Final thoughts on the Auburn game
Jan. 22, 2009
First of all, thanks to everybody for tuning in for the live blog tonight. We still have a few kinks to work out, but I hope everybody enjoyed following along tonight. Before I call it a night, I thought I'd finish up with a couple of final thoughts.
A lot of the post-game talk was about UK's defensive effort tonight, particularly in the second half. There's no doubt that was a big story behind UK's win tonight, but I think the biggest thing to take out of tonight was the play of sophomore Patrick Patterson.
Playing with an injured finger, the guy was absolutely phenomenal tonight. He scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds, warranting both Auburn player Rasheem Barrett and UK Coach Billy Gillispie to call him a beast.
"That's the best I've seen him play all year," Gillispie said.
Patterson said after the game that the swelling in his finger caused him to push some shots towards the basket instead of shooting it, but it obviously wasn't enough to slow him down.
If he and Jodie Meeks can continue to play like they have of late, UK is going to be tough to knock from the top of the Southeastern Conference.
The one glaring weakness on the night was UK's turnover problem. The Wildcats had been handling the ball better of late, but 22 turnovers has to raise some eyebrows if you're Gillispie.
Some of it obviously had to do with a stout Auburn defense - they came into tonight averaging an SEC-best 10.5 steals a game - but a lot of it was just carelessness with the ball.
Nonetheless, it's another win for the Wildcats. They all aren't going to be as impressive as last week's wins, but it's gritty victories like tonight's game that separate the contenders from the SEC champions.