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Cat Attack 2-1-10

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Cats Whistle Past Dores

By Brian Melton

Oh no, not again. The referee crew from the Kentucky-Vanderbilt game just blew their whistle again.  Those three guys had to be the most warn out people in Rupp by the time the final seconds ran off the clock Saturday evening.  They combined to call 58 total fouls and the teams shot a total of 70 free throws.  Looks like neither team will need to practice free throws this week.

Thankfully there were actually a few moments of game play that the Cats seemingly controlled from the outset.  DeMarcus Cousins dominated the Commodores inside from the opening tip, scoring eight points in less than three minutes.  Kentucky shot 60% from the field in building a 19 point lead, before the aforementioned zebras sent almost all of the starters to the bench with two fouls.  The rest of the team managed to hold things together in leading 49-34 at the break.

The second half was once again marred by lots and lots of fouls, with Vanderbilt unable to get any closer than 11 points.  DeAndre Liggins made probably the biggest shot of the night, hitting a three pointer at the end of the shot clock with the Cats clinging to that 11 point lead.  Kentucky maintained a double digit lead for the rest of the contest in handing the Commodores their first SEC loss of the season 85-72.

I think I’m just going to start cutting and pasting the same paragraph at this point in every story from here on out.  DeMarcus Cousins was once again the best player on the court in breaking the Kentucky freshman record for double doubles with his 12th in scoring 21 points and 10 rebounds.  He did manage to pick up his first technical foul of the season for arguing with the officials, but honestly we are all surprised it took this long.  

Darnell Dodson surprisingly made his second start of the season for the Cats, replacing Eric Bledsoe in the lineup.  He definitely made the most of it in scoring 16 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.  His ability to make shots has always been his biggest asset, but his ability to mix it up on the boards and at the defensive end of the court was most impressive.  He should continue to see his playing time increase as it is becoming very apparent that Darius Miller is not going to see a whole lot of playing time with the way he is currently playing.

Kentucky rebounded from their poor performance on the glass against South Carolina (please excuse the poor attempt at humor) with a dominating showing against a big Vanderbilt team.  The Cats outrebounded Vandy 41-22 overall, including only giving up three offensive rebounds, most impressive since this absolutely killed them in Columbia.  With the size of this Wildcat team, they should never get beat on the boards.

Also, I hear there was some famous basketball player at the game named Lebron James.  I had never heard of him, but I assume you have since the crowd went absolutely crazy when he stood at midcourt as the Y in Kentucky during a second half timeout.  It truly was amazing to see him at Rupp Arena and is just another illustration of how much the program has changed since Calipari took over the reigns.  Not only is it just cool to see this generations Michael Jordan in person, but what a recruiting tool for the University.

Next up for the Cats is a Tuesday night date with the Ole Miss Rebels.  Last season the Rebels handed Kentucky their first SEC loss of the season and absolutely dominated the team on the glass.  The Rebels also have two of the better guards in the conference and will give Kentucky all they can handle.  It will be interesting to see if the team can play with the same intensity for more than one game at a time.