I represented AllKYHoops.com at Rupp Arena last night and offered live coverage from the game. Here are a few notes I made and some quotes that were made during the post-game coverage:
- The Cats are loaded with talent, but they obviously looked like a team that has only been practicing seriously for only 12 days
- On offense, UK had some spacing issues that limited driving lanes and really hampered the DDM offense; Calipari stated several times after the game that he is having trouble getting the wings to go wide and create spacing and gaps
- Kudos to Mark Krebs and Perry Stevenson; they came in and demonstrated senior leadership by doing what they were supposed to do
- I am impressed and frankly a little surprised at the offensive arsenal of Darnell Dodson; he was relatively unknown coming from Miami Dade, but he has the total offensive package and all the moves to score the ball; he is still taking a few forced shots and bad looks, but he is a key to the season
- Kentucky was 3-12 from the 3-point line; this will be a concern until they start shooting a little more consistently
- Eric Bledsoe is a very talented player; he is quick, explosive and powerful; he was definitely the best guard on the floor last night
- DeMarcus Cousins is a force in the paint - on both ends; he has the potential to be an all-SEC big man; he is like the player that will carry an injured puppy across the street off the court, but knock three of your teeth out with an elbow on the court
- Keep in mind that UK played without John Wall, who is arguably the most talented freshman in the country
- Patrick Patterson appears much quicker and more explosive this season
- Hood is going to be a fan-favorite; you can hear a little buzz in the crowd every time he does something positive
- DeAndre Liggins was the only Wildcat that did not play; Calipari didn't directly answer the question as to why, but he alluded to Liggins' play in practice
- The Tigers are going to be a really good Mid-South team; they were overwhelmed by Kentucky's size and length, but they are not a bad team
- Campbellsville had a bunch of open shots that they just didn't knock down; they shot 12% in the first half and 21.1 % for the game; if they knock some of those open looks down, UK fans would be in meltdown mode this morning
- Nestor Colmenares is a much better player than he showed against UK; the rest of the NAIA should dread seeing Colmenares this season
- Shawn Savage stood out as a nice 3-point shooter; I jotted in my notes that there is a reason he wears the #3
- Colmenares, Jordan Benock and Leon Hart were a combined 2-22 from the field which is directly attributed to UK's size in the paint
- The Tigers picked up 14 offensive rebounds in the game; their guards out-hustled UK's guards on long rebounds
Post-Game Press Conference Quotables:
Keith Adkins, Campbellsville head coach:
On the overall game:
"...really just never able to get any momentum."
On Nestor Colmenares:
"Nestor Colmenares is an absolute beast at our level."
"We keep them in the mid-30's at halftime. I'll take that."
On his team:
"I was proud of our effort."
On Eric Bledsoe:
"He is extremely fast, extremely physical...strong."
John Calipari, Kentucky head coach:
On the overall game:
"If they had 58 possessions, we guarded about 10 of them the way we wanted. We had a problem with the other 48."
"We're twelve days in and we're just not ready."
On Perry Stevenson:
"I was really happy for Perry Stevenson."
On Eric Bledsoe:
"He played ok...probably played him to many minutes."
On Patrick Patterson:
"Patrick's got to take more shots."
On Patterson being named preseason All-America:
"That's terrific. What a great kid."
"What a great teammate this guy is."
On his first game at Rupp Arena:
"You know, it was neat to walk into an exhibition game and look up in the rafters, and it's packed. I was, like, stunned."
"Then I look up with six minutes to go, and we have 53 points. A running, pressing team!"
On knowing when the DDM is working:
"When we average about 16-17 assists and 12 turnovers."
A joke to Jerry Tipton:
"What did I say Jerry, your article would be 'dribble-drive this?'"
Listen to Calipari's Entire Postgame Press Conference (via John Clay)
A Couple of Things that I Consider "Cool":
- I bumped into UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart at halftime; I wasn't sure what to expect, but he said, "How are you doing?"; My first impression of Mr. Barnhart was a very good one
- I listened in on a great basketball conversation between Kenny "Sky" Walker, former UK coach Joe B. Hall and a couple of other guys in the media room. Does it get any better than that?
- Kentucky's pregame intro's are very nice this season
- I rode in the media elevator with "Scratch" the UK mascot; if you have always wondered if that's a boy or girl in the suit, I have the answer - it's a man baaaby!
- I met the great Alan Cutler after the game; My first impression of Cutler is that he is a very nice guy
- I met Matt May of The Cat's Pause before the game
- Tony Delk and Scott Padgett enjoying a laugh as they headed back out to the court following the halftime break
- John Wall cheering intently for his teammates; my impression of Wall - great kid and he REALLY wants to be on the court soon
- I met Campbellsville head coach Keith Adkins after the game; he was very nice and I look forward to covering the Tigers as the season progresses
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