|Kentucky vs. Coppin State|
Kentucky leads series 1-0
Kentucky vs Coppin Sate 12/28/10 Tuesday..7PMEST/9PMCST on FSSouth
Location: Baltimore, MD
Head Coach: Ron “Fang” Mitchell
Career Record: 606-388 (61.0%) 32 Seasons
At Coppin State: 379-343 (52.5%) 24 Seasons
2009-10 Record: 8-22
2009-10 MEAC Record: 3-13
2009-10 Postseason: None
2010-11 Record: 4-5
Oklahoma 77 Coppin St. 57
Towson 89 Coppin St. 74
Coppin St. 71 UMBC 69 (OT)
Coppin St. 71 Lincoln, PA 57
Morgan St. 70 Coppin St. 64
Coppin St. 65 Navy 64
Coppin St. 79 West Virginia Tech 63
U Conn 76 Coppin St. 64
Wisconsin 80 Coppin St. 56
Probable Starting Lineup
Michael Harper G 6’4” Jr….………15.3
Tony Gallo G 5’11” Jr………….….13.0
Vince Goldsberry G 6’0” Sr…….….7.0
Akeem Ellis F 6’6” Jr………………10.4
Antonio Williams F 6’6” Jr…….…..6.8
Other Key Players
Brandon Doughty F 6’8” So………...4.6
Ceslovas Kucinskas C 6’8” Sr………3.1
Michael Murray F 6’5” Fr…………..3.0
You have to love a coach whose nickname is “Fang”….It would be interesting to know how he got that nickname. What’s important, of course, is that coach Fang Mitchell has won 379 games in his long tenure at Coppin St…..and he isn’t afraid to schedule big name opponents. This season the Eagles play Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, U Conn and UK.
The Eagles 4-5 record already has losses to Oklahoma, U Conn and Wisconsin. However, they did lose to U Conn by only 12 points. Coppin St. starts 4 juniors and a senior so they bring experience to the floor, but they are lacking in overall size.
Harper and Gallo are the leading scorers and both shoot well from the perimeter….Harper hitting 37.8% and Gallo 42.8%. Although the Eagles as a team shoot poorly from the FT line at 62.%....Harper is hitting 81.3% and Gallo 74.4?% from the charity line. Ellis and Williams are the leading rebounders….Goldsberry leads in assists and Harper in steals.
Although the Eagles bring more experience to the floor, they simply don’t match up to UK’s far superior talent and size.
UK is fresh off an impressive 89-52 win over Winthrop. Game ball easily went to Doron Lamb who set a freshman scoring record with 32 points breaking the previous record held by Jamal Mashburn. Lamb was blistering hot in shooting 11-12 and 7-8 from the perimeter. Lamb also played 29 minutes with 2 assists, a steal and zero TO’s…..plus he played solid defense! An absolutely great game by Lamb! Importantly, there were other solid performances from Josh Harrellson with 10 boards….Darius Miller had 9 rebounds…..DeAndre Liggins played his usual top notch defensive game and added 9 assists…..Brandon Knight added 21 points and did a good job overall in running the offense…..and last but not least….Eloy Vargas had a break through game as a Cat. Vargas was 4-7 from the field with 3 rebounds…3 blocks and a steal. Importantly, this game gave Eloy added confidence that he can play a lot better than his earlier performances. In addition, UK hit 11-13 from the charity line which was great to see.
Perhaps, the only negative in the game was the mini slump that Terrence Jones is in. Unquestionably, Terrence is a great talent and his greatness was vividly revealed in the Notre Dame game where he had 27 points and 17 rebounds. However, in the North Carolina game Jones was 3-17….against IU 3-11…MVSU 5-10….and only 5-16 against Winthrop. Jones too often appears to be forcing things on the court….taking questionable or bad shots….and he has got in foul trouble too often which hurts his game. As coach Cal has said….Terrence needs to focus on rebounding and playing great defense….and let the game come to him. It appears that Jones is putting too much pressure on himself to score a lot of points. Terrence is a freshman and he is in a learning process….he will be fine if he comes to play each and every game and quits forcing shots that aren’t there.
Despite these mini slumps….Jones still is UK’s leading scorer at 18.2 and leading rebounder at 9.6. As I said, Jones is a great talent, but he needs to be more consistent in the energy and mindset that he brings to each game….plus improving his dismal 59.1% from the FT line.
The great thing about Terrence, aside from his incredible talent, is that he is a great kid who wants to learn and get better. Importantly, Terrence needs to embrace and execute Cal's coaching.....and I predict that as the season progresses, Jones will show significant improvement in his overall game and we will see more games like his monster performance against the Irish..
I look for the Cats to easily win over Coppin St……I see a 25 point victory….GO CATS!