For the fourth straight year Kentucky has traveled to Nashville at a crucial point in the season and lost. Last year they suffered one of the worst losses in school history and while last nights game was not as bad it hurts just as much. This loss firmly places UK on the bubble for the tournament with home games against Tennessee, LSU, and Georgia and road contests at South Carolina and Florida. 4 of those 5 games will be basically come down to who wants the game more and who comes in better prepared.
Playing without Patrick Patterson for the second straight game Vanderbilt continually went inside to their big man A.J. Ogilvy and was seemingly fouled every time he touched the ball. There were many reasons as to why UK lost and one of them definitely has to be the foul situation. While I really never believe in calling out the refs for deciding a game last night’s game was as poorly officiated a game as I have seen in a long time. Vanderbilt shot 40 free throws to our 23 which is just absurd. My main problem with the refs last night came with the amount of off ball fouls that were called and all seemed to go against UK. I can remember quite a few situations when there was a foul called and it was basically a ghost foul. Vandy for the most part was allowed to do what they want whereas Kentucky could not do anything for fear of a foul called. To Vandy’s credit they made the most of their opportunities hitting 32 of 40 free throws and playing their game completely to our weaknesses without Patterson in the middle.
Jodie Meeks had a less than spectacular 26 point night as Vandy did an excellent job of face guarding him and not letting him get many good looks at the bucket. They also did an excellent job of recognizing when a screen was being set for him and either fighting through it or switching men to not allow him an open shot.
A.J. Stewart played great on one end of the floor and awful on the other. He had 11 points and 3 rebounds, but played pretty bad defense and picked up 5 fouls in just 12 minutes of playing time. Most of the fouls can be attributed to the fact that he was out of place on defense quite a few times down the floor.
Kevin Galloway and Darius Miller both had good games on the offensive and defensive end of the floor. Adding 16 points between them and playing solid defense. Josh Harrelson started the game and scored a quick bucket on a nice assist from Galloway only to never really see the floor again. He played only 7 minutes in a game that one really would have expected him to have played a lot as a counter to the physical Ogilvy, but never really got the chance to play much.
Ashley Judd UK’s superfan was as the game last night and again UK losses with her in attendance, maybe it is just me, but the last 3 games I can remember her being at we have lost so Ashley maybe it is better that you just watch the game from the comfort of your living room.
There is no time to dwell as the hated Pumpkins from Tennessee invade Rupp on Saturday. I will have more on the upcoming game this week. And remember one thing no matter how bad things can be it could be worse, you could be a Tennessee fan