Mississippi State is on a big slide (WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BIG SLIDE PUNS!). They'll look to cure what ails them (mercury-riddled catfish poisoning) tonight at The Hump against Kentucky. As well as Kentucky has played lately, a win for the Other Bulldogs does not look likely. Here's what I want to see from the Cats tonight:
1. Better defense. The past three games, Kentucky has surrendered .98, 1.03, and .94 PPP. I'd like to see that number drop some. Kentucky's average Adjusted Defense is about 87 points per 100 possessions; Ohio State's is more like 80 or 81. Turn the screws, Cats.
2. Darius Miller and Terrence Jones need to own Rodney Hood. Jones is getting more aggressive in spurts, but his is one game he needs to hang up the 2/10 WOULD NOT BANG meme and kick some ass. Dee Bost is what makes this team go, so I think it's safe to assume Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be guarding him or Arnett Moultrie. Renardo Sidney is slow and lazy but he requires a double-team in the post. Arnett Moultrie is good and will probably get his. The X-factor, though, could be Hood. If Jones is not on the double-team in the post, he needs to deny Hood the ball on defense.
3. REBOUND. That should speak for itself; Kentucky has to do a better job hanging onto missed shots on both ends of the floor. State has a big, physical front court and the Cats will have to be faster.
Do those three things and the Cats win easy on Mardi Gras. The offense will take care of itself; State's defense is just average. GO CATS!