Numbers favor No.1 Kentucky over Vols

Adam Brimer/News Sentinel
Kentucky's Darius Miller, left, struggles with Tennessee's Josh Richardson while Wildcats' forward Anthony Davis, right, and Tennessee's Cameron Tatum battle for position during UT's 65-62 home loss on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Adam Brimer/News Sentinel Kentucky's Darius Miller, left, struggles with Tennessee's Josh Richardson while Wildcats' forward Anthony Davis, right, and Tennessee's Cameron Tatum battle for position during UT's 65-62 home loss on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Jeronne Maymon on the upcoming Kentucky game

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Correction: The Vols played on one day's rest after returning from a late night game at Mississippi State. An earlier version of this story was incorrect.

Cuonzo Martin said Tennessee has improved since dropping a 65-62 decision to Kentucky in Knoxville on Jan. 14.

"Now,'' the Vols' first-year men's basketball coach said Monday, "we just have to complete the mission.''

UT (10-11, 2-4 SEC) will try to do that tonight (TV: ESPNU, 7 p.m.) in Rupp Arena against the No. 1-ranked Wildcats (21-1, 7-0) by "sticking to the script,'' according to Martin, whose team is 0-6 in road games.

Recent history suggests the Vols will need quite a plan in Lexington; Kentucky has the nation's longest active home winning streak at 47 games and counting.

As daunting as playing in front of what's reputed to be the loudest crowd in the SEC might seem, UT fifth-year senior Cam Tatum didn't sound too worried as he boarded the team bus for the trip up Interstate 75 on Monday night.

"If we play hard, everything will take care of itself,'' said Tatum, who scored a team-high 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting including three of six from 3-point range in the teams' first meeting.

"The first time, we were in control of the game for 36 or 37 minutes, and we had some lapses and let the game slip out of our hands,'' he said. "We felt we had a good outing, and we're pretty confident going to Rupp.''

The Vols, who were playing on one day's rest after losing to Mississippi State, led by as many as eight points with 13:05 remaining before appearing to tire.

Tennessee has dropped five straight in Lexington by an average of 13.4 points since the Vols' last win there, a 75-67 triumph on Feb. 7, 2006, that was fueled by 31 points from Chris Lofton.

Lofton, now playing professionally in Madrid, Spain, offered the following advice via Facebook when asked what it takes to get a win in Rupp Arena.

"It's got to be a team effort,'' Lofton wrote, "all the hustle plays.''

Kentucky coach John Calipari, undefeated in games at Rupp Arena since taking over as the Wildcats coach before the 2010-11 season, said he knows what to expect from the Vols.

"This will be kind of a hand-to-hand deal ... bump and grind and you have (soreness in) muscles you didn't know you had,'' Calipari told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday. "It will be body to body play, and it's going to wear people out.''

Calipari, whose team leads the nation with 9.2 blocked shots per game and has won 13 straight since losing at Indiana 73-72 on Dec. 10, suggested it will be important the officials stay on top of the action.

"Let's make sure it's about basketball,'' he said. "Let's make sure it's about execution, making shots and playing ball. And we don't get into a mud-wrestling match with everybody. We want to play basketball.''

That's fine with Martin, so long as hard-nosed, man-to-man defense remains a part of the Vols' so-called script.

After all, Kentucky has some physical players, too, like preseason SEC Player of the Year Terrence Jones, a 6-foot-9, 252-pounder.

"Terrence has to give us a physical presence,'' Calipari said. "If he gives us a physical presence, the other guys can do what they do.''

Jones, who's coming off a 27-point outing in a 74-50 win at LSU on Saturday, fouled out of the first game with the Vols after scoring 10 points. Twice, Jones was whistled for fouls against UT freshman Jarnell Stokes, who was making his debut after his mid-term enrollment.

Jones told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday that he didn't think Stokes' nine-point, four-rebound affected the game, saying: "I don't think he really made that big an impact.''

Stokes was not made available to the media on Monday.

Martin would prefer his team let its play do the talking, anyway.

"For our players, it's a great opportunity to play the No. 1 team on their home floor,'' Martin said. "You can't ask for a better stage.''

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 48

Classof72 writes:

Maybe Ashley Judd will be there, and we'll get to see her on TV. She's extremely attractive. (If you can't say something nice....)

born2ride writes:

Kentucky is the highest paid team in college basketball.

whistlinwingman writes:

Thanks Mike for letting us know that "Numbers favor No.1 Kentucky over the Vols." I had absolutely no idea.

VolGrad writes:

in response to whistlinwingman:

Thanks Mike for letting us know that "Numbers favor No.1 Kentucky over the Vols." I had absolutely no idea.

The copy editor or whoever puts headlines to these stories is a freaking genius. :D

GBO!

AllVol311 writes:

To the title of this article: A resounding DUHHH!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

ESPNU!!! WHY doesn't CHARTER have this on their programming!!!!!

Katphan29 writes:

UT has a chance, that's why they play the game. This KY team is playing better than ever this year, and the game at LSU Saturday, winning by 24, was the best they played this season.Incredible execution in every area.

