65

Jan. 11 FLORIDA L, 81-75 (OT)

Jan. 15 VANDERBILT W, 67-64

Jan. 18 at Georgia W, 59-57

Jan. 22 at Connecticut L, 72-61

Jan. 26 LOUISIANA STATE W, 75-53

Jan. 29 at Mississippi W, 74-57

Feb. 3 at Auburn W, 69-56

Feb. 5 ALABAMA L, 65-60

Date Opponent Time TV

Feb. 8 at Kentucky 9 ESPN

Feb. 12 at Florida 6ESPN/ESPN2

Feb. 16 SOUTH CAROLINA 7 CSS

Feb. 19 GEORGIA 1 CBS-27

Feb. 22 at Vanderbilt 9 ESPN

Feb. 26 MISSISSIPPI STATE 6 ESPN

Mar. 3 at South Carolina 7 ESPN/ESPN2

Mar. 6 KENTUCKY Noon CBS-27

Mar. 10-13b-TBA TBA ABC-36

a-at Madison Square Garden, New York City; b-SEC Tournament at Atlanta, Ga. (Georgia Dome)

(Sunrise, Fla.)

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments