Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fresh Meat- Kentucky comes to town... biggest game in 5 years 4PM EST (3PM CST)

The near unanimous #1 team in the land (2 votes for UVA) come to Tuscaloosa for a tilt that could be memorable... or a tail kicking like Kentucky did to Missouri earlier in the week.

We all know that their 1st nine are probably more talented than our best player, but it's BASKETBALL and the best team doesn't always win. We have a puncher's chance IF we shoot OUT OF OUR MINDS from outside (not the 30% 3pt FG we are shooting on the season). Let Cooper and Norris take most of those since they are our best shooters.


While they are the stars of the team, the Harrison twins aren't exactly putting on a shooting clinic so far this year as both are under 40% from the field, Honestly their stats suck minus FT percentage. Devin Booker is the one to stop as he's shooting 50% overall and from 3 point land. I suspect Cooper will get the task of guarding him due to his size. Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns will cause us major issues inside as they are both big and strong. We don't have an answer for that unless Taylor plays out of his mind and Norris/Kessens play big and keep them from posting under the basket,

Kentucky is beating opponents by an average of 26 PPG. While they seemed to sleepwalk through the first 2 SEC games, they turned it on against Missouri. Let's hope they are worn out from that.

While I would like to tell you we have a chance to win, the numbers don't favor us shooting outside which is what we have to do to beat them. Unless we hit 50% from 3, keep Kentucky's bigs from playing layup basketball, and keep the turnovers to a minimum this one is tough to predict for the good guys. We need to keep them off the boards (good luck) and let them throw up 3s to have a shot.

- +9.8 rebound margin
- 50.6 PPG (opponents)
- 8.3 blocks
- 11.4 turnovers/game

Game is on ESPN and


Msmilie said...

Not defending a 22-point home loss, but give Kentucky some credit. The best team in college basketball by a wide margin, and they played like it today.

Msmilie said...

Look, a 22-point loss, home or away, stings. However, I think there should be an asterisk next to this one because Kentucky is just head-and-shoulders above 99% of college basketball right now. When they play their game on defense and shoot the ball they way they did today, no one in college basketball is beating them. Period. So while I'm disappointed that Alabama lost, I'm not looking at this game (or the game in Lexington in a couple of weeks) as a signal that this team can't go on to achieve some goals.

Rebounding has to improve, and Jimmie Taylor has to find a way to stay on the floor (I don't have the numbers in front of me, but this game was much more competitive with Jimmie on the floor. This team needs his size). From an offensive standpoint, Alabama actually had the best shooting percentage of any team against Kentucky so far this season (and it only produced 48 points, showing again how dominant UK is defensively). Bama probably scores more if not for the length of Kentucky. So many instances in this game where Bama players appeared to be affected by Kentucky's ability to close quickly.

It's been my thought since the schedule came out that the first 10 games of conference play would be a real grind with road games at Arkansas, Kentucky and LSU along with Florida coming to Tuscaloosa. So far that looks to be the case. The road game on Thursday against Arkansas is going to be another stiff test. This team could be nursing a 3-game losing streak coming into the Auburn game, but there are plenty of opportunities (thanks to improved non-conference scheduling by the league) to stack up some wins and be in the conversation come March.

CTider said...

We're never going to beat them when they play as well as they did today, obviously. There are 10 future NBA players on that roster, Still, we looked intimidated from the start. I wish we would have played with more intensity, and shown more fight. Our players didn't play with any confidence, and we still don't have any big men that can hang in there with the better rebounding team in the SEC (not just Kentucky, any of the better rebounding teams in the league)

When, Anthony Grant was hired, he inherited Jamychal Green and had him for three years. He's had three years to replace him and still hasn't. Very few teams are going to be able to match up with Kentucky's bigs, I understand, but it's pretty sad that in year six, the best player we can put out there to go against them is Michael Kessens, whom, with all do respect is hardly Erwin Dudley or Richard Hendrix.

My question is, where are the quality wins going to come from? Do you think we can win @ Arkansas (the only other ranked team in the league) What about @ LSU? who has actually underachieved this year. We're over halfway through the season and still haven't beat a good team all year. We have lost to the five best teams on our schedule. I believe we are 1-19 in our last 20 games against top 50 RPI teams. We could conceivably make the NCAAT, but it's hard too see where the wins are going to come from, and given our recent history, it's also hard to see us avoiding a loss to one of the bottom 4 teams in the league.

Msmilie said...

They may not have a bevy of top 50 wins (though Tennessee's road win at Missouri may now put the Vols, at least temporarily, in the top 50) when all is said and done, but if they get to 10-11 wins in conference play, they're in the discussion. Unfortunately, that Wichita State game may be the one that comes back to haunt them. They also need UCLA to continue their recent improvement.

What does help them is, outside of Missouri and Mississippi State, the rest of the league is going to be in or around the top 100 all season. If they get to 10-11 wins in conference, avoid bad losses (any sub 100 loss at this point could be a bad loss), they have a shot. The margin for error is slim though. As far as I'm concerned, the team needs a March mentality (survive and advance) from this point forward. It could be a nail-biter right up until selection Sunday.

256Bradley said...

the loss was expected. but starting Retin and Coleman not playing the entire 1st half Grant threw in the whie flag early. I know Tarrant was hurt but obviously good enough 2 play. still waiting to c devin Mitchell play he is on scholarship

bobbyjack said...

Mitchell won't see the court... not that I disagree with you, but I doubt Grant will add him to the rotation.
The loss was expected, but I was disheartened on how bad we looked offensively especially in the 1st half. UK called off the dogs early or we would've lost by 40.