UK vs. Mississippi State: Preview

Posted by ibleedblue040 on December 7, 2008

Coming off a very depressing loss at the hands of Miami (FL), UK looks to rebound today against Mississippi Valley State as they visit the once feared Rupp Arena. UK has a lot to improve upon from yesterday’s sad performance but it should be relatively easy against a mediocre Mississippi Valley State team.


The first key is to just simply not start Michael Porter. Porter has the single worst affect on a UK basketball team since Saul Smith. Obviously there have been worse players than him but they have not cost us games with their terrible play. Why Gillispie continues to start Porter over a future star in DeAndre Liggins is a complete mystery to me. Liggins needs as much experience as possible and why he has not started yet is flabbergasting.

The second key will be to establish Patrick Patterson early. Yes he finished with 19 points but he forced a few shots because he was frustrated with not getting the ball earlier. We need to be able to get the ball to him on 95% of our possessions, if we do that this will be over at halftime. Patterson is a top 10 player in the country in my opinion so it is unacceptable for him to get only a few shots in any half against any opponent.

The third key will to be more efficient shooting the basketball. Going into the game against Miami UK was ranked in the top 10 nationally in field goal percentage and then we managed to shoot under 40% from inside the arc and 2-23 total from outside of the three-point line. Jodie Meeks especially needs to shoot better because he is the leader when it comes to knocking down shots. Once he starts knocking down shots our team tends to follow him and start hitting theirs.

But I think the biggest key today will be to finally get out to a great start. In three straight games we have been down by at least 7 points in the first 5 minutes of the game. We managed to come back to win two of those but once we start playing quality teams we will not be able to keep trailing 16-7 and scores like that. That means guys like Darius Miller need to make an immediate impac


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