Dominance continues as Cats wrestle Gators



Florida head coach Billy Donovan tried to find as many ways as he could to say, essentially, “THEY ARE SO GOOD!” after his top-10 Florida team lost to a top-ranked UK team by 20 points.

You see, Donovan has played three of the perceived elite teams — Ohio State, Syracuse and UK — in college basketball this year, all on the road, all losses.

He wouldn’t give a favorite out of that trio, but he also didn’t hold back from gushing over UK’s abilities.

“In terms of star power, in terms of talent, one through six or seven, Kentucky has the most of anybody,” Donovan said. “They have clearly six guys who will be first-round draft picks.”

Even more than the collection of individual talent — although there’s plenty of that — Donovan liked UK’s mentality. He called it a team’s “disposition,” something innate in a championship-caliber team.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” Donovan said. “A lot of their guys — Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Miller — just the way those guys carry themselves, I’m impressed with that.”

He saw pretty much all of them, at one point or another, take a chunk out of Florida’s hopes of victory.

Marquis Teague had an active day, scoring 12 points and dishing 10 assists. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist recorded a double-double, too, with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

“He steps up for every game,” Teague said of Kidd-Gilchrist, “but he is a different person when we play better teams.”

Anthony Davis, playing in front of 24,000 posters of his own face, scored 16 points.

Doron Lamb had a second red-hot shooting night, finishing with 18 points.

All players accounted for, UK played like it was in a different league for the fourth straight game.

“They murdered us,” Florida guard Bradley Beal said, according to a UK release.

UK’s been doing a lot of that lately. Opposing coaches keep going through their checklist of ideas for how to slow down UK, how to negate the variety of strengths it possesses.

None have worked so far.

Florida’s methods certainly didn’t, either. Entering the game, the Gators were supposed to have a good chance of upsetting the Cats with a barrage of 3-pointers.

That didn’t happen. UK set a goal of limiting Florida to eight 3-pointers. Do that, and they might score in the 60s, UK head coach John Calipari said, a beatable number. The Cats did better, as the Gators made a season-low six 3-pointers and shot a season-low 22.2 percent.

UK not only held them in check, but one-upped them, making 9 of 15.

Teague held back from saying UK was unbeatable when it was hitting shots. He didn’t want to go that far with it, only saying it made it “really tough.”

Lamb wasn’t as shy.

“Nah, no way,” he said of opponents’ chances if the Cats are knocking down shots. “It’s impossible.”

That’s about what people are saying when it comes to the chances of taking down UK.

Not only in the league.

In the nation, too.

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