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Observations From Exhibition Game #1

Posted by Matt on November 1, 2007

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In last night’s first exhibition basketball game of the season for the University of Kentucky, the Wildcats defeated the Pikeville College Whatchamacallits 99-64.

Not a big statement one way or the other but we were able to see the first samplings of a Billy Clyde-led basketball team and what may await this season.

Obvseravtions:

  • Jodie Meeks is not as good as advertised, he’s a helluva lot better. Strength of opponent not withstanding, Meeks was pretty much unstoppable and has an outside touch to be reckoned with — something that will not necessarily change as the competition increases. Jodie seemed to embrace the Kentucky tradition last year and stepped up late in the season but, at times, also seemed to be trying to do too much. That problem is no longer lingering as the kid from Norcross, Georgia put up 34 points on 10 of 12 shooting.
  • Mark Coury is developing in to a great story for this season. Coury was a guy who was a 6th Man on his high school’s team and came out last night to start in the exhibition opener for the University of Kentucky – remarkable. His stat line is less than mesmerizing but he is a smart kid (4.0 G.P.A., I believe) and leaves it all on the floor. There is no doubt in my mind that the latter two characteristics have scored big, and will continue to do so, in the mind of Billy Clyde.
  • The overall shooting of the team seems improved from last year and though one could argue that the strength of opponent had something to do with it – and it likely did – but 61.8% from the field in the first real game action under a new head coach is something to see lots of optimism in.
  • Joe Crawford did not seem to sulk after being relegated to non-starter for last night’s game and actually seemed to embrace the role a bit, coming off of the bench with 15 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes to play. With Crawford having historical issues of becoming quite dejected, this was no doubt a positive sign and if Crawford remains as the team’s 6th Man once the season starts, there aren’t many teams in the nation that can boast a better first-off-of-the bench player. But look for Crawford to eventually regain his starting role as he continues to recover and improve from off-season surgery.
  • Other as-expected thoughts from the game: Ramel Bradley is clearly the leader of this team, Patrick Patterson likely got the largest ovation of the game and responded in kind with 21 points and 9 rebounds in 31 minutes of play, and Billy Clyde Gillispie looks like a guy who drinks Michelob Lights in a long neck coozie with a scent of heavy musk and rather short khaki shorts (loafers with no socks, of course) at your 4th of July barbecue.

It was enjoyable to see the boys back on the court again and a lot can be said for the team when a Sophomore and Freshman combined for 55 points (Meeks 34 and Patterson 21) while Senior stalwarts Bradley and Crawford dropped 15 a piece.

The next and final exhibition game for the ‘Cats is Saturday, November 3rd at 8:00PM at Rupp Arena against Seattle.

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3 Responses to “Observations From Exhibition Game #1”

  1. Just2Cocky said

    “The next and final exhibition game for the ‘Cats is Saturday, November 3rd at 8:00PM at Rupp Arena against Seattle.”

    As in the Sonics? Or as in Seattle University?

  2. Doc Hancock said

    Seattle University.

  3. Matt said

    It is Shawn Kemp, Detlef Schrempf and YOUR Seattle Supersonics.

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