The Minute After: Kentucky

  • 12/12/2010 4:02 pm in

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 11: Terrence Jones  of the Kentucky Wildcats battles for position during the 81-62 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on December 11, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Thoughts on a 81-62 loss at Rupp Arena:

Oh, what could have been.

For 30 minutes or so, the Hoosiers were not just in this thing — they were primed for an upset. Tom Crean paced the sidelines with a fervor we’ve yet to see this season. His offense, one that’s often 3-point heavy, was getting buckets off sharp cuts to the rim and crisp passing. This is called execution.

And IU’s defense, one facing a tough test, had risen to the challenge. Kentucky was out of rhythm and shooting poorly.

When Dick Vitale told us the Hoosiers had come to Lexington believing they could win, believing they were not the underdog, we believed it too.

But when you wilt in the waning moments — and boy did the Hoosiers ever wilt — victory goes from within arm’s reach to out of sight in an instant.

These Hoosiers, as we’re learning, just aren’t there yet.

From the 9:42 mark (a Christian Watford 3-pointer) to the :38 mark (a Jeremiah Rivers layup), Indiana failed to make a basket.

Watford, who was brilliant in stretches, forced several shots. The threes weren’t falling. The defense fell apart. Kentucky got open looks from distance, and connected. Everything was moving so fast, the crowd was into it, and the Hoosiers were lost in the fog.

Kentucky ended the game on a 25-5 run, and the Hoosiers lose another one on the road because of their inability to execute and keep their cool when it matters most.

Some specifics:

+ We know Indiana has a tendency to put teams on the line a lot, but this early evening’s game was that fact at its most grotesque: Kentucky shot 44 free throws, connecting on 31 of them for 70.5 percent — a good clip above their season average of 65.1 percent. The Hoosiers only managed to get to the line 16 times, making 12 for 75.0 percent.

+ I noted the offensive rebounding battle yesterday, and it was won decisively by the Wildcats. Kentucky scored 21 second-chance points off 18 offensive rebounds. Yes, they only shot 36.1 percent from the field (22-of-61), which allowed for several offensive rebounding opportunities. But it was one of those areas of the game where Kentucky held a distinct advantage. Indiana only managed four second-chance points and six offensive rebounds. From my rough math, the Hoosiers’ offensive rebounding percentage was only 13.9 percent, well below their season average of 38.8 percent. Kentucky’s was a very solid 36.0 percent.

Props are due to Josh Harrellson, who grabbed a third of their offensive rebounds (six) and finished the game with 14 points and 12 boards.

For a team with some talented freshmen, he may have been the biggest difference maker.

+ I hate to cut this short, but I’m going to be late for dinner reservations if I go on any longer. Plenty of stuff I missed, so have at it.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    Excellent points that I agree with. But how can we get TP back to ground zero?

  • Anonymous

    It is unfair. If he played HS in IN then we would have 40-50 guys who have seen a game. I am nervous when the “experts” don’t mention him.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Ace, that is definitely part of his “story”. Lavin knows talent so that is a plus, and he is right there to watch him play, that is a second plus. Sometimes, moving just shows he is going from horrible circumstances to a little bit better each move. That is a positive, it shows that the kid and his closest circle-usually his mother-is driven to succeed and to improve his life. We need (at least I need) more info! But it is sounding better.

  • stonaroni

    David Williams wasn’t a major error, just didn’t work out. Willimas had 16 points, 5 reb (4 off) and an asst and a steal against a quality Florida State team.

    I am all for a guard coming in and giving us help next year, but Amayo will not be as good as VJIII or Hulls next year. We are adding AE who, in a game like Sat, could really help the Hoosiers with a few 3’s, rebounds, and Asst. I feel we need Chandler immediately. Yes he has been wishy washy, but outside of Zeller next year, we will again have no scoring presence in the paint. And, Zeller is better as the 4. With Chandler, TP, DE, and Capo rotating in at the 5 and Zeller, DE, TP, and Capo rotating in at the 4, I feel we look solid.

    Amayo will be the #3 PG next year. Chandler would be the #1 C next year on talent alone.

    I would rather see Sheehey in more of a ball handling role next year than giving a scholly to another guard built much like Sheehey.

  • stonaroni

    David Williams wasn’t a major error, just didn’t work out. Willimas had 16 points, 5 reb (4 off) and an asst and a steal against a quality Florida State team.