I suspect UK will not come out flat tonight, but will be clicking on all cylinders, and I suspect UT will be poised.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Katphan29:

UT has a chance, that's why they play the game. This KY team is playing better than ever this year, and the game at LSU Saturday, winning by 24, was the best they played this season.Incredible execution in every area.

I suspect UK will not come out flat tonight, but will be clicking on all cylinders, and I suspect UT will be poised.

POISED??? What you are trying to convey is that we will keep our heads up while we take our whipping like a man!!! Admit it!
WELL! Golly I have no response. I fear for our Vols tonight. I don't fear us losing but I fear the hardness of another loss and how our players will respond to that. We can play ball but our talent level appears less than Kentucky's.lol We need to pass the ball well tonight. We need to play defense like our lives depend on it. We need to focus!!! All that good stuff players need. Actually I can't wait. The possibility of an upset however remote gets me excited!!
GO VOLS

klrigsby#1377153 writes:

Jones is such a baby, Stokes made him look like a school boy last game.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

Ya think?

dirislr#209355 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

ESPNU!!! WHY doesn't CHARTER have this on their programming!!!!!

It's on 302 on Morristown Charter.

vols1990 writes:

they weren't coming off of one day of rest after auburn, it was mississippi state. we just played auburn.

One_in_West_Knox writes:

The Vols MIGHT lose this game, but if they just show up and lose instead of playing harder and smarter and trying to snap Kentucky's home winning streak (even if they get blown out), THAT will be disappointing.

To EightLetters--
It's Tuesday morning, and I STILL have those "visions."

Sir_Spanky writes:

Their coach is appealing to the refs already. The SEC better take note of his request, or else.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

There is no great improvememnt since the last meeting. UT was blasted by Vandy on the road and will be blasted by Kentucky tonight on the road. UT beat Auburn who scored only 16 points in the first half but played UT to a 34-33 second half. Kentucky allows a Nations best 36% from the field on defense. Poor shooting teams shoot worse on the road and UT has no shooters. Much like the Vandy game, this is a huge mismatch. Kentucky by double digits.

crappieking writes:

I'm sorry, but with no shooters, we have no chance against KY.

John_10065 writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

With a link like this, it is customary to post:

*WARNING NWS*

trubleoj#657755 writes:

Yeah Calipari, Kensucky never gets the calls, especially in Rupp.

wigmeister writes:

It's tough to win against a professional minor league team. Bet we have more players that will graduate with a degree!

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to wigmeister:

It's tough to win against a professional minor league team. Bet we have more players that will graduate with a degree!

Sounds a little like the "Our band is better than yours" line I had to use the last two years of the Battle era.

crappieking writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Awesome! I'll take one!!!

notorange writes:

in response to born2ride:

Kentucky is the highest paid team in college basketball.

Well it's being proved now that you can't win with hamburgers, hot dogs, and chips.....just sayin

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

ESPNU!!! WHY doesn't CHARTER have this on their programming!!!!!

Might be on ESPN3, if you get that. I didn't think my ISP carried it until a recent game that wasn't on any regular channel I could get. This is what I did: I went to UTsports.com and looked for the title panel for the game coverage. I clicked on the "watch live" icon, which sent me to ESPN3. There was a box on the home page asking me to designate my ISP--Time-Warner's Roadrunner in my case. When I clicked on that, it put up a page for me to sign up for ESPN3, which I had never been able to get before. I was able to watch the game and I guess I can do the same thing the next time I need to.

brod writes:

i've been following ut basketball since the early 1980's, and they have only won twice up in rupp during that time. why would we think that this year's 10-11 team would get their first win on the road in that he**hole? it won't be pretty.

DougSharp writes:

Either a blow out or an upset. I'm hoping for the upset!

peerless1 writes:

Sadly... UK 77, UT 52

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to dirislr#209355:

It's on 302 on Morristown Charter.

I don't get all those 300 channels on basic cable! It's not really charter's fault. I'm just too cheap to pay any extra for all those extra commercials. Thus occasionally I regret. I also am too lazy to go to my sister's house and watch...I'd have to put my jeans on!....oops toomuch?
I'll be listening intently for some kind of inspired play by UT that will cause me to go out and pay more for cable or somethin'!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Might be on ESPN3, if you get that. I didn't think my ISP carried it until a recent game that wasn't on any regular channel I could get. This is what I did: I went to UTsports.com and looked for the title panel for the game coverage. I clicked on the "watch live" icon, which sent me to ESPN3. There was a box on the home page asking me to designate my ISP--Time-Warner's Roadrunner in my case. When I clicked on that, it put up a page for me to sign up for ESPN3, which I had never been able to get before. I was able to watch the game and I guess I can do the same thing the next time I need to.

I have gotten it that way in the past...but the last game on ESPNU didn't show on ESPN3. I think the local cable gods just realized they weren't makin' money on the "extra" channel. I don't know really. You'd THINK everything would be free with all the ads on 24 hours a day. I hate those 30 minute ads. I hate the fact you can't watch a tv program without a logo/commercial/channel id coming in on a favorite show. What makes it worse is the fact that I personally don't buy according to ads. I DON'T see an ad and run to a store. Actually I only go to the grocery and gas stores.
I belong back in the old days when if you wanted food you went out and picked it. If you wanted a new set of duds you first wove the material and then you made some overalls with it. MAYBE a shirt under it.

