All times ET and p.m.
6:45 – Just spoke with former Coach Cal personal assistant, Steve “Smitty” Smith who is Coach Barbee’s director of basketball operations. He asked, “You mean this place will be full even with the snow?”
Yep, Smitty. It sure will be.
6:52 – The traditional pre-game Cat Walk continues to improve but Terrence Jones was reluctant to do the dance he’s been doing the past couple of home games.
6:57 – Coach Cal and Coach Barbee share an extended conversation prior to line-up intros and Tony also gave a wave over to Ellen Calipari in her seat across from the UK bench. The staffs shared a long greeting line and lots of man hugs as well.
7:00 – Terrence won’t be starting this evening – a wake-up call from Coach Cal? We’ll see. Doron Lamb gets the start instead. So it’s Brandon, DeAndre, Darius, Josh and Doron.
7:01 – Cats will be very familiar with a lot of the stuff Auburn runs as the Tigers use many of the same plays and even some dribble drive.
7:05 – Darius with a 3 to start the game. Hits his first two trey tries
7:06 – Eloy first off the bench as Josh misses a couple of early rebounds. Cats get out to a 13-2 lead with 4:17 gone in the half. Auburn may be on pace for another 6 point half – they had one on Saturday vs. LSU.
7:13 – Terrence checking in with 15:09 left in half. Let’s see if he got the message.
7:15 – Josh off to a rough start and will be relieved by Eloy again. Terrence scores on a nice feed in side from Brandon.
7:17 – Tigers going zone and hoping Cats can’t hit from outside. Strategy not working as UK has started 4 of 8 from 3-point land and 7 of 11 overall.
7:19 – Serious swat by Darius on the break after a turnover by Eloy.
7:20 – Terrence runs the floor hard, gets the outlet from DeAndre, catches up to it, lays it in and gets fouled. Cats up 23-5 with 11:19 left in half. Is it to early for call for Polson Time? Jon Hood into the game early.
7:24 – Tigers have started off 3 of 17 from the field.
7:28 – Auburn’s roster is 16 deep – for a minute I thought they brought the football team on its way back from winning the national championship last night. Tigers are one of the few Under Armour schools in hoops. UK up 26-9 with 7:47 left in half.
7:33 –Brandon playing a great all-around half. Leads all scorers with 8 points and has 5 assists and 3 rebounds. I thought Mark Fox’s comments re: Brandon were interesting as he indicated he thought Brandon was a better floor general than John Wall. All I’ll say is that they have different games and are asked to do slightly different things by Coach Cal.
7:41 – Cats up 33-11 with 3:40 left in half. Moral victory for the Tigers as they hit double digits before the intermission. Gonna be a long year or two from Coach Barbee but I really think he’ll get it going at Auburn.
7:46 – Terrence with 9 points off the bench to lead all scorers and he gets tangled up with Allen Payne going for a loose ball. Officials reviewing the play to see if any additional penalties needed beyond the foul on Payne. Non doled out despite crowd thinking it should have been after being shown the replay .
7:48 – Give the Tigers credit. It’s 38-21 with 1:03 left in the half and Auburn is on a 10-5 run. Cats have lost energy and building is flat too. Again, tough to sustain when playing with a big lead. But Terrence wakes up the crowd at the buzzer as he hits a trey at the top of the key to give UK a 41-21 lead at the half.
7:55 – HALFTIME STATS AND ANALYSIS – We’ll say the theme of the first half was “Message Received.” Terrence Jones came off the bench for the first time in his young career and responded with a game-high 13 points and 5 rebounds in 13 minutes. The Cats went 7 of 15 from 3-point land equaling Auburn’s total output for the first half from just their 3-point shots (21-21).
8:15 – Cats start out with Josh on the bench and Terrence back in the starting role. Josh had 4 points and 0 rebounds in the first half in 12 minutes of play.
8:17 – With a less-than-competitive game going on here in Lexington, let’s shift our focus for a minute to the nation’s Capital where DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall are facing off. Both had 8 points in the first half as Sac led 56-54 at the break.
8:25 – Terrence now with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Coach’s message after the game will be something along the lines of, “Why does it take being benched to get you to play to your potential?” When Terrence is able to answer that he will be well on his way to being the player who has shown glimpses of dominance this season. Cats lead 56-34 with 11:59 left in the game.
8:39 – Terrence now 10 of 16 from the field, 3 of 4 from 3-point land and 6 of 9 at the line with 8 boards as he matches his season-high with 29 points (Oklahoma). This is his 6th game scoring 20 or more. he has not had fewer than 6 rebounds since the UConn game when he had 4.
8:43 – Career high with 32 for Terrence on his 4th trey of the game (matching a career-best for makes from beyond the arc).
8:44 – Now with 33 points, he breaks the UK freshman scoring record set by Doron Lamb earlier this season.
8:46 – It is quite clearly Polson Time as Coach Cal looks toward the bench with 4:00 left in the game and the Cats up 72-47. Stacey Poole is first to come in as he replaces DeAndre Liggins who had 4 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal in 27 minutes. he was 2 of 2 from the field.
8:53 – Terrence leaves to a great round of applause with 35 points and 8 rebounds in 30 minutes. He also had 2 blocks and 3 steals.
8:57 – Cats win to move to 13-3 and even their SEC mark at 1-1. Tonight’s attendance was 23,065. What snow?