    I am all for a guard coming in and giving us help next year, but Amayo will not be as good as VJIII or Hulls next year. We are adding AE who, in a game like Sat, could really help the Hoosiers with a few 3’s, rebounds, and Asst. I feel we need Chandler immediately. Yes he has been wishy washy, but outside of Zeller next year, we will again have no scoring presence in the paint. And, Zeller is better as the 4. With Chandler, TP, DE, and Capo rotating in at the 5 and Zeller, DE, TP, and Capo rotating in at the 4, I feel we look solid.

    Amayo will be the #3 PG next year. Chandler would be the #1 C next year on talent alone.

    I would rather see Sheehey in more of a ball handling role next year than giving a scholly to another guard built much like Sheehey.

  • stonaroni

    No, not hanging out with Loop. I get that Sheehey and AE are SF; Actually CTC tells AE that he is a SG in his offense.

    Just think we need a C before another guard. However, if Amayo is as good as you say he is than VJIII and Amayo can run PG next season and Hulls can move to the #2 more often and we can see his minutes diminish because as Kelin says, we need a guard who can break down their defender and get to the goal…..that is not Hulls.

    So next year VJIII, Mo, AE, VO and Hulls will all spend time at SG
    VJIII, Amayo and Hulls at PG; CW, Mo, WS, VO, AE at SF. Where is Hulls going to find his playing time? If we bring in Amayo, Hulls will see diminished PT because we will have taller, stronger, more athletic players at the SG and wings.

    I do trust the coach…never said I didn’t.

    Creek was highly touted, Top 100 in the nation is a pretty good indicator that you can play. Jones was known by several teams, they just passed on him because of his lack of strength. VO is the one I am guessing that was most overlooked because he played with guys like Doron Lamb in HS who got the pub. I love VO, but I don’t think he will ever be a consistent scorer. He will effect the game with steals, rtebounds, deflections, dunks, and assists, maybe be that defensive stud who chases the best scorer all night long.

    Now I say bring in Amayo and Chandler which means someone transfers and I do not care who it is because there are 4 scholarship players not getting much time who don’t seem to be improving enough or in the cards, Guy, Roth, Capo, or DE.

  • stonaroni

    VJ just gives us another dynamic on offense. How many high ball screens were set for Hulls in the second half and how many did he score off of? VJ gives us that PG where he can penetrate through the lane, through contact and score or draw fouls. Or, he can kick out to Hulls, Creek, CW for a 3. We lost that part of the offense when VJ went out.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, are you of the Greek Restaurant family? Who does Williams play for? I agree with everything that you wrote except keep TP and Capo out of the #4 rotation next year! It is Zeller, with Elston and occasionally Watford (and Watford rarely) at the #4. Definitely yes to Sheehey. In fact I like a group of Watford, Elston, Oladipo and Sheehey with one more guard this season. I think that such a group would play well at both ends of the court for stretches!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m not sure. He came in and the first half of his freshman season he looked to score and did so pretty well. He showed some nice moves (including a 8-10 jump shot) that have completely disappeared. He’s slimmed back down to his freshman size so I’m not sure why he isn’t the same player. Last year he was overweight and got out of position a lot. He fouled a lot because of this and now he’s developed that rep so he can’t stay on the floor even when he doesn’t foul people.

    I’m not sure what can be done other than maybe it’ll subside when he gets into the Big Ten season because games seem to be rougher and called looser anyway. We’ll have to wait and see. Maybe time will take care of the problem, but I’m not sure why he as completely stopped looking to score. He showed a flash of his ability in that first half against PUke last year, but other than that, it’s been nonexistent.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I would hate to see Elston go because I still think he has the highest upside but then again he could turn out to be another Ogle too so you never know. I agree that Roth and Capo aren’t really serving any purpose other than Capo gets some time when TP and DE are in foul trouble, but you would think that Chandler would be able to do more than that as a freshman so I agree. You could take both and let Roth and Capo transfer to schools where they would see more time. I know it sounds harsh because they came to IU when it wasn’t cool but then again, they had the chance to play at “IU” and that helps their stock rise so maybe they get to transfer to a smaller school with tourney hopes instead of a D2 or something like that.

  • Anonymous

    You are right.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Oh, man, that drove me nuts. And for the love of God could just one announcer call it like it is. He made such a big deal about how “Coach Calipari sends people to the NBA”. For once I would like to see an announcer tell the truth and say, “It’s likely that Calipayoff cheats to recruit the players who would be sure fire NBA players anyway”.

    That’s more of a truth than the other statement.