By LARRY VAUGHT
The more I think about, the more I wonder if Kentucky players simply underestimated what to expect against Tennessee Saturday in Knoxville.
“There are no excuses, but I’m sure they had revenge on their mind,” freshman Immanuel Quickley said.
Okay, nothing wrong there.
“I think any team that plays us is going to be ready to play us, just because we are Kentucky,” Quickley added.
Again, nothing out of line there.
But then Quickley added this.
“We are always going to have that target on our back. We just really didn’t match their energy today,” Quickley said.
Didn’t match their energy? How could Kentucky not match the energy it had to know the Vols would bring after being routed at Rupp Arena two weeks earlier.
“We just didn’t bring energy from the jump. They brought more energy than us,” sophomore Nick Richadrs said. “We didn’t execute our offense and our defense wasn’t how it usually is.”
No the defense wasn’t what it usually is. Not close. If anything, it was plain bad.
“We just weren’t ourselves today. It was a bad game,” Richards said.
I think Richards was being completely honest there. It was a bad game and they “weren’t ourselves” at all.
The Vols and Cats likely will be seeded No. 2 and No. 3 in the SEC Tournament meaning if they both win opening games, they will meet in the tourney semifinals.
“It will be a good battle. The rivalry is great. We are going to see them again soon,” Richards said.
But will Kentucky understand then that it has to match the energy the Vols brought Saturday and surely will again in Nashville at the SEC tourney.