UK @ Mississippi State – Preview
Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 14, 2008
Kentucky is riding a hot streak coming into their Tuesday night game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Wildcats come in off a big win at home Saturday against previously unbeaten Vanderbilt and hope to ride that wave of momentum to another conference win.
Kentucky may be shorthanded in Starkville though, Derrick Jasper’s status is qusetionable at best but is most likely doubtful and Jodie Meeks looks as though he will miss yet another game due to the hip flexor he suffered against Louisville. That is two starters from last years’ team that will be missing in action against the ‘Dogs. Kentucky has struggled without Jasper and Meeks going just 3-5 when both of them do not play. The ‘Cats have a moderately good record when they both play going 4-2 including the big win over SEC foe Vanderbilt.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The first key to the game is the one that has plagued the Wildcats just about all year, and that is stopping the best player from the opposite team. That player tomorrow night will be Junior Point Guard JaMont Gordon who leads Mississippie State in scoring, assists & steals. The Wildcats know all too well about Gordon, last season in the SEC tournament quarterfinals Gordon hit a last second game-tying three that sent the game into overtime and eventually led them to the win. The only time Kentucky has stopped the key player for the opponent this season was their last time out against Vandy when they held AJ Ogilvy in check. Sure enough they won the game and come into the game looking to prove the 2008 ‘Cats will be a new and improved version from that of 2007.
The second key to the game for Kentucky will be controlling the boards. Mississippi State is tied for the league lead with 42.6 RPG and they like to score off rebounds in the open floor. Kentucky out rebounded Vanderbilt by over 20 and that was the main reason for that victory. If Kentucky wins the rebounding battle they will no doubt be in the game no matter what they are doing on the offensive end.
The third and final key for the Wildcats in their game tomorrow night will be keeping up the aggressivness on the offensive end. Kentucky looked as though they took Vandy by suprise by attacking the bakets with their guards and executing plays very well. Kentucky ran the ball up the floor and looked to score strongly rather than pull it out and play slow. If UK tries to play slow they will get beat because that will be playing right into the Bulldogs’ game plan.
Those were the three keys to the game for Tuesday’s game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, my prediction on the game is that UK wins 69-58, I think we execute good and we play with a sort of swagger and we pull it out.
Jan. 15 @ Mississippi St.
9:00 pm EST on ESPN