From Friday night, I took in the first half of the exhibition game between Kentucky and Ouachita Baptist. It was just a preseason game, but if the first half was any indication, the Wildcats could be in some trouble for the season ahead.

Turnovers are one thing to have. But when they come from the most basics of fundamentals, you have to wonder what these players have been doing the past couple of weeks in practice, indeed what they've done to even get to a big time D1 program like Kentucky. Here are just 4 or 5 of the 20 first half turnovers by Kentucky,

It's the Little Things:

What you'll notice about all those turnovers is that they weren't structural or tactical, they came from the smallest of things. A extra forearm shove, leaving your feet to pass, not getting enough on the pass, and forgetting that on a spot inbounds, you're not allowed to run the baseline,

In other words, it wasn't anything in the design of Billy Gillispie's 4-out 1-in offense or press break, it was just their general lack of focus and attention by the players themselves. Now credit Gillispie for putting in the halftime adjustments necessary to come out and out run Baptist out the gym, but the mere fact that the players came out and had such a lack of focus and getting into foul trouble early shows a lack of preparedness.


It's just one game, and Kentucky did thoroughly thump their first opponent of the preseason in University of Missouri-St. Louis. But the lack of consistency in running their primary half-court offense is definitely disconcerting. The plus side for the Wildcats is that their half-court man defense was solid. Gillispie has his players playing a very aggressive man defense denying 1 pass away. The big question is whether they can get it together on offense in time for conference play to start.

If you want to know more about how Kentucky develops their man defense, check out Billy Gillispie's DVD on his In Your Face Defensive Drills. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.