A Quick, Fake Summary: Kansas Couldn’t Beat Pitfall and Got Tired of Tryin’…Posted by Gerald Smith on November 16th, 2011
Kentucky‘s freshmen entered Madison Square Garden and thought they were playing a different game. Maybe they pretended they were wearing McDonald’s All-America jerseys as each player tried to make plays one-on-one. Kentucky’s offense broke against a physical Kansas defense over and over. Freshman guard Marquis Teague had six turnovers and looked like he was button-mashing in NBA Live. Thanks to a superhuman effort by Terrence Jones and a Wildcat-wide defensive effort, Kentucky remained tied 28-all at halftime.
Coach John Calipari reminded his team at halftime they should be playing a different game. (No official word from the locker room if Calipari blew on the cartridge and held the reset button while powering on.) Kentucky entered the second half playing more team-oriented basketball and applied pressure to collect a 11-2 run. Later the Wildcats blew open the game when Doron Lamb (17 points on 3-5 3FG) and Darius Miller (five points, four assists in 20 minutes off the bench) exploited Kansas’ packed-in defense with a three-point barrage. Recovered as if expending an energy tank, Teague calmed himself and allowed no further turnovers. Freshman Anthony Davis (14 points, seven rebounds, six blocks) showcased his incredible talents and proved he could contribute offensively and defensively against stronger and thicker competition.
Jones (15 points, seven rebounds, three blocks) and KU’s Thomas Robinson (11 points, 12 rebounds) played a man’s game against each other. The Jayhawks’ Tyshawn Taylor scored 22 points mostly in the second half as he penetrated a sloppy Kentucky defense and picked up fouls and free throws (15-17). Kansas center Jeff Withey (seven points, six rebounds, four blocks) was active in the first half but disappeared in the second as Kentucky burst ahead. The game had changed and Kansas’ guards Travis Releford (eight points) and Elijah Johnson (four points) couldn’t match Kentucky’s power shots.
Kentucky overpowered Kansas by the score of 75-65. Coach Bill Self’s team is strong and will contend for a Big 12 Championship. But the Jayhawks were ill-equipped to handle the Wildcats tonight in New York City. (Maybe Kansas should have scheduled Wood Man first?) Although there might not be any teams in the country that can hang with Kentucky when the Wildcats realize are playing NCAA Basketball 2011-12, and not Charles Barkley’s Shut Up and Jam.