’Cats come together in time to pass Kansas test
Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 7:02 pm
By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — High-flying freshmen, perimeter shooters, size and speed at nearly every position. Kentucky has all the ingredients to become a big winner this season — if the young Wildcats learn how to play unselfish ball from the opening tip.
Doron Lamb scored 17 points, Terrence Jones had 15 and No. 2 Kentucky raced to a decisive spurt at the start of the second half, passing an early-season test with a 75-65 victory over No. 12 Kansas on Tuesday night in a matchup between the two winningest programs in college basketball.
“We don’t believe we have to truly play together yet. It’s not talent that wins, it’s good teams that win,” Wildcats coach John Calipari said. “This is not a good team yet. We’re not bad, but we’re not a good team yet. We’ve got good players, but we broke off every play.”
Anthony Davis added 14 points and seven blocks for the balanced Wildcats (2-0), who trailed for much of the first half in the State Farm Champions Classic.
They committed 19 turnovers and looked discombobulated at times, but overcame all that by blocking 13 shots and holding Kansas to 33.9 percent shooting.
Starting three highly touted freshmen, Kentucky gave Calipari his first career win against Kansas, a school that evokes both fond and painful memories for the third-year Wildcats coach.
“We had a big run in the second half that closed the game out. So we’ve got to keep running our system and it will come together soon,” Lamb said. “We’ve got a lot of scorers on this team, a lot of weapons on this team.”
Tyshawn Taylor, who grew up just across the Hudson River in New Jersey, scored 22 points to lead the Jayhawks (1-1). Thomas Robinson added 11 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 3:31 to go.
On almost any other night, a matchup between these two basketball blue bloods at Madison Square Garden would be the headline act. After all, the last time the two elite coaches squared off, Bill Self led Kansas to a comeback victory over Calipari and Memphis in the 2008 national title game.
But this one was overshadowed by the doubleheader opener, when Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski earned his 903rd career win with a 74-69 victory over Michigan State.
Published in The Messenger 11.16.11