Sunday, January 31, 1999

UK NOTEBOOK


Flu, LSU can't slow down Allison

BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEXINGTON, Ky. — As soon as Desmond Allison first left the game Saturday, he sat down on the end of the bench and threw up in a trash can. Then he scored seven points in less than two minutes upon re-entering.

        Now that the freshman swingman has cracked Kentucky's starting lineup, he's not about to let the flu oust him.

        “He's a tough kid,” UK coach Tubby Smith said. “It was a gritty performance on his part.”

        Allison tied his career high with 11 points Saturday in just 21 minutes, making four of five shots and adding two rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot. He was too sick afterward to talk to the media.

        “He pulled the trash can out for effect,” joked UK senior Scott Padgett. “I threw up last week in a game, but I put it in a cup. He just wants attention.”

        In all seriousness, Allison's play had already drawn attention. He scored 10 first-half points off the bench two weeks ago against Auburn, then totaled 11 points in his first start against Mississippi State.

300 in Rupp
        Saturday's victory was UK's 300th in Rupp Arena. The Wildcats are 300-35 (.896) in 23 seasons in the building.

        What does that mean?

        “It means you ain't got a whole lotta chance of winning when you play us here,” Padgett said.

Young guns
        When Louisiana State made its run early in the second half, Smith inserted a lineup of three freshmen (Allison, Souleymane Camara and Tayshaun Prince) and two sophomores (Saul Smith and Michael Bradley). That group was key in the 19-3 run that put the game away.

        “I didn't think the other guys were giving us energy,” Tubby Smith said. “I put some guys in who were quicker.

        “That showed the upperclassmen that if they want to play, play with energy all the time you're out there.”

'Cat tales
        UK has beaten LSU nine consecutive times ... UK's three seniors — Padgett, Wayne Turner and Heshimu Evans — have all scored more than 1,000 points, though Evans scored most of his at Manhattan College ... UK's next home game is Feb. 13 against South Carolina, the date the UK Basketball Museum opens.

Up next
        UK visits No. 25 Florida (15-4, 6-3 SEC) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The game will be televised on ESPN. UK beat Florida 93-58 Jan. 2 at Rupp.

       



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