A look at how the Cats gave up their big lead


Jamal Murray (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

Jamal Murray (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

With 5:47 left in the first half, Kentucky led Tennessee 34-13 and looked on its way to an easy win. By halftime, the Cats’ lead was just six points and the Vols had all the momentum going into the second half.

What happened?

Well, the Cats committed seven fouls, including a shooting foul by Alex Poythress, a foul on Marcus Lee on a made layup, a shooting foul by Isaiah Briscoe, a shooting foul by Lee, a shooting foul by Derek Willis and two fouls by Skal Labissiere in the final 39 seconds of the half.

The Vols converted those fouls into 13 points. They also hit two 3-pointers and made two layups, giving them 23 points in a little over five minutes.

Kentucky, meanwhile, went almost five minutes without a field goal before finally getting a layup by Tyler Ulis with 48 seconds left in the half.

Dominique Hawkins missed a layup, Labissiere committed a turnover, Willis missed a 3, Briscoe missed a layup, Willis missed a 14-footer, Jamal Murray committed a turnover, Ulis had a 9-footer blocked, Murray missed a 14-footer and Willis had a 3-pointer blocked.

Ulis scored six of UK’s final eight points of the half, with two free throws by Murray being the only other scoring.

All of this adds up to a 23-8 run by Tennessee to close the half.

That’s losing basketball, as Coach Cal would say.


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  1. I truly think Cal is exhausted by this team, mentally and especially physically. He said last night he was very tired on his show. I do believe there is not a fan right now who is not exhausted also from trying to figure out what is going on. I would rather be a UK fan and watch this team than to watch paint dry, I know that much. Go Cats!

  2. This team has had that effect on all of us, but you have to really feel sorry for Ullis because he doesn´t have any teammates that match his pride, enthusiasm, and will to win like he does. Cal has had a less than stellar recruiting class by his standards, a big time miss, and 2 studs, well at least 1, that turned into duds.

  3. Calipari’s recruiting success this season is not that short of his success other seasons given the quality of this season’s overall freshman class. It is a very weak class. When your get the best of the best from a group that is not very good, and you depend on the strength of each new incoming class to define the current team, as Calipari has chosen to do, then the best of the best from a weak group will produce a weak team. Similarly, the best of the best from a strong class will produce a strong result. We have seen both sides of this coin over the last 7 seasons. This approach has produced

    Elite 8
    Final 4
    Championship Game Loss
    Final Four
    2016 = ?????

    Taking shots at Calipari’s recruiting philosophy is shooting at an easy target, but a deeper analysis of that philosophy’s long term results is really necessary to understand whether his approach is working or failing.

    As a fan, I am still ecstatic about the results of the last 7 years, especially when compared to the results of the previous 7 years (2 Billy G, 5 Tubby)

  4. I’m not about to knock Cal or his system but it will have chinks in the armor at times and this is one of them. Just a couple of players not coming through and this is what happens. There are some issues I’ve seen with Cal teams before. Those teams weren’t his best. But he comes back bigger and better. The team last year was off the charts. Even if they didn’t win it all they were maybe the best team of all time in all of college basketball. They were amazing and let’s not forget they nearly went undefeated relying on some freshmen. I look at what players from that team are doing in the NBA and there’s no wonder why they were great. They probably had too much talent really. But KAT is looking like rookie of the year followed closely by Booker. That’s just crazy. And WCS is in the top 10 according to the rankings. And there are other players making contributions and will no doubt move up as they get their chance. Aaron, who went undrafted, has had a decent year. Better than Andrew. I’m glad to see them all do well but I wish some of them had stayed. This current team lacks an inside presence. It’s very hard to win with that problem. Skal has been a disappointment so far but he could still turn out to be a great player. Maybe not this year but still.

    I just know I’ve stuck with the Cats through far worse than this year. And Cal has been great for UK. Go Big Blue!

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