Tom'sTake: weekend wrapup

December 6th 2010

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In the big picture view, a young team losing by two in its first true road game is not a big deal. But with that being said, the North Carolina game was one the Wildcats had and let slip out of their grasp.  Kentucky hit three's (nine of them), made most of its free throws (16 of 21) and kept the turnover count low and that ought to be winning prescription but interior defense continues to be one of this team's most glaring weaknesses.  Tyler Zeller was the latest big man to have a career day against the Cats.  Assistant coach Orlando Antigua said in the postgame radio interview that they wanted to make the UNC big men have to pass by doubling down but it wasn't executed properly often enough.  Either UK has to get better at that or it will have to consider a zone but either way, I have no doubt they'll figure out the best approach.  But the sooner the Cats can improve there, the better chance they'll have to avoid letting games like this one slip away.

As expected, the football team is headed to Birmingham, to face a Pittsburgh team in the BBVA Compass Bowl whose season was similiar to UK's--missed opportunities and being its own worse enemy with turnovers.  Pitt's strength is its defense so if KY scores in the teens in this game, it favors the Panters and if UK gets into the 30's, you'd lean  heavily toward Kentucky so a game where both teams score in the 20's is a tossup and my guess is that's where this game will be.

Donald Russell's decision to transfer is certainly no surprise but if the Cats lose DT Elliott Porter, it will be a significant disappointment.  However, the news that Mister Cobble might be able to play in the bowl--if his grades are good enough--is a boost that a much-maligned defensive front needs.  Cobble might well be the best defensive lineman on the team so his addition would be noteworthy.

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