- Tuesday, November 6 2007 -
2K Sports College Hoops Classic
Central Arkansas - 40 (Head Coach: Rand Chappell) - [Preseason Unranked by AP]
Kentucky - 67 (Head Coach: Billy Gillispie) - [Preseason Ranked 20th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 34, Central Arkansas 20
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Kansas 76 - 88|||||Gardner-Webb 68 - 84|
Game Writeup - Written by Matt May; Courtesy of The Cats Pause, (All Rights Reserved)
Cats take opener
Billy Gillispie wanted to begin his coaching tenure at Kentucky by stoically watching his new team take care of business without being prodded. What he saw was the type of disjointed outing that often occurs in season openers.
While understandable, the Cats' performance was unacceptable in Gillispie's mind. Three games is more than enough time for the youthful Cats to cease making the same mistakes over and over again. Such is UK's new world, even in a 67-40 blowout of Central Arkansas in the opening round of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic before a crowd of 20,335 at Rupp Arena.
"We've got a long way to go, but winning is a lot better than losing," Gillispie said. "We're just making too many mental mistakes. Even though it's only our third game we can't have those mistakes.
"We're just not thinking enough out there. It's the third game, you can't keep making the same mistakes, things that have been corrected a million times."
A glance at the final box score would provide reason for pause at Gillispie's displeasure. UK hounded Central Arkansas into shooting just 20 percent from the field and 10 field goals, the lowest total since Alabama connected on the same number in January of 2003. The Bears, who had three double-digit scorers returning from a season ago, were so rattled they made only two field goals in the final 15:42 of the game.
"We were a little bit of a disaster on the offensive end," Central Arkansas coach Rand Chappell said. "We started tight shooting the ball and they guarded us well, pushed us way out on the court. We spread them a little and occasionally got good looks but when you're open you've got to knock them down.
"There was no question they took us out of our offense. We were never able to get into any kind of offensive set."
Apparently, Gillispie didn't watch the same game. Although the Cats were active on the defensive end of the floor and produced several steals that set up fast break points, they gambled too often and didn't pressure the basketball enough for Gillispie's taste.
"Not very good," Gillispie said when asked about UK's defense. "We come out of a timeout and don't have the awareness to know who's ball it was and let them shoot the ball. The 20 percent wasn't us as much as it was them."
There were other instances of what Gillispie termed "glaring" examples of unintelligent play, something that defies the "play smart" portion of his basketball code. Ramel Bradley earned his second technical of the season - albeit one did not count because it came in the second exhibition game - for protesting a foul call, Jodie Meeks hacked a Bear on a three-point shot and Patrick Patterson drew several touch fouls that limited him to 13 minutes.
It was clear Gillispie doesn't take too kindly to such silly mistakes.
"Fouling on a three-point shot, that's a play my teams don't do but once a year and we've already done it two or three times," Gillispie said. "Our point guard has gotten a technical foul for overreacting twice. That doesn't happen.
"We are not asking them to perform brain surgery. We're very simple. We want great effort, team play and to think out there."
Even in his disappointment with specific aspects of the Cats' opener Gillispie could find time for a little bit of humor. When asked what he liked about his team, Gillispie didn't hesitate.
"It could have been a lot worse," Gillispie said. "We could have given up 42 points instead of 40."
Welcome to your new world.
Mark Coury attacks inside
Alex Legion with a lay-up
Joe Crawford drives