A few weeks ago, I gave our beloved Coach Cal a little scraping over the coals for running the score up and not playing his full bench. While he still has a tendency to play the starting 5 for most of the game, even when we're winning by 20 or 30 points, and there is still one player on the roster that I've never even heard of (Brian Long who??), he did bench a starter in the UK vs Tennessee game last weekend for almost half of the first half.
I don't remember exactly how this went down, but I think he took Doron Lamb out of the game for continuing to attempt desperate 3-pointers. Y'know...the kind that land with a thud on the rim and then bounce so far out that players outside of the paint are getting the rebound. Tennessee is considered to be one of our main rivalries, right behind the University of Louisville, so losing to them comes with no small amount of disgrace and bitterness. And Tennessee came to play. Coming off of a 67-56 win against Florida, they were ripe for a rivalry game. And on their court, no less.
We had a small lead at the beginning for a couple of minutes. And then it all went to hell. UK was not sinking any of their baskets...or leaping for rebounds. UT was edging closer and then they took over. And Lamb just kept throwing up bricks. Even when other teammates were open. Even when there was plenty of time on the shot clock. And then...he got yanked. For 6 whole minutes...until the end of the first half.
Doron Lamb is not necessarily the best playmaker on the team. He might get a couple of assists per game and occasionally a steal, but he's best known for sinking 3-point shots when they are most needed. And we love him for it. But what he was doing over and over again on Saturday was unacceptable and Coach Cal gave him 3 chances before yanking him and benching him. And I love him for that. Did we need Lamb to play the entire first half? Absolutely. But there are lessons to be learned on the collegiate court and he learned one last weekend.
Has your coach done something that makes you proud? Care to brag? I'm happy to listen!