Sunday, December 12, 2004

Dog Bites Man

Cats flatten Hoosiers. No news here.

Extending their dominance of what used to be a rivalry, Kentucky used a combination of defensive pressure and an almost complete lack of any discenable offensive talent in an Indiana uniform (none outside of Bracey Wright) to win their 10th of the last 11 games in this series.

The last time Kentucky lost to Indiana in Freedom Hall, Bobby Knight was still wearing the checkered coat and Kent Benson was patrolling the middle of the lane. The Hoosiers (what exactly is a ... aww never mind) jumped out to a 13-4 lead, but quickly stalled, and a 14-3 Wildcat run in the middle of the second half put the game away.

This was the first time I've been able to actually see the Cats this season. Some quick observations:

  • Shagari Alleyne is looong, and he is starting to learn how to play the game. At 7'3" tall, and weighing about 77 pounds, he's still a little easy to push around but he's getting better at holding his position. He's gaining some footwork, too, and his drop-step and dunk move in the second half was a bit of a revelation. Keeping in mind that he doesn't even have to jump in order to dunk, this is a very effective move. He will soon become unchallengeable on defense straight up. At one point in the first half DJ White pump-faked him into the air and Shag still blocked his shot flat-footed after descending. He's really very tall.

  • Chuck Hayes and Randolph Morris combined for back-to-back inside wrap-around passes leading to dunks. The first Hayes-to-Morris, the second Morris-to-Hayes. Starting to build a nice inside game here.

  • Rajon Rondo is quick. As you might expect with a Freshman, he needs to keep it under a little tighter control. If he can consistently break his man down off the dribble, though, once he gets into the lane look for the quick lob to Alleyne to be a signature play for this team.
Indiana blows, so this particular game may not mean much, but this is a very young team which seems to be progressing both offensively and defensively. Next up, the Incubus.


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