Sidelines with John Clay

Notes from first two Kentucky-Tennessee basketball games

Kentucky guard Quade Green (0) appeared dejected as Tennessee forwards Admiral Schofield (5) and Grant Williams (2) celebrated late in the second half of the Volunteers’ 61-59 victory over the Wildcats on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at Rupp Arena.
Kentucky guard Quade Green (0) appeared dejected as Tennessee forwards Admiral Schofield (5) and Grant Williams (2) celebrated late in the second half of the Volunteers’ 61-59 victory over the Wildcats on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at Rupp Arena. aslitz@herald-leader.com

With Kentucky and Tennessee set to meet Sunday for the SEC Tournament title, some notes about the first two meetings between the two teams.

▪ Tennessee swept Kentucky in the regular season for the first time since 1998-99, beating UK 76-65 in Knoxville on Jan. 6, then 61-59 in Lexington on Feb. 6.

▪ Kentucky lead the game at Thompson-Boling 37-29 at the half, only to be outscored 47-28 in the second half.

▪ UK forward P.J. Washington was on his way to maybe his best game as a Cat, scoring 13 points, before he left the game with cramps with 12:30 remaining and did not return.

▪ Wenyen Gabriel made three of four three-point shots before fouling out with 11:58 remaining.

▪ Kentucky led 47-44 before Tennessee went on a 16-3 run to take a 60-50 advantage. UK never drew closer than seven points the rest of the way, prompting John Calipari to say afterward, “They just threw us around.”

[Three takeaways as Kentucky takes a tumble at Tennessee]

▪ Tennessee shot 45.5 percent in winning its third straight over Kentucky in Knoxville. UK shot 46.2 percent. But the Cats turned it over 16 times, compared to 14 assists. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had six assists, but also five turnovers.

▪ Tennessee was credited with 23 assists, compared to 12 turnovers. The Vols also won the rebound battle 37-30.

▪ UK averaged 0.962 points per possession, compared to 1.145 for the Vols, who brought an 0-2 SEC record into the contest.

▪ Kevin Knox went just one-of-nine from the floor and missed all five of his three-point shots. He finished with six points.

▪ Quade Green led UK with 14 points in the first game, but he needed 14 shots. The freshman guard was five-of-14 from the floor.

▪ Admiral Schofield led Tennessee with 20 points and nine rebounds. Grant Williams added 18 points and eight boards. Williams scored 16 points in the second half.

▪ The game at Rupp Arena on Feb. 6 featured 17 lead changes and 13 ties.

▪ Kentucky led 58-56 with 1:28 left, but Gilgeous-Alexander turned it over on back-to-back possessions, the second leading to a breakaway dunk by Tennessee’s Schofield for a 61-58 lead with four seconds left.

▪ Gilgeous-Alexander was fouled with 1.3 seconds left. He made the first free throw, before missing the second on purpose. Tennessee rebounded to ice the game.

▪ Afterward, Calipari took the blame for the loss, saying he should have called timeout.

[Timeout! Three takeaways as Kentucky is swept by Tennessee]

▪ Kentucky shot 42.2 percent for the game, compared to 42.3 for Tennessee. UK was just three-of-14 from three-point range, while Tennessee was 12-of-14 from the foul line.

▪ Tennessee again won the boards, this time 32-30.

▪ Kentucky again had trouble taking care of the basketball. The Cats turned it over 15 times, compared to just seven assists. UK averaged 0.909 points per possession. Tennessee averaged 0.958.

▪ Kentucky’s turnover percentage was 23.7 at Thompson-Boling and 23.1 at Rupp.

▪ Gilgeous-Alexander and Green led UK in scoring with 15 points each. So Green averaged 14.5 points in the two games, making 11 of 24 shots.

▪ Knox went three-for-11 from the floor at Rupp, bringing his totals against the Vols to four-of-20 from the floor. He missed all eight of his three-point attempts, including three at Rupp.

▪ After not playing in the first game, Jarred Vanderbilt had four points and one rebound in the second game.

▪ Gabriel made his only three-point attempt in the second game, so is four-of-five from three against UT heading into Sunday -- this after his seven-for-seven dream game from three against Alabama on Saturday.

▪ Lamonte Turner came off the bench to lead the Vols with 16 points in Lexington. Turner hit a clutch three-pointer with 26 seconds left to give Tennessee a 59-58 lead.

▪ After scoring 20 points in the first game, Schofield was held to 12 in the second. He missed all six of his three-point tries.

▪ Since coming to Tennessee, Rick Barnes is 4-2 against this old friend John Calipari at Kentucky.

▪ Sunday marks the first time the two rival schools have played in the SEC Tournament since March 13, 2010 when Kentucky beat Bruce Pearl’s Volunteers 74-45.

▪ Tennessee won its last SEC Tournament by beating Kentucky in the 1979 finals in Birmingham. That was the first year the conference held a post-season tournament since 1952.

Kentucky vs. Tennessee

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Where: Scottrade Center in St. Louis

TV: ESPN

Radio: UK Network

Kentucky-Tennessee last 10 meetings

Date

Site

UK

UT

Dec

1/15/13

Lexington

75

65

W

2/16/13

Knoxville

58

88

L

1/18/14

Lexington

74

66

W

2/17/15

Knoxville

66

48

W

2/2/16

Knoxville

77

84

L

2/18/16

Lexington

80

70

W

1/24/17

Knoxville

80

82

L

2/14/17

Lexington

83

58

W

1/6/18

Knoxville

65

76

L

2/6/18

Tennessee

59

61

L

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