Saturday, March 10, 2007


Well, for a coach who is under fire, the ending of yesterday's UK/Mississippi State game couldn't possibly have been any worse.

Up 3 with 5 seconds left to go in a game they had trailed by 14 points in the second half, with Jodie Meeks at the line to take a free throw to seal the deal (and make no mistake, the kid is pure money -- he would have made the shot), Tubby and Sheray Thomas combined for the single most brain-dead play in the recent history of Kentucky basketball.

Thomas left the lane, at Smith's urging, after the ball had been "handed" to Meeks resulting in a lane violation that gave the Bulldogs the ball down only 3. Even still, when Jamont Gordon took the inbounds pass 92 feet from the basket, there was plenty of time to let the clock dwindle a little then foul him and put him on the line.

Instead, the second-most brain-dead play in the recent history of Kentucky basketball transpired as nobody fouled Gordon and he (of course) drained a three at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

To no one's surprise, the overtime came down to one last possession for the Cats, down 2, which they then proceed to botch without even getting a shot off -- something that has become a UK specialty in the past couple of years.

A day ago I felt certain that Tubby would be the coach of this team next year. Now, I'm honestly not so sure. This bizarre finish will certainly increase the pressure exponentially on both the coach and the administration, perhaps high enough that something will have to give. And for myself, I've always been a Tubby supporter (albeit grudgingly sometimes), but yesterday's debacle may have proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back for me as well.

The pertinent question I read yesterday was "when did the basketball team become the football team?", when did they become so adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? And how long can that be allowed to go on?

I do think that yesterday may well be a day when Tubby lost the confidence of a great deal of an enormous fan base -- a confidence that may never return.

Most of the recent sniping has rightly been placed on the recruiting misfires of the last few years. But if the man can't recruit or coach? -- well then putting someone else in the seat starts to look pretty damn attractive.

Well, at least I can enjoy the rest of the weekend without having to worry about how they will manage to screw things up again. This one will probably never be touched.


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