Sidelines with John Clay

Reaction to Kentucky’s win at Georgia, plus more hoops links

Links for Wednesday:

Georgia’s villain was Kentucky’s hero in Ashton Hagans, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. Hagans scored a career-high 23 points and committed only one turnover in 30-plus minutes in leading Kentucky to a 69-49 victory over Georgia. ‘When I heard the crowd booing me, it was just like ‘Let me try to go out here and put on a show,’ Hagans said.

My three takeaways from the Kentucky win in Athens

Hagans says he wasn’t a traitor, reports Gentry Estes of the Courier-Journal. While growing up attending games at Stegeman Coliseum, Hagans probably couldn’t have foreseen that twist. But he also couldn’t have envisioned a much more successful debut there than this one. Hagans responded to the attention with his best game yet for Kentucky. Boos and all, he scored a career-best, game-high 23 points Tuesday night to lead the Wildcats to a 69-49 victory over the Bulldogs.

Sellout crowd not enough for Georgia against Kentucky, reports Mike Griffith of DawgNation. “Georgia was an atrocious 4-of-27 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc, missing on several open shots as Kentucky ran away with the game. Many of the sellout crowd left at the 9:01 mark after Kentucky went on an 8-0 run accentuated by two dunks, building a 16-point lead.”

Ashton Hagans too much for the Bulldogs, writes Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald. “Georgia students razzed Ashton Hagans more than an hour before tipoff Tuesday night when the Kentucky freshman guard walked onto the Stegeman Coliseum court for the first time in an arena that for some time looked like he would call home. “Traitor, traitor,” they chanted. He smiled.”

Tennessee blows out Arkansas, reports Mike Wilson of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “Lamonte Turner was in a groove when he caught a pass on the perimeter in the first half Tuesday night. The Vols guard, who had just swished four straight free throws, eyed the potential 3-pointer. He liked what he saw and knocked it down. Arkansas called a timeout. Turner ran over to the Tennessee bench and gave Vols coach Rick Barnes a pat on the behind.

LSU’s defense comes up big in win over Ole Miss, reports Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate. “So when LSU needed the defense to really show up and make a difference, it did, leading to an 83-69 win over Ole Miss on Tuesday night in a battle of two of the lsat four unbeaten teams in league play. LSU held Ole Miss to 40.6 percent from the field, including 28.6 beyond the 3-point line, and forced 16 turnovers.”

Mississippi State earned its first SEC win, reports Logan Lowery of the NE Mississippi Daily Journal. “Quinndary Weatherspoon drove the length of the court for a contested layup with 3.6 seconds left and was fouled. Weatherspoon’s free throw gave MSU a 71-68 lead that stood to send the 7,501 in attendance home happy.

Darius Garland injury still looms over Vanderbilt basketball, reports Adam Sparks of the Tennessean. Garland tore a knee ligament early in the season. The Commodores have struggled since, including a 56-47 loss at Kentucky last Saturday. Vandy plays host to South Carolina on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.

South Carolina is gaining from the player picked up after Brian Bowen was lost, reports Andrew Ramspacher of The State. “ On the same day Keyshawn Bryant was South Carolina’s leading scorer in a statement win over Missouri, Brian Bowen logged 15 minutes for the Sydney Kings in their loss to the Illawarra Hawks. One in Columbia, the other in Australia. One competing against Southeastern Conference competition, the other in the less-heralded National Basketball League.

Missouri basketball dealing with issues, reports Alex Schiffer of the Kansas City Star. The Tigers are off to an 0-2 SEC start heading into Wednesday’s game against Alabama.

Duke’s season hinges on Tre Jones’ injured hinge, writes Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News and Observer. Jones injured his shoulder in the Blue Devils’ overtime loss to visiting Syracuse on Monday night. He is out indefinitely.

SEC basketball games Wednesday

  • 7:00 - Auburn at Texas A&M (ESPNU)

  • 7:00 - South Carolina at Vanderbilt (SEC)

  • 9:00 - Alabama at Missouri (SEC)

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