UK @ LSU – Preview
Posted by ibleedblue040 on February 15, 2008
Coming off the worst loss in almost 20 years the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team travels to Baton Rouge to play LSU tomorrow at 1:00 pm. Kentucky fans everywhere have now shifted their belief from “We can make the tournament!” to “Well we might make the NIT!”. The truth is that if UK were to win out or lose one game to Tennessee then their tourney hopes are still alive with a great showing in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. This loss hurts but it does not automatically end our season like some people might think. Kentucky needs to come out focused and take care of buisness against an inferior Tigers club that is last in the SEC record wise and just made a very contreversial coaching change that could hurt them. Although one might believe that the firing of John Brady would stunt LSU’s play it has actually made them play harder and smarter to prove to people they can still compete.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The first KEY TO THE GAME for tomorrow is for UK to play very aggressive defense and to create offense with their defense. LSU is dead last in the SEC in scoring offense, field-goal percentage, and three-point percentage so they obviously do not shoot well at all so the Wildcats should be able to gamble a little bit without being scored on consistenly. Vanderbilt scored in bunches against UK by hitting shots from everywhere on the floor with anyone that was out there. LSU will only have 2-3 players on the court at a time that can shoot well from outside the lane and even they will be below average or at best average. Kentucky can afford to jump passing lanes and go after loose balls as long as the players recover quickly and play smart basketball. Louisiana State is 10th in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio so they do not pass very well either.
The second KEY TO THE GAME for tomorrow is for the Wildcats to get out and run a lot. What I mean by that is instead of everbody crashing the boards I think we should send the shooting guard and small forward back so that Ramel Bradley can throw some balls deep for easy buckets. The ‘Cats lead the SEC in rebounding defense so rebounding the ball with only 3 people should not be very difficult against an LSU team that only averages 34.7 rebounds per game. Kentucky was stuck running a half court offense earlier this week against Vanderbilt and they were able to double down on Patrick Patterson and stall our offense, if we get some run outs and quick buckets we should recieve a confidence boost and a lead.
The third KEY TO THE GAME is for Kentucky not to foul early and let LSU in the bonus. I know I said I want the ‘Cats to be aggressive but LSU is 2nd in the SEC in free-throw percentage behind only Kentucky and if they get free oppurtunities to score from the line they will convert most of the time. Louisiana State has 9 guys shooting over 62.0% from the line, a stat that is tied with Kentucky for the conference lead. The top 7 players for LSU shoot over 65.0% from the line so you basically can not foul anybody at any time, it will not be that hard to accomplish as long as we play smart.
My prediction for the game tomorrow is that Kentucky rebounds from an embarassing and ugly loss to Vanderbilt with a 67-57 win at LSU. Kentucky is superior at almost every position so they should not have to fight back the whole game like they are accustomed to doing. If we are put in that position again I can very well see us lose this game and officially ending our tournament chances.
Feb. 16 @ LSU
1:00 pm EST on RAYCOM Sports