Feb 12, 2011, 6:29 PM EDT
There aren’t many teams in the country that can boast the kind of talent that Kentucky has this season.
Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight, and Doron Lamb are as potent of a scoring trio as you are going to find. DeAndre Liggins is finally starting to embrace the role of the do-it-all glue guy that made the recruiting experts love him in high school. Darius Miller and Josh Harrellson have been up and down, but both are, at worst, capable role players.
Kentucky also has not been blown out this season, but after today’s 81-77 loss to Vanderbilt, the Wildcat’s achilles heel was once again exposed.
This team cannot win on the road.
Kentucky is now 1-5 on the road in SEC play. The five losses have come by a combined 17 points. The Wildcats aren’t getting blown out. They simply are unable to execute in the clutch. They don’t get the stops that they need, and they can’t get a bucket when they need a bucket.
That’s a problem.
And it has to concern Kentucky fans. If they can’t win a close game on the road with the pressure on, what is going to happen when they get into a close game in a hostile atmosphere in the NCAA Tournament?
More concerning, however, is that Kentucky has now fallen three games behind division leading Florida in the SEC East with just six games left on their schedule.
I would be remiss if I blamed this all on Kentucky, however.
Vanderbilt was terrific this afternoon, particularly John Jenkins. With Jeff Taylor struggling — he had as many fouls as points, four — the Commodore’s flame-thrower (as he was referred to by Bill Raftery in the telecast) went 11-17 from the field and 6-10 from three en route to 32 points.
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