Welcome to the A Sea of Blue open game thread for the Blue-White scrimmage, an annual rite of passage for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team, and the first opportunity for fans to get a feel for how the team members will react in game situations before a very large crowd.
The game is at 7:00 PM EST tonight, and the television outlets are as follows, courtesy of UKAthletics.com:
|Market||Station||Time (all times local)|
|Bowling Green, Ky.||WBKO-CW||9:00 p.m. (delayed)|
|Cincinnati, Ohio||WSTR-TV||7:00 p.m. (live)|
|Hazard, Ky.||WYMT-TV||7:00 p.m. (live)|
|Hopkinsville, Ky.||WKAG-TV||6:00 p.m. (live)|
|Huntington, W.Va.||WSAZ-DT My Z||7:00 p.m. (live)|
|Lexington, Ky.||WKYT-TV||7:00 p.m. (live)|
|Louisville, Ky.||WMYO-TV||7:00 p.m. (live)|
|Paducah, Ky./Cape Girardeau, Mo.||WDKA-TV||6:00 p.m. (live)|
I'm putting this up early, so here are a few news items to keep you occupied, plus more after the jump.
- CatsIllustrated.com - Meyer's mail: UNC class complete?
- Is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the Ultimate Warrior? -KSR
- Heels, Spartans to sport a camo gear at Carrier Classic | Beyond the Arc
- Momo Jones seeks to return to form with Iona - CBSSports.com
- Report: Mitch McConnell blocking WVU’s move to Big East -- John Clay's Sidelines
- Clarifying the Big East-BCS relationship - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
- West Virginia Mountaineers' move to Big 12 on hold, source says - ESPN
- Don't Bet On It!: College Football Predictions Around the SEC - Dawg Sports
- NBA deal finally there to be done if reason prevails - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball
- Rajon Rondo, who always wants to win, expects Kentucky to win national title this year | vaughtsviews
This kiss-your-sister dry run is valuable for a number of reasons, probably more for the fans and media than the team itself, but it does get everyone's feet wet after a long summer of mostly pick-up games to the more structured environment of an officiated game in front of a crowd of screaming fans. It's a nice, friendly way for players and coaches to dip their toes back into the shark-infested waters of college basketball.
So what should we be looking for tonight? Well, how about how the offense initiates itself. Will it be through the pick and roll, as Calipari intimated in a video you can find here, or will it be the traditional way? How will players finish through contact? How skilled are these players when somebody is defending them and trying to make an impression? How much have the players that saw little time, like Stacey Poole and Jarrod Polson improved over the summer?
These are mostly questions that could not be answered in the relaxed, non-contact scrimmage we saw at Big Blue Madness. I doubt there will be any brute force exerted tonight, but there should be a bit more effort on the defensive end and a bit more contact than we saw 12 days ago.
I don't know about you, but I'm very excited about seeing this team again, it seems like a month since BBM. Go, 'Cats!