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Kentucky showed UNC Greensboro coach why it is No. 1 in offensive rebounding

Reid Travis had his first double-double at UK Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

It wasn’t hard for UNC Greensboro coach Wes Miller to explain what Kentucky’s size can mean after his team lost 78-61 to the Wildcats Saturday afternoon in Rupp Arena despite staying in the game until the final six minutes.

““They’re the No. 1 team in the country in offensive-rebounding percentage, so I’d say that they showed why tonight, you know, you look down and 15 offensive rebounds, I was hoping it would be better than that, but I thought it could be worse than that as well after watching film,” Miller said.

“Again, the No. 1 in the nation in rebounding. I thought we battled and fought, but they are well aware of the size that they have and that was very difficult for us. I was pleased at times with how we guarded the post. We knew their size was going to be a problem. I thought our post-double was really ineffective early and that hurt us because we needed that to be effective, but we did some nice things guarding the post and then we had some moments there, especially in the second half where we didn’t do as good of a job making catches difficult.”

He said Kentucky made his team pay for mistakes it had been able to make in previous games and get away with against lesser competition.

“I want to give Kentucky a lot of credit. I thought their defense was tremendous in the second half. We had a hard time coming by quality shots,” he said. “I’d like our execution to be a little bit better, but you’ve got to tip your cap to them first because they made it really difficult for us and it hasn’t been that hard to shoot the ball and hit quality shots on us all year. They really turned it up on us in the second half.”

Just like other coaches have in recent weeks, Miller warned against writing Kentucky out of the Final Four/national championship race.

“I think this Kentucky team… when you look at their pieces, you look at their coaching staff. They’ve got guys that are going to have a really good chance to play in the NBA and they’ve got a coach that’s been able to do it year after year,” Miller said. “Being one of the premiere basketball programs in the country, this team will have the chance to play in the Final Four I’m sure.”

Miller had played in Rupp Arena in 2005 but said it was still as special now as it was then.

“There’s a handful of places in college basketball that are just different—this is one of them out of probably four or five,” Miller said. “This is a special place to play.

“Again, I’m really grateful that we got this opportunity. I wish the outcome was different, but no, this is a really special place to play. It’s neat as anywhere I’ve experienced as a player or coach.”



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  1. Looks like these young men and Cal took a step today. There is no reason Travis doesn’t start the rest of the season. I thought Quade took a step back today but was happy with the overall grit showed after going down by 5 in the 2nd half. That Travis three after going down by 5 was the play of the game IMO. It showed UNCG that we were not scared and I think it also showed the young guys that great players make winning plays. I really liked the defense in the 2nd half also.

    On a different note I have read this quite often”what’s wrong with this team?” Here is my thought. Only at UK can being a sophomore get you disrespected. Here if you are not one and done there must be something wrong with you. So it creates a new guy verse old guy issue that I think goes like this. “If you were that good you would be gone so why should I listen to you” add to that letting Nick start over a Big 5 Conference double double machine probably adds to the lack of team chemistry, especially when in the preseason all players to a man called him a BEAST. Cal took a step today to solve this issue. Lots of work to do and plenty of time for these guys to become the team we thought they were. Just my opinion. The sky is not falling and the glass is half full.

    1. When it comes to expectations, Washington has disappointed me more than any player on this team.
      Perhaps I just expected too much.

  2. A great WIN in the end but some really ugly BB the first 30 plus minutes. You still have to wonder what is being taught, or attempted to be taught, during practice as the team continues to struggle with passing, ball handling, and a consistent will to play hard the whole game. PJ’s problem continues to be a “want to” and Nick’s problem continues to be a “can’t do”. Nick does look good sitting on the pine though. If it weren’t for the motors of KJ, TR, and TH we wouldn’t have any A Dogs or as many victories. It is a shame this team still seems to lack team chemistry and the will to win. PJ and NR could use some serious sports psychology intervention. These guys were supposed to be producers and leaders and NOT.

  3. Great win, hard fought. UK got their act together in the second half. This was a win against a good team too. UK deserves some credit for this one. They were getting beat the first half, but fought hard and sent UNC-G packing. I think UK grew up a little in this one.

  4. They might not lead in offensive rebounding if they could make a layup on the first attempt.
    Herro and Quickly look to me like they are “thinking” too much on their shots.
    When they just catch and shoot, they can light it up.
    Don’t understand why Richards sits on the bench when he gives as much effort as Washington. PJ could be the best player on the floor against every team UK plays from here on out, but I think he is just happy being average. Richards can be a very good player, but I think the refs get in his head and he gets frustrated.
    I think this team will be very good come March.

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