"It's not any easier to take that we lost because Pat didn't play," Meeks said. "We need Pat to help with rebounding. There's no doubt about that. But that's no excuse for why we lost. We have got to suck it up and play as hard as we can."
Meeks would only say that UK's play was "lacking in areas" and mentioned that Vanderbilt outrebounded the Cats 37-26.
"They had big guys and were hard to get around," UK junior Perry Stevenson, who had two rebounds in 23 minutes, said. "They just have big bodies. We did not score very efficiently and it did not help that our big guys were not rebounding.
'...We did not execute on offense'
Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie said he could find no solace in the fact that Patterson didn't play when trying to justify his team's defeat and poor showing on the boards.
"Pat wasn't playing, so that doesn't matter," Gillispie said. "I was proud of almost every single one (of our players). They played their tails off and we competed hard, but we did not execute on offense. Other than fouling, we did a great job defensively the first half. But we didn't disrupt much the second half."
Kentucky committed a season-high 13 fouls in the first half and finished with a season-high 29 fouls as Vanderbilt went 32-for-40 at the foul line.
Gillispie clearly was upset with Stevenson's lack of production along with that of Josh Harrellson, who started for Patterson. Harrellson played only seven minutes and did not have a rebound.
However, Gillispie said there was plenty of blame to share.
"Guys were going to the wrong spots. We've played a lot of games. That comes back to coaching," Gillispie said. "But when you come out of timeouts and go to the wrong spot, that really got us.
"We thought we could drive against them. But when we got in the paint, we made bad decisions, did not get fouled enough and did not finish plays. That should not be happening at this time of year."
Gillispie also thought his team failed to keep its poise in the second half when Vandy took an early nine-point lead.
"We didn't panic, but we got overanxious," the UK coach said. "That did not help. Before you knew it, we had a 10-point deficit and never were really able to put a dent in it."