As we approach today's Kentucky-Villanova match, we'll take a look at the things we know, and the things we don't know, as it pertains to what is shaping up as a huge game in the Big Blue universe. Now up: What we don't know.
What We Don't Know
Apply Pressure Evenly
The Kentucky program is under more public and open scrutiny than in any period since Rick Pitino took over the program in 1989. His successor, Mr. Tubby Smith, has himself in a pickle. His opponent this evening, Villanova, is no pushover. And a loss to a 9-seeded Nova, as 8-seeded Kentucky, is hardly that impossible to imagine.
But that won't matter, and shouldn't, to Kentucky's disgruntled faithful. Smith has made his bed with spotty recruiting, questionable decision-making among his players and a healthy dose of rotten bounces. Now, backs to the wall, the Cats face the future head-on.
Do we have any idea, even after 32 games, which Kentucky team will show up to face the music? We do not.
Cup of Joe
Rewind the season a bit, to mid-January, and look who sits stop the SEC conference scoring chart: Joe Crawford, UK.
Now look at Crawford's recent production: after 20 points in three games before the Florida regular-season finale, Crawford has posted 50 in his last three.
A sign of more to come or a last hurrah? Which Crawford will the boys in blue get today, the one who kept UK afloat in the second half against Miss. St. or the one that through the game away in the final seconds with an ill-advised shot and a lazy final play?
Honestly, we don't know.
It is often said that by March of their freshmen year, first-year players in college can almost be considered sophomores. If that's the case, then will the sophomore Derrick Jasper and Perry Stevenson please stand up?
With Jodie Meeks a full-fledged integral part of any UK winning chance, it's time to get more from Jasper and Stevenson than some "whew, thanks" moments in the first half. It's time to shine.
Do any of us know what to expect from the Kentucky freshmen not named Meeks? Not really.