Sunday, December 5, 2010

Foul Play

     Any team trying to get by with a 7 man rotation can expect big time foul trouble with some regularity.  With four UK players fouling out at the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill, this was obviously one of those times.  It was almost a miracle that Kentucky came as close as they did to winning that game.  If it had gone into overtime, UK almost surely would have lost another player or two to fouls and been beaten much worse.
     Give the Tar Heel players some credit for stepping up big under pressure and making 9 straight free throws in one stretch late in the game.  It's worth pointing out that those were not freshmen making all those clutch free throws for North Carolina down the stretch.  In fact, with some of the finest freshmen talent in America on display in this one, it was the more experienced players who won it for the home team.  Tyler Zeller did a pretty good imitation of Tyler Hansbrough, while UK's best first year player, Terrance Jones, was suffering through a frustrating afternoon.  I only remember a couple of times all day when Jones made a good shot fake on the perimeter to bring his defender out on him and then took it strong to the hole.  I say be patient with this kid.  He's got enough mental toughness and athletic ability to to learn from his mistakes and starting consistently having monster games by tournament time.
      Ditto for Brandon Knight, and Doron Lamb now has proven he's not far behind his superstar freshmen brethren.
      Every team in the country has to be worried about the eventual outcome of the Enes Kanter case.  It's pretty obvious that if the new information UK has asked to present to the NCAA makes that governing body change its ruling and allow Kanter to play, the Cats suddenly have 5 more fouls to give in the low post, a lot more rebounds, and a presence that's going to make every other Wildcat on the floor better.
     If Kanter remains ineligible, Big Blue fans can just take a wait till next year attitude or they can sit back and enjoy watching the current group try to overcome their obvious deficiencies and go as far as they can in the Big Dance.
Maybe some day we'll remember them as the Sensational Seven.

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