Tonight after the University of Kentucky was thrashed 77-59 by South Carolina, IMG Network play-by-play man Tom Leach asked the question the entire Commonwealth was asking afterward.
Why did Jodie Meeks sit for a long portion of the second half?
Gillispie’s response, transcribed from the post-game radio program:
BG: Well we weren’t getting much done. You know, he’s not guarding, not like he was, like he needs to. He’s not the only one, believe me. Just playing on his heels defensively and not rebounding nearly well enough. But he did OK. He played better than all of them except Pat, and you know if the game would’ve been a little bit different, he definitely wouldn’t have been over there on the sidelines. I’m just trying to play a few other guys a little bit. He just needed to guard a little bit better in that spot.
LEACH: Is it a situation where — consistently you’ve said your guys play hard, but it’s the smarts part — it’s got to be frustrating at this point that they haven’t maybe learned from their mistakes a little bit more?
BG: You know you’re great Tom, but the question talking about Jodie sitting over there for a long stretch in the second half, the questions that you should be asking in my opinion — and don’t take this the wrong way — is why is Perry and Josh and A.J. not playing. And I think everybody that had a chance to watch the game, I’m sick and tired of those guys not helping Pat. The first two plays of the game we’re just going to throw the ball away from that spot. I mean, man alive, when’s it going to stop? You know? So I really do appreciate the job you do, but I think that — maybe you were going to get to that question here in a minute — you know, Jodie sat when the game was over, or pretty much over. I never give up on a game, but our chances weren’t great. But those guys sat when the game was in the balance. And they’re just not giving us anything we need to have a chance to win against a hungry team on their home court vying for first place.
More to come on this loss both on the blog here a bit later, and in my Thursday C-J column . . .