Friday, January 2, 2009

Breaking Down the Mildcats

History of Program :

OK...It's Kentucky and the accomplishments by this program run deep (good and bad) through the bloodlines of College Basketball. Seven National Titles, thirteen Final Fours, All-time leader in wins....BLAH BLAH BLAH!! Four of their titles coming before college basketball had even integrated, while two of the other three (yes I said two) come courtesy of the man UK fans now consider the Antichrist. But lets not forget the schools involvement in point shaving in the 1940's as well as their blatant payoffs to former players Chris Mills and Leron Ellis in the late 80's which led to 2 years probation.

Notable Athletic Alumni :

I will not waste my time writing names of former NBA players from UK, but here are other athletic Alumni....

George Blanda - Member of NFL Hall of Fame

Tim Couch - Former (haha) NFL player (QB) and number one pick in draft

Dermontti Dawson - Former NFL player (Center) with Pittsburgh Steelers (Should be in Hall of Fame)

Howard Schnellenberger - I should haven't to tell you this guy.

Brandon Webb (pictured) - Current Pitcher with Arizona Diamondbacks

Joe Blanton - Current Pitcher with Oakland Athletics

Jim Leyritz - Former Major League Baseball player

Steve Flesch - Current Golfer on PGA Tour

J.B. Holmes - Current Golfer on PGA Tour

Other Notable Alumni :

Steve Beshear - Current Governor of Kentucky

Albert B. "Happy" Chandler - Former Governor of Kentucky, U.S. Senator from Kentucky,Commissioner of Major League Baseball (Helped integrated Major League Baseball), and is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ernie Fletcher - Former Governor of Kentucky

Ted Strickland - Current Governor of Ohio

Thomas Jefferson Terral - Former Governor of Arkansas

Ashley Judd - Actress (sorta)

Chris Sullivan - Founder of Outback Steakhouse

Don Rosa - Cartoonist for Disney (Creator of Donald Duck)

Kentucky Starters...

G - Michael Porter #13
Porter as a basketball player has the skill level somewhere between Jason McElwain (no offense J-Mac - my money's on you one-on-one v. Porter) and the fat guy on the basketball team in Teen Wolf. He isn't a threat offensively and can be considered a "self-check" player. Lets just say he makes Kentucky fans wish Tubby Smith had another kid out there to take his place.

Guard - Jodie Meeks #23
Meeks has yet to see a shot he doesn't like but he can knock it down. He is putting up numbers that make Paul Westhead's System look like the Four Corners. 24.1 points per game at 47%, while knocking down 51 (That's over half the amount the Cards have hit as a entire team) three pointers on the season. Even the dumb kid in the class (the one who would eat glue and his own boogers) knows this kid can play and the Cards must slow him down.

Guard - DeAndre Liggins #34
The Freshman from Chicago has definitely showed potential this season, putting up double figures in three games this season. He is averaging 4 assists a game in the month of December, including a career high 8 against Central Michigan in his last game.

Forward - Perry Stevenson #21
A may look like the creatures from the movie Dark Crystal but Stevenson does hustle, he will rotate defensively and he can block your shot. Offensively this 6'9 skin and bones can only hurt you if you let him dunk the ball but with his knack for grabbing garbage offensive boards he can quickly hurt you with 10 to 14 points.

Forward - Patrick Patterson #54
Can take over a game when he doesn't take himself out of it. Has had several problems with getting into foul trouble early in games but when he want the ball he can be a very bad thorn in the Cards heels. The last two games he only received one foul in each game though.

Good News...
Louisville has more talent and Kentucky only has two player who score more then 7 points a game. Kentucky has turned the ball over 256 (18 a game) this year (6th most nationally), while Louisville is forcing opponents into 16 turnovers a game. Cards are also out rebounding the Cats 41-39 on the year.

Bad News....
Louisville has had more talent than WKU, Minnesota, and UNLV, I don't think it mattered to them. Meeks and Patterson are combining for 43.4 points per game and with the way Louisville's offensive can stutter sometimes those two can win the game by themselves. 190 teams have a better team field goal percentage than the Cards.

Cards must force Meeks to take bad shots and not allow him to get the free throw line. The Cards want Meeks to take quick shots early in the shot clock, like he was doing against VMI. Attacking Patterson defensively is a given, the Cards must feed the ball to who ever Patterson is guarding on the low post, whether it be Clark or Samuels. If Louisville can get him (Patterson) in foul trouble this game could turnout just like last season's.

This game worries me more now than it did a month ago but that's not because Louisville didn't play well against UNLV, it's because this Kentucky team looks more like a lesser version of the A&M team Gillespie put up against the Cards two years ago. Meeks is a stronger (not as good ball handler though) version of A.C. Law IV and Louisville knows how to shoot their way out of a win....but not this time....

Cards - 76

Cats - 68


  1. Got your link over at KSR, pretty good round-up. No readership discussions? That sucks, hopefully that will pick up bc im sure it makes posting that much more enjoyable.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks Flip
    That's the one thing that is missing from this site I'm trying to improve - fan chatter. Hopefully guys like you will help improve that. Keep the posts coming, I already said first to 100 gets a crisp Abe Lincoln.