By LARRY VAUGHT
Buffalo players weren’t shy about the smack talking before they played Kentucky.
At Friday’s press conference in Boise, they all but challenged the manhood of Kentucky’s inside players and said the Cats couldn’t run with them in transition.
Kentucky responded with a 95-75 win in the NCAA Tournament second round. It was UK’s third highest point total of the season and the most points any team scored in NCAA play Saturday.
Look back at what was said Friday.
“I think we match up pretty well with their guards. They’ve got some guards who are pretty good on the ball screen and stuff like that. But I also think they’re lacking on the inside with defending and stuff like that,” Buffalo’s Nick Perkins said.
Match up with the guards? Obviously Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hamidou Diallo disagreed because they torched Buffalo.
“I don’t think they can stay with us in transition and stuff like that. They’ve got a lot of big guys, they play a little bit too much, and I think that will play to our favor,” Perkins said.
Buffalo not only couldn’t run with UK, it couldn’t keep Wenyen Gabriel off the boards or keep P.J. Washington from getting inside and scoring.
“I think experience should give us just a little bit of an edge. I think the team that plays the hardest is going to come out with the win,” Jordan Harris said.
He was right about the team that played the hardest. It was Kentucky. And the lack of experience didn’t bother UK because Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t let it bother him.
I was hoping someone in the postgame press conference would ask Buffalo coach Nate Oats or his players about those comments. Trust me, I know that most beat reports head to the open locker rooms to get a chance for individual access to players. But it still seemed to me that someone in the press conference would have wondered if the Bulls regretted what they said because UK sure made them pay.