Saturday, March 13, 2010
At the half: Kentucky 32, Tennessee 19
By Chris Low
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Maybe Kentucky has made all the jumpers it’s going to make this season.
But say this for the No. 2-ranked Wildcats: When they decide they’re going to guard you, good luck.
Kentucky held Tennessee scoreless in the final 6:10 of the first half and slugged its way to a 32-19 halftime lead in the first SEC tournament semifinal at Bridgestone Arena.
The Wildcats’ defense was suffocating, and the Vols didn’t get any easy looks. It was their lowest scoring half of the season. Making matters worse for Tennessee was that senior forward Wayne Chism only played 10 minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls.
Even off the court, Kentucky proved it can provide plenty of fireworks.
There were two different incidents on the bench in the first half. The first one came after freshman DeMarcus Cousins got mad and threw a towel during a timeout. Kentucky coach John Calipari stormed over to where he was sitting a few seconds later, got in his face and had a few choice words for him.
Just a couple of minutes later, it got even crazier. Freshman Daniel Orton lost his cool and started screaming at the Kentucky coaches. He then stormed off to the locker room (perhaps told to go) with a couple of Kentucky staff members in tow.
He was back a few seconds later, followed by assistant strength coach Scott Padgett, and slapped hands with Calipari.
Hey, call them Team Turmoil.
But, then, that’s what you get sometimes with freshmen. If the Wildcats keep playing defense like this, Calipari can probably live with some of the childishness.