Twenty things to take away from Kentucky’s 73-61 win over Tennessee:
1. Rebounding: The difference in the game. Kentucky got 46.9 percent of its available offensive rebounds. That’s its second highest percentage of the season, trailing only the outrageous 62.5 number against Penn way back on Jan. 3. In traditional terms, the Cats outrebounded Tennesee by 10, its best showing since outrebounding Penn by 20.
2. Domination: Kentucky has now won 11 of its last 12 over Tennessee at Rupp. The Cats have now won 30 of the last 32 against Tennessee in Lexington.
3. Hail Liggins: DeAndre Liggins matched his career-high with 19 points. It was also his season-high. The junior made five of six shots, and hit seven of eight free throws.
4. Jorts reborn: Josh Harrellson scored 16 points, his first double-figure game since he scored 12 against Penn on Jan. 3. It was the most points he scored in a game since his 23-point showcase game against Louisville on New Year’s Eve. Calipari said Harrellson had two great practices after a couple of weeks of “BS” practices. That’s Calipari’s term.
5. Points per possession: Kentucky averaged 1.162 points per possession, compared to 0.973 for Tennessee. The Cats are 16-1 this year when they hold the opponent under a point per possession.
6. Almost a triple-double: John Calipari joked afterward that Terrence Jones nearly had a triple-double. The freshman had 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight turnovers. It was his third double-double in SEC play.
7. Consistency: This was the first game since LSU that Kentucky outscored its opponent in both halves. The Cats outscored the Vols 35-28 in the first half, 38-33 in the second.
8. Success at the line: Kentucky has made 33 of 40 free throws in its last two games.
9. Different Knight: Thanks to first-half foul trouble, Brandon Knight played just 30 minutes, his fewest since he played 29 against Indiana on Dec. 11.
10. Welcome back Wall: John Wall returned to Rupp, and was the Y. He did not do the John Wall Dance while doing the Y, however.
11. Lamb lagging: Doron Lamb has scored just 14 points in his last two games. Lamb had 39 points in two game previous to that.
12. Vargas returns to earth: After a good showing at Florida, Eloy Vargas did not score in his seven minutes on the floor.
13. Home sweet home: Kentucky is now 29-0 at home in the Calipari Era. The Cats have won 30 straight home games, dating back to the win over UNLV in the 2009 NIT.
14. Losing quote: “I don’t think everybody came to play today,” said Tennessee center Brian Williams. “I don’t think we were on the same page.”
15. Hopson: After missing the last two games with a sprained ankle, Scotty Hopson returned and scored 11 points for the Vols.
16. Passionate Darius: Darius Miller scored just seven points, making just one of seven shots. But he grabbed six rebounds and fought for the basketball. In one instance, he even had words with a Tennessee player.
17. How Bruce Pearl saw it: The Tennessee coach kept coming back to Kentucky’s 21 points off Tennessee’s turnovers.
18. Pearl on his return: “It feels good to be back, but I wish I could have helped my team more.”
19. Backs to the wall: The Cats Losing Crisis is not the same as the Cuban Missle Crisis, but a third straight loss might have sent the Big Blue Nation to nuclear fallout shelters. Kentucky could not afford to fall to 4-5 in the SEC. Fortunately, it did not.
20. Up next: Despite Calipari’s feigned incredulity about another road game, the Cats travel to Nashville on Saturday to play Vanderbilt.