Saturday, March 20, 1999


Bench starring for UK

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ST. LOUIS — Once again, Kentucky's kids kept their cool.

        The second wave of Wildcats, which enters the game as a fresh platoon of five players, kept UK afloat Friday night when the starters struggled. One of them, junior Jamaal Magloire, then provided the critical defensive difference in the second half.

        “We're getting good play from our bench,” UK coach Tubby Smith said. “The kids have really come together and learned and accepted their roles.”

        The second team — Magloire, sophomores Ryan Hogan and Saul Smith, and freshmen Tayshaun Prince and Jules Camara — entered the game with UK leading 6-5 at the first TV timeout. With two Camara jumpers and a three-pointer, they outscored Miami 7-0 before coming out, and starter Desmond Allison's three capped a 10-0 run.

        In the first half, UK's subs totaled 14 points and its starters just 12, and Saul Smith's three-pointer at the halftime buzzer gave UK a 26-19 lead at intermission. That basket kick-started a 10-2 run that lifted the lead to 12 points, and UK never again led by less than seven.

        “That was a great shot to give us a boost for the second half,” Hogan said. “The second team has picked it up lately, and as each game goes by, the stakes get higher. We want to show we're as good as the first team, that we can help as much as any of them.”

        The 6-foot-10 Magloire played 13 minutes of the second half, working as the key cog in a zone defense that shut down the RedHawks. He totaled five points and six rebounds, and his defense was singled out by Miami coach Charlie Coles and RedHawks star Wally Szczerbiak as a deciding factor.

        “It's Jamaal's world,” Magloire joked, referring to Szczerbiak's nickname, “and those guys are just living in it.”

Padgett power
        Senior forward Scott Padgett continued his postseason prowess, scoring 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half. With UK leading just 35-28 with 11 minutes left, Padgett scored 10 points in the clinching 14-4 run.

        “Scott has been real consistent,” UK senior Heshimu Evans said. “When he makes shots, it ignites our team.”

        Padgett has averaged 19.3 points the past four games to lift his season scoring average to a team-high 12.7.

        “Scott has never gotten the credit he deserves,” Magloire said. “He's an All-American, as far as I'm concerned.”

        Padgett moved into 27th place on UK's career scoring list with 1,241 points, surpassing Tom Parker (1970-72) at 1,238 and Deron Feldhaus (1988-92) at 1,224. Next target: John Pelphrey (1989-92) is in 26th place with 1,257 points.

Cat tales
        UK is 9-0 in NCAA Tournament games under Tubby Smith and has won 20 of its last 21 games in the tournament. ... UK has won 28 or more games in five straight seasons. ... UK is 20-4 against Miami, including 4-0 in the NCAA Tournament. ... The Wildcats' 47.6 shooting percentage was its best in the last eight games.


Photo gallery
Wally sweet, but Miami not elite Tim Sullivan column
Enough Wally, but not enough help