Kentucky Wild Cat Scratch Fever: Ole Miss

I dreamt last night about Nerlens Noel.

In the dream, we’re in a small, very crowded galley kitchen. Noels is wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt, and is trying to score some food, while a whole lot of people are in his way. I grab his attention, and say, “You should be real proud. I’ve never seen a basketball player turn a game around by himself as quickly as you did tonight at Ole Miss.”

(That’s about it for the dream, just one of many wacky little scenarios I actually recall from last night’s slumber. In one, John L. Smith was contractor, doing work on my home. Don’t ask. I haven’t a clue where this stuff comes from?)

As for Noels, I believe the sentiment expressed.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such a deceptive stat line.

0/1 from the field. 2/8 at the FT line. An unremarkable 7 rebounds.

But he had a school record 12 blocks. At least four and possibly more came at crunch time. After the Johnny Rebs had cut UK’s not-so-commanding lead to a single digit on a 17 zed run. Most of Ole Miss’s damage came on drives to the hoop through UK’s swiss cheese D, after Noel picked up his fourth foul.

After Ryan Harrow stopped the run with a three, Noel said “Enough is enough.” The home team kept driving to the hoop. Nerlens kept saying, “Return to Sender.” It was dominating. Somewhere, if he sees the tape, Bill Russell is smiling. To Andy Kennedy’s discredit, he didn’t call timeout and alter his offensive strategy.

Noel is obviously no Anthony Davis, to whon he is always compared for obvious reasons. But I like his game. The kid hustles, always plays hard. He’s a work in progress, and he will progress.

* * * * *

I also like the way Kyle Wiltjer has amped up his game. When he makes those sweeping moves to the hoop, they are in slow motion. But he finishes somehow. And, yes, the kid can shoot.

* * * * *

Of course, I wanted to watch flavor of the week Marshall Henderson for a whole game. He didn’t have a good one, but still displayed all the wacky intensity for which he’s become infamous.

Actually, I’ve got a theory, which I will share with this caveat. I am not a medical professional of any sort. Not a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed counselor. Nor do I play one on TV.

That admonition in place, I’ll opine this. It would no surprise me if Henderson is at some point diagnosed as bipolar. To me, his look and demeanor say he may very well be. The kid is a loose cannon. His emotions swing back and forth in an instant during a game. He seems incapable of controlling his moods.

He’s still a fairly talented basketball player. He was pressing way too hard last night.

* * * * *

How the world’s turned.

Kentucky’s W in Oxford is considered an upset of note. A “resume” win.

The Wildcats looked like an NCAA team to me. One some contender is not going to want to face in March.

* * * * *

Less is more. There’s one of my favorite theories in life.

No Willie Cauley-Stein. No problem.

Not with Alex Poythress balling pretty well, despite two early fouls. And Ryan Harrow playing steady at the point. Oh yeah, Archie Goodwin went for 24 and 6.

– Seedy K

3 Comments

  1. Birdie King
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Wow! a UK win over Ole Miss considered an upset. I’m not buying it.Ole Miss is still Ole Miss, even with Morgan Freeman in the house. They will get shredded in Gainsville this week.

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