Here is UK’s Julius Randle talking to the media after the Cats’ 84-65 loss at No. 1-ranked Florida.
Update: Because of media seating, etc., I’m scrapping the liveblog for this game. I will be tweeting. Feel free to send comments and questions to @johnclayiv.
Today’s Liveblog comes with a disclaimer.
The media setup at Florida is different than anywhere around the SEC in that there are very few media seats which afford the media member a table on which to work. The past few years at the O’Connell Center, my seat has been a folding chair just behind the normal press row.
That’s a good seat for viewing the game. It’s not a good seat when it comes to liveblogging. Between the seat and the sketchy wireless connection inside the arena, we’ll see it how goes. I’m not making any big promises, however.
Better make sure the DVR is working as today both the Kentucky men and Kentucky women are on the tube at exactly same time.
The Kentucky men are in Gainesville to take on top-ranked Florida at noon on CBS. It’s the first game of a hoops tripleheader and the Cats-Gators matchup gets Tom McCarthy on the play-by-play with former Duke star Jim Spanarkel on the color.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky women are also on at noon. Matthew Mitchell’s team plays SEC regular-season champion South Carolina in the league tournament semifinals in Duluth, Georgia on ESPNU.
Here is the list of the televised games today and Sunday.
At his press conference today, John Calipari’s theme was that he doesn’t understand why people have given up on his team. Numbers back him up, said the coach, who claimed his team’s numbers compare favorably to those across the country.
Do the numbers compare favorably to Calipari’s other teams at Kentucky?
Let’s take a look.
Field goal percentage: Kentucky is currently shooting 45.2 percent, which is the lowest of of the five John Calipari teams here. His 2010-11 team shot 45.9 percent. His best shooting team was the national title team, which shot 48.8 percent.
Defensive field goal percentage: This has been Calipari’s worst team in terms of field goal percentage defense. Opponents are shooting 39.6 percent, compared to 39.2 last year and 39.4 in 2010-11. His best was the 2012 title team which limited opponents to 37.4 percent.
Three-point field goal percentage: This is also Calipari’s worst three-point shooting team at 31.4 percent. The previous low was Calipari’s first team, which shot just 33.1 percent from three and lost in the Elite Eight to West Virginia because it could not make a three-point shot.
Defensive three-point field goal percentage: Opponents are shooting just 30.5 percent from three against UK. That’s the best job of defending the three of any of Cal’s Kentucky teams. His 2009-10 team allowed made threes just 31.3 percent of the time.
At this morning’s UK basketball media opportunity, James Young and Willie Cauley-Stein were made available for interviews.
Young, who missed 10 of 11 shots in Tuesday night’s win over Alabama, said the video revealed that he was leaning back on his shots again. Young missed nine of his 10 three-point attempts, but his lone make was a big one. It gave Kentucky a 53-47 lead with 4:10 remaining in what was ultimately a 55-48 Kentucky victory.
Cauley-Stein, an “old man” as a sophomore on this team, was asked if maybe the younger players would no know any better going to No. 1-ranked Florida on Saturday and that could possibly be to their advantage. Willie wasn’t buying it.
The videos are after the jump – or click here.
Three quick thoughts from the UK basketball media opp previewing Saturday’s game in Gainesville.
1. Numbers. That was a John Calipari talking point. He brought up “numbers” a couple of times, saying that this team’s numbers compare favorably to his good teams and to other good teams around the nation.
“What’s amazing to me is a team that has this much ability and size and the numbers bespeak that we’re pretty good. If you look at our numbers — and I’m not talking RPI, which is good, or strength of schedule, which is good; I’m not talking about that — talking defense, shot-blocking, rebounding, three-point field goal percentage, offensive field goal percentage. We have some numbers that aren’t great, but when you look at all that to say, ‘This team is done.’ I just don’t believe it.”
He then mentioned Syracuse without mentioning Syracuse, saying some teams have lost four out of five. Or Duke, which lost to Wake Forest this week.
2. Things UK needs to do have a chance on Saturday. Calipari said his team has to negate Florida’s full-court press. Florida presses more at home than it does on the road, said the coach. Have to defend Florida’s pick-and-roll offense.
“They do a great job of crowding, so you’ve got to make some jump shots,” Calipari said. “This is not a game where you can go two-or-22 from three. Not this game.”
UK is holding its basketball media opportunity this morning to preview Saturday’s game at No. 1-ranked Florida. John Calipari is scheduled to meet with the media at approximately 10:15 a.m.
Here’s the link to the video.
Here’s the weekend schedule of college basketball on television, including the quarterfinal round of the SEC women’s basketball tournament today in Duluth, Georgia.
Also, tonight ESPNU has the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinals with Morehead State playing Belmont, followed by Eastern Kentucky vs. Murray State.
On Saturday, Kentucky and Louisville have back-to-back games on CBS. Kentucky visits top-ranked Florida at noon. Louisville plays host to Connecticut at 2 p.m.
Friday, March 7
- 12:00 – Georgia vs. South Carolina women (Fox Sports South)
- 2:30 – Florida vs. Kentucky women (Fox Sports South)
- 6:00 – LSU vs. Tennessee women (Fox Sports South)
- 7:00 – Morehead State vs. Belmont (ESPNU)
- 7:00 – Kent State at Akron (ESPN2)
- 7:00 – Houston at Central Florida (CBS Sports)
- 7:30 – Harvard at Yale (NBC Sports)
- 9:00 – Eastern Kentucky vs. Murray State (ESPNU)
The updated SEC basketball standings heading into Saturday’s final regular-season games. The conference tournament starts Wednesday in Atlanta. Kentucky has already clinched the No. 2 seed and will play Friday night.
Related link: SEC basketball game-by-game results and leaders in Excel
Big Blue Links for Friday:
- Battle-tested UK women pull together for SEC Tourney
- Florida women advance, play Kentucky today in Duluth
- Kentucky men face savvy, lucky Florida team on Saturday
- Gators closing in on history-making SEC campaign
- Mark Story on what’s at stake for Kentucky coaches in March
- Tim Couch on College Football Hall of Fame ballot for first time
- New special teams coach brings Texas background
- Revisiting John Calipari’s pre-season quotes
- Father’s failing health was true Ryan Harrow story
- Florida’s Joe Lawrence praises Michael Frazier’s shooting
- Harrison twins’ high school coach says pay no attention to body language
- The five most impressive Wildcats in UK’s 2013-14 basketball season
- Kentucky’s slump has hurt NCAA seeding
- UK’s Bria Goss makes free throws look easy
- Jon Hood looks back on the best time of his life