A Memorable Trip to Memorial Gym

Not a freshman anymore. With each passing game Teague is getting more comfortable running the point. photo:nbcsportgs.msnbc.com

That’s not something many teams have said when they play Vanderbilt in Nashville.  More often than not, teams leave there with a loss.  Who can forget Pitino and Mashburn going down there ranked #1 in ’93 only to get blown out in that game?  If you had forgotten, ESPN made sure you remembered with the nice flashback footage.  With the elevated court, benches at the end of each baseline, and shot clocks all cock eyed at an angle, it’s good to forget that place even if you win so you can move on and get back to playing in venues with traditional dimensions.

This was the task facing the Cats this past Saturday.  It was their biggest test to date.  It appeared to be an open book test in the first half as UK jumped on Vandy and did pretty much whatever they wanted to do on their way to a 36-23 halftime lead.  It was pretty impressive watching the underclassmen take it to Vandy in Nashville like that.  Earlier in the week Cal had said the Cats needed to be tested.  He got his wish and then some.  In the final twenty minutes the Commodores played like the Vandy we all know and don’t love.

The second half looked more like a pop quiz as Vanderbilt stormed all the way back and reclaimed the lead in a back and forth battle that the Cats would eventually win 68-63.  Taylor, Tinsley, Ezeli and Jenkins did most of the damage.  It wasn’t quite enough as Kentucky countered with four starters in double figures in scoring as well.  Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, and Anthony Davis all had between 13 and 16 points.  Davis does what he always does, flirts with triple doubles nightly.  Miller was engulfed in foul trouble, but hit a clutch three to break a 58-58 tie.  MKG had an off game scoring, but the Cats still had enough to grind out a gritty win.  Teague also shined with 8 assists as he continues to steadily improve at the point.  He was named SEC Freshman of the Week for his effort. 

Up next is a week without a game.  Ole Miss (15-9, 5-5 SEC) comes to town Saturday afternoon.  So no midweek game, but there is a televised midweek practice on Wednesday from 3:00-5:00 p.m.  Just a little something different to keep them on their toes.

Agree, disagree, agree to disagree?  Doesn’t matter.  Go ahead and scroll down and leave a comment below, or on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Hardyboysportsblog, or on Twitter @VinnyHardy.

About the Author

My name is Vinny Hardy. I am a freelance sports blogging correspondent for the John Boy & Billy Big Show. I'm from Lynch Kentucky. I currently live in Morristown, Tennessee. My wife Katie and I have been married for 10 years and we have a 3 year old son, Micah. I would like to thank Will West of WNML in Knoxville for urging me to start blogging and the Big Show's very own Terry Hanson for his unbelievable mentoring and support. Without him absolutely none of this is possible. I hope you enjoy the blog. The articles can also be seen on theisn.net, check out that site too. Leave a comment and definitely come back regularly and see what's new.