PJ Washington and persistence aid UK’s win at Florida
Some scattered Sunday notes before the return from the Sunshine State:
▪ With LSU’s upset home 90-89 loss to Arkansas, Tennessee is now the only SEC team unbeaten in conference play. The Vols ran their league record to 8-0 with a 93-76 win at Texas A&M on Saturday. Kentucky and LSU are now tied for second place at 7-1. South Carolina, which comes to Rupp Arena on Tuesday night, is fourth at 6-2.
▪ PJ Washington did record his third consecutive double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds on Saturday. But it was Tyler Herro who led the Cats in scoring with 19 points.
▪ As I pointed out in my postgame three takeaways, UK is on a four-game streak of holding opponents under the 40 percent mark shooting from the floor. That has helped move the Cats to ninth in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings for adjusted defensive efficiency. John Calipari’s team ranks 17th in adjusted offensive efficiency and ninth in overall adjusted efficiency.
▪ Brad Calipari encountered the Twitter trolls at the O’Connell Center. He even autographed one of the signs.
▪ LSU had won 10 straight games before its loss to the Razorbacks. Arkansas shot 58.3 percent overall, however. Mike Anderson’s team made 13 of 24 three-point shots. When that happens, well, as a coach we know likes to say, you just move on to the next game.
▪ Be sure and check out Mark Story’s column on former UK coach Joe B. Hall, who has been battling some health issues. It should be noted that friends said they saw Joe B. and his friends at one of his favorite haunts, Windy Corner, last Sunday.
▪ The way Louisville embarrassed North Carolina in Chapel Hill last month, you knew the Tar Heels would be ready for the return game at the Yum Center. So there’s no great surprise in UNC’s 79-69 win. Give Louisville credit for cutting a 19-point deficit to nine points in the second half. North Carolina has won five straight games, by the way.
▪ Just when you think you have things figured out, Indiana goes to Michigan State and upsets the Spartans. Indiana had lost seven straight games. It had no business winning at East Lansing.
▪ Just when you think you have it all figured out, a ranked college basketball team scores 24 points (total) in a game in the shot clock era. Take a bow, North Carolina State. Actually, take a bow Virginia Tech, which held the Wolfpack to 14 points in the first half, 10 the second.
▪ We will soon start digging deeper into the Kentucky Derby preps. Saturday was a day for upsets in the early preps. That especially applied to the Holy Bull where Harvey Wallbanger won at 29-1. Harvey is trained by Lexington’s own Kenny McPeek.
▪ My Super Bowl pick: New England 27, L.A. Rams 17. The old master (Belichick) takes the new master (McVay) to school.