Men’s Kentucky Basketball Senior Night

SportsZone reporter, Angela Reinmund, writes about Kentucky’s Men’s Basketball Senior Night on March 4th, 2014.

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The Kentucky Wildcats put up a good fight against the Alabama Crimson Tide, but had them leaving Rupp Arena with their heads down.

The first half of the game was a little slow with Kentucky’s defense struggling to keep up with the speed of the game. The score was close throughout the entire game, but especially during the first half. James Young did not have a good scoring game, only 1 for 11, which was surely a detriment to the Wildcats as the game went on. Aaron Harrison, another main scorer for the Wildcats did not have a good scoring game either with only scoring 1 out of 4 shots.

When head coach John Calipari was asked if he wanted to keep Young in the game to keep shooting, he replied, “I just said, you’re not going to shoot open shots, you got to come out.”

Other players had their time to shine after Young came out of the game. Dakari Johnson played a great game by making nearly every basket he shot. Willie Cauley-Stein played well defensively. The team made multiple two-point shots and the team shot 32% and won with that percentage. The final score of the game was 55, Kentucky, and 48, Alabama.

“I’m happy. We’re still not all the way back,” said Calipari.

As for a twist in the game, it was senior night and there are two seniors on UK’s team, Jarrod Polson and Jon Hood. Both players scored during the game.

Polson was asked to share his thoughts during the senior day ceremony.

“Honestly, just how blessed I am to be part of this. That was just kind of the final hooray for all of the cool blessings that I have had to experience in my four years here,” said Polson.

Calipari went on to explain that Hood and Polson were two of the team’s most beloved players who were real contributors to the team.

“They’re both going to have great careers because of what they’ve done here. Both of them have companies calling them…They have both grown as young men,” said Calipari.

The last home game of the season ended successfully for the Wildcats, and the two graduating seniors have a wonderful memory of their last home game at Rupp Arena.

Rupp Arena says goodbye to Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson

SportsZone reporter, Sabriah Rayford, writes about Kentucky’s Men’s Basketball Senior Night on March 4th, 2014.

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There’s never a right time to say goodbye and 2 cats had to do just that. March 4 was senior night at Rupp Arena and senior guards Jon hood and Jarrod Polson went out in style with a 55-48 win against Alabama.

Going into his last night at Rupp Arena Polson reminisced on his time spent at Kentucky as the regular season is coming to a close.

‘I can remember freshman year, getting here, and it seems like forever ago that that was the case. So yeah, it does seem like I’ve been here a while,’ Polson said.

Hood has played with more NBA players than any other player in history according to head coach John Calipari.

‘It seems like yesterday I was playing with John (Wall), Eric (Bledsoe), DeMarcus (Cousins), in here late nights working out and national championship. It flies by, but when you really think about it that was five years ago,’ Hood said.

In the past 5 years for Hood and 4 years for Polson they have both built a positive fan base from admiring fans in Kentucky. The crowd was live and cheering on the Kentucky natives as they took their final bow in Rupp Arena on Tuesday night.

‘Well, they’re two of the most loved players, maybe other than Darius (Miller), that I’ve coached here. But they’re right there with him. They’re both going to have great careers because of what they’ve done here. Both of them already have companies that have called them about, Hey, what are you doing after you’re done playing? They both have grown as young men. Jon Hood especially,’ Coach Calipari said.

During the ceremony Polson was excited to be sharing that moment with teammate Hood.

“We were talking about it all day. He was talking about how he was going to shoot 15 shots in the first three minutes, and he was almost there. We were both really excited this whole past week. It was really fun for us,” Polson said.

Hoods experience at Kentucky has not always been a positive said Coach Calipari.

‘Those first two years were so hard and so tough on him. It’s like he said at the end of last year, I hated everybody. I hated you, coach. Now I have fun every day. I want to be coached. I’m better. I’m the best I’ve ever been as a player,’ Coach Calipari said.

Both Polson and Hood aren’t exactly sure what the future has in store for them. But for now they are taking on the role as leaders for some of the younger guys on the team as they head into tournament play.

“Me and (Jon) Hood, we haven’t played that much in tournament times, but we’ve been there and know what it’s like. It’s win or go home. Pretty much it’s just going to be getting in their ears and telling them you can’t let up at all once the tournament starts. If you let up at all, it’s over,” Polson said.

After a loss to the number 1 team in the SEC Florida. The cats are now gearing up for the SEC Tournament that kicks off in Atlanta on March 12. They will take on the winner of the LSU vs. Alabama game in the Quarter Finals on March 14.

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