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Kentucky dumps Baylor to advance to Final Four again
Question of the Day
But for all the talk about Calipari’s one-and-done tactics, he’s getting plenty of contributions from those who hung around beyond their freshmen year. Take Jones, a sophomore forward who passed up the draft. He scored just one point in the opening half, but his fingerprints were all over Kentucky’s dominating performance: nine rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals and — most in the first 10 minutes.
“I was just trying to be aggressive early,” Jones said. “That allowed me to get in great position for rebounds and to lead the fast break.”
Then there’s Darius Miller, one of only two seniors on the roster. He gave up his starting role to Kidd-Gilchrist in this one — Kentucky essentially has six starters — but added four points, two assists and two steals to the first-half blowout.
At one point, Kidd-Gilchrist had as many points as Baylor’s entire team: 17 apiece. Kentucky led 42-22 at the break and Baylor never got any closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
“It’s kind of hard to play us,” Davis said. “We’re very long and very athletic. It makes it tough on the other team.”
The Wildcats left New Orleans earlier this month disappointed with a loss in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
That one’s long forgotten.
A national championship has been the goal all along.
“I’m not satisfied yet,” Kidd-Gilchrist said.
Quincy Acy led Baylor with 22 points.
With Baylor’s Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III cheering on the Bears from the stands, Acy tried to send a message early on that Baylor would not be intimidated by the Wildcats.
Jones was in the clear and going in for a fastbreak layup when the 235-pound Acy came up from behind, took a whack at the ball but mainly just crashed into the Kentucky player, sending him flying into the Baylor cheerleaders along the baseline. Jones was OK, and the officials doled out a flagrant foul on Acy after looking at the replay.
Jones made one of the free throws, Kentucky missed a jumper and the Bears, seemingly inspired by Acy’s bravado, ripped off an 8-0 run that led Calipari to call a quick timeout. He already had yanked Doron Lamb from the game for trying to make the highlight reels rather than taking a layup. The sophomore guard passed up a clear path to the basket, instead opting for a lob pass to the trailing Davis.
The big man missed the dunk, hanging on the rim as Baylor grabbed the rebound and took off the other way for a basket.
After Quincy Miller hit an uncontested 3-pointer from the top of the lane to give Baylor a 10-5 lead, Calipari lashed into his young team — and, boy, did they respond.
By Orrin G. Hatch
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