Dooley’s Dribblings, Part III: More to Koulechov’s game

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Florida's Egor Koulechov grabs a defensive rebound against Mississippi during the Jan. 13 game at The Pavilion at Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

Sometimes you stay up on a Tuesday night for the SEC and the games aren’t much. Sometimes it’s worth it. I think Mark Twain said that.

* When Egor Koulechov transferred into UF, visions of Canyon Barry danced in the heads of all Gator fans. A grad transfer who could play immediately and offer instant offense? Sweet. But Koulechov has shown he is a much different player because of his ability to battle on the boards. He not only leads UF in rebounding (some of it by necessity because of UF’s injuries to its big men), he is averaging 7.8 rebounds in SEC games (good for sixth in conference games only) including eight Wednesday night against Arkansas. In overall games, he ranks eighth in the conference in rebounding. And Florida has a real shot at back-to-back Sixth Man of the Year awards because Barry won it last year and Jalen Hudson looks like the top candidate this year a third of the way through the season.

* Is it just me or does it seem like whenever Kentucky loses a game it’s always the players fault? John Calipari talked about “unwarranted arrogance” after his team lost to South Carolina on Tuesday and said the Wildcats “looked like a bunch of freshmen” in the game. Well, they are. The Wildcats have certainly missed Quade Green, who has been out three games with a back strain.

* Alabama missed nine free throws, had 19 turnovers and allowed 12 offensive rebounds against Auburn on Wednesday night and still won. It was a sloppy game, but the Tide made up for the mistakes and missing Collin Sexton because freshman John Petty nailed eight 3s. The results of the mid-week games showed once again that it’s a war in this conference this year and you had better bring your pudding snacks no matter who you are playing.

* Unless you are playing LSU in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have lost three straight games at home, which is the biggest reason they are 80th in RPI. Amazingly, LSU is one of only six teams which have yet to lose a true road game. The others are Kansas, Ohio State, Wichita State, Middle Tennessee and St. Mary’s.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Koulechov has made a bigger contribution than Barry, being a much stronger rebounder and a better 3-point shooter. So far, he’s even been a better free throw shooter. During his December slump, all the critics claimed he couldn’t hack it in the SEC, but if that were true, he wouldn’t still be leading the team in rebounding and second in scoring. Then we find out he’s been struggling with plantar faciitis, which likely explains why he wasn’t getting much elevation on his jump shot, and also makes it even more amazing that he can get all those rebounds while often battling players who are 4 or 5 inches taller. Sure, he sometimes takes a few one-footed, fade away jumpers that fall way short, but overall, he’s been a great addition to the team.

  2. Barry hit a very similar slump, although his was more into the early part of the SEC slate. He regained it and made a strong run down the stretch and hopefully Three-Gor continues to do the same

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