Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Champs are Here! Kentucky preview

Obviously this isn't the same team that cut down the nets last year, but they seem to be improving. They did gut the Barn in front of a sellout crowd 75-53 (that emptied early in the 2nd half) at Barn Arena (I'm not gonna bother looking up the real name). Title link gets you more on this match-up.

UK official writeup on the game tonight.

Kentucky has really played well against the top teams in the nation, losing by 3 to hated rival Louisville, 7 to Duke, and beating what was a good Maryland team (struggling in the ACC right now) in Brooklyn. Getting crushed by Notre Dame and unexpected losses to Baylor and Texas A&M (I still have a hard time believing they are in the SEC) shows the youth of this squad.

Team stats

Kentucky has a balanced scoring attack with 5 averaging over 10 PPG. Archie Goodwin is their talented freshman SG dropping 15 a game. His perimeter shot is coming around... what he does really well is drive the lane. He's got a nice crossover that'll give Lacey fits guarding.

Alex Poythress is a strong kid. He finishes with power... gonna give Gueye and Jacobs all they can handle inside. Poythress is technically their best 3 point shooter... by percentage, but he's only taken 19 so far.

Kyle Wiltjer has been coming off the bench lately and is their 3 point specialist. He's a wily veteran on this team (sophomore). We've always had problems guarding the white kid outside dating back to the Gottfried era so we shall see how this goes. He's also 6'10" so that's another match-up problem.

Nerlens Noel (AKA Play from the 80s group Kid N Play) is another inside presence at a .587 clip. He is their leading rebounder and shot blocker.

More UK numbers:
- .489/.357 FG/3pt FG
- +4.8 Rebound margin
- .645 FT
- 7.4 steals

Game is on ESPN at 9PM EST. On paper this doesn't look like a good match-up for us, but if we can hit some 3s we just might be able to pull the upset.


finebammer said...

well, here we are again.

big game.

big television.

big crowd.

what will this team do?

this is one of those games, if we can win, sends a sold-out home crowd to the house with a good taste in their mouth.

lose it, and the program is set back again.

i've said all season this is a beatable calipari team. you're not going to see a more beatable one for some time.

there was a time our program was second only to kentucky in sec success. those days seem so long ago.

winning tonite is going to required team unity and focus. it's also going to require coaching that lives up to the price tag.

it's my opinion that the only way this team makes the dance is to win the conference tournament or the sec regular season crown.

they're gonna have to earn it the hard way. it starts tonite.


Alex said...

What a great win
The best part was Jacobs!!
14 points, that is exactly what we needed from him and he seems to be getting better and better as the season goes on.
We have a chance to do some major damage in the win column over the next few weeks because our next game against a very strong team isn't until we play Florida. I hope we can just win the games we should win, which has been somewhat of a problem in the Grant era.

However, I am very pleased with our play in conference so far this year and it is encouraging to see this team develop for next year which will be the most talented team Alabama has had since the early 2000s.

BamaLib said...


Crimsontider said...

Huge win, NCAAT hopes very much alive.

finebammer said...

one can make the observation that the kentucky team we saw last night is not your father's kentucky team.

yet, when we were down in the first half, it was about what we weren't doing more the about what they were, despite noel swatting everything out of the gym. (and on how many occasions could he have been called for goal tending but wasn't??)

how many open shots did we miss in the first half??

but let's face it, we're not going to win games scoring points.

we came out in the second and made a street fight out of it and won. the sight of steele taking the ball to noel and scoring did my heart good. noel looked as if he'd been violated.

in the end, we made them play our game. and won.

enjoy this. there's not going to be many of them. kentucky's still a very talented team. they've just got to learn to play together. noel, poythress, wiltger will all play in the association.

and while there were other more obvious performances to note, i thought stewart and passink choosing moose as player of the game appropriate. without his presence in the middle, we don't win. he had 5 blocks, but how many did he cause the opponent to adjust and miss??

i said this was a game we should win. i expected it. i always expect our team should defend home court no matter who they play.

our house.


bobbyjack said...

Gr8 win. Even finebammer is in a good mood. :)

I 2nd the Jacobs kudos as well the defensive presence of Gueye. He altered that last shot which won us the game. Also, I think Cooper played well defensively with the Trevors scoring.

I don't want to be mean, but Lacey screamed like he was shot in the leg. It's a cramp man... no need for the theatrics, unless something else was reported later that I didn't know about.

Alabamalib said...

The 2nd-youngest SEC team beat the most-youngest SEC team (at home, with one of their starters out).
It's awesome to win, and be a step away from leading the SEC ! ! !

I'm loving how these high-profile players, like Elston Turner of TXAM, and Kentucky's Goodwin and Noel, are getting shut down WAY WAY below their scoring average when playing Alabama. That takes hard work and our Crimson Tide players are doing. (Darn it, just wish we would nail more shots).

But we've got this road game to a team seeking vengeance on us. Not an easy situation.