Monday, November 15, 2010

UK-East Tennessee State 11/12/10

UKAA swirly green dots picture
We made 13 of 26 three-point attempts. What?!?! Hence the 88-65 final score thing we had going for us. Imagine if we hadn't have shot 9 of 23 free throws ... why does Coach still not make any of his guys practice freebies, again?

Top Players:
1. Terrence Jones: 25 points (10-19 FGs, 2-3 3PT, 3-10 FTs), 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks. How do you miss that many free throws? Oh well. Jonesy put on what was probably up there with the best first game of any UK frosh ever. Especially considering that he could've notched a big 30 if he's just made 5 of those 7 missed freebies. When he wasn't busy getting fouled, he was knocking down threes, finishing off alley-oops, driving past his man to the bucket, and swishing midrange pull-ups that you simply never see college ballplayers even attempt. He looked every bit the tempo-pushing, mismatch-creating enforcer on opening night that most people expected to finally see from him around February. If we get this kind of effort from Terrence on a nightly basis, maybe the 2010-2011 season will be remembered for who was actually on the roster as opposed to the big Turkish-accented elephant in the room who wasn't.

2. Doron Lamb: 20 points (7-10 FGs, 3-5 3PT, 3-5 FTs), 5 rebounds, 3 assists. We all knew TJ had that kind of potential in him, but Lamb was the real opening night eye-opener. He only hit 70% of his shots, including three triples, and filled in valiantly in his first duty as falling down the position ladder as the resident back-up point guard when Knight takes a breather. My favorite shot was his late-game 18-foot pull-up jumper. Nobody does that in college basketball (as previously noted a paragraph up). Doron can get a little lazy with his handle, but when he's going full force he's bound to cross his opposition something hard. Be sure and double-knot those laces. He nearly dropped an ETSU guy who had tracked him down on a fast break runout, but instead settled for leaving him stapled to the floor and scoring on an uncontested lay-in. If we can get high-teen to twenty-point nights on a regular basis from our resident New Yorker, we've got a potential monster on our hands between all these stellar wing scorers.

3. Brandon Knight: 17 points (6-13 FGs, 4-7 3Pt, 1-4 FTs), 4 rebounds, 5 assists. In what easily could have been Knight's statement opener, our resident point guard sensation relinquished ball-dominating duties to the hot hand. Knight spent all of his time effortlessly setting the tone early by dropping jumper after jumper, and pretty much just handed over the keys after that. He could've gone for 30 and easily gotten it like he did pretty much every single game in high school, but Knight is taking the Cal-induced facilitator thing seriously. If he can be this efficient while trying to develop and understand his role on the squad, imagine how deadly he'll be once he figures everything out. I promise you that this is going to be considered quite tame in comparison with future college games by Knight.

4. DeAndre Liggins: 14 points (5-10 FGs, 2-4 3PT, 2-3 FTs), 3 rebounds, 6 assists. Dre was perfect for all intensive purposes. He tried to get his long-range stroke going a little late in the game, and if it wasn't for those jacks then he might've gone 100% on the floor. He got to the rim at will and showed off his superb vision and team-oriented nature in donating out a team-high 6 dimes. He was aggressive without ever forcing the issue, only attempting 10 shots, but look for that number to creep up and he figures out that he's mistakenly one of the last Wildcats that opposing defenses will be specifically be paying attention to. This game was a great sign of things to come from the new statistically adept DeAndre. Last year he fell into the category of impact players with no actual discernible box score contribution. Not now. Look for this man to be the Tayshaun Prince/Andrei Kirilenko-type stat filler as the team's most aggressive wing defender.

5. Darius Miller: 8 points (3-9 FGs, 2-5 3PT), 10 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. While he looked a little timid on offense (which I only hate because that was the egregiously regurgitated story line on the dude), but the truth is that UK really didn't need Darius to assert himself this game. All you really need to know is that he put in 2 threes and got double-digit rebounds. That'll definitely be the Miller stat to keep track of this season as he's our pseudo power forward. The guy needs to pull boards. Pat barely even did that with any consistency his junior year (only 11 double-digit rebounding games).

... and Free Enes.

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