Oh yeah. GO VOLS!

ktm589 writes:

I just want to know whats up with the unibrow????

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to notorange:

Well it's being proved now that you can't win with hamburgers, hot dogs, and chips.....just sayin

NICE!!

HtownVol writes:

20 to...FIVE right now.

This is a rear kicking.

Tennessee is as good as a high school team on the road.

UK sure gets all the iffy calls though from the refs.

Nice brick on a layup from Richardson. Please sit McBee, Martin he is out of his league tonight.

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Take it!!! UK by 25-30

HtownVol writes:

Tennessee is rolling over and taking it, and really liking it tonight.

I like C Martin but if he does not stop his man crush on McBee I dont know how I can support him.

Tonight McBee has played about ten minutes so far and he has done nothing but look like he has no right to be on the floor.

Are the refs scared of UK??

RockyTopinAlabubba writes:

how did kentucky get to shoot a free throw on a double technical? Golden got pushed in the back to start the whole thing. ????

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to RockyTopinAlabubba:

how did kentucky get to shoot a free throw on a double technical? Golden got pushed in the back to start the whole thing. ????

Watch the game....he was fouled on the shot (prior to the technical fouls)...do you watch much basketball?

HtownVol writes:

Woolridge is pulling out some lucky stuff, good but I have no doubt it goes to his head.

Tennessee just played UK as well as any team 2 weeks ago and tonight it is obvious that UT is wetting their pants every time they are in the paint.

Stokes looks like a kitty cat, I have never seen a big SO SCARED to put up a shot in the paint.

They dont need help but the refs just praise UK, they get every close call.

westknoxrepub writes:

Ahh yes, the price of overreaction, but Chievous had to have that scholarship.

HtownVol writes:

Tatum is his usual garbage self. I cant wait to be done with him.

McBee has absolutely ZERO right to play at Rupp, I have no clue why Martin plays him against athletic teams. Dont give me any excuse, McBee does not belong.

This is the most scared I have ever seen any team on any level to put the ball up in the paint.

I think they should all have to wear shirts at school tomorrow saying "we were too scared to play in the blue paint". Can any UT fan disagree?

I support UT (AT ANY GAME), but on here I will say it how it is and Tennessee knows they cant play with UK and it shows tonight.

UT will not make it to the top of the SEC until we get better players.

Stokes is scared to death tonight but he does not have much help.

This is a joke.

7BLUeBanners writes:

Where's the UT Faithful tonight? I've spotted all of about 3? Unlike when Blue filled up Thompson Bowling Arena at TN to at least a quarter or 1/3... GBB!!

brokendownoldvol writes:

Looks like a poorly coached women's team trying to play men. Who ever thought it would get this bad. Looks like Tatum has gotten that Stokes boy on drugs already. He moved around in his first game when he still had his HS coaching. Now he just comes down and stands. Hard to believe Qwanza could ruin such a talent that quickly.

Bubba_Knows writes:

Beaten like a rented mule!

CATSRSECBEST writes:

in response to born2ride:

Kentucky is the highest paid team in college basketball.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CATSRSECBEST writes:

in response to Katphan29:

UT has a chance, that's why they play the game. This KY team is playing better than ever this year, and the game at LSU Saturday, winning by 24, was the best they played this season.Incredible execution in every area.

I suspect UK will not come out flat tonight, but will be clicking on all cylinders, and I suspect UT will be poised.

ewe tee got their orange arse kikked..

CATSRSECBEST writes:

in response to klrigsby#1377153:

Jones is such a baby, Stokes made him look like a school boy last game.

not tonight Stokes got whupped like a dog..woof

CATSRSECBEST writes:

in response to trubleoj#657755:

Yeah Calipari, Kensucky never gets the calls, especially in Rupp.

sour grapes Big Orange takes Big Whupping

CATSRSECBEST writes:

in response to wigmeister:

It's tough to win against a professional minor league team. Bet we have more players that will graduate with a degree!

sure you will Gomer UT degree gets you a job at DollyWood

CapStormfield_1 (Inactive) writes:

in response to peerless1:

Sadly... UK 77, UT 52

Pretty good guess peerless. Got the spread correct.

My Wildcats are tough at home. UT has a home-stretch coming up. They have come a long way since Austin Peay. Just have to learn how to play on the road.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RockyTopinAlabubba:

how did kentucky get to shoot a free throw on a double technical? Golden got pushed in the back to start the whole thing. ????

Looked to me like it started when Jones tried to push his way through UT's pre-free-throw huddle. Some Vol turned to confront him and then Teague pushed Golden in the back. Looks like the refs just tried to find one guy from each team to T-up, and just forgot to do the same to the real instigators. Jones and Teague should have also gotten T's but then the refs would have had to have police escorts out of the building, starting right then.

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