Ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, this is a big game against a tough opponent, and Kentucky needs to find a way to win.
Although I don't happen to think this game is do-or-die, it is an important opportunity against a well-matched foe to take a big step toward solidifying Kentucky's post-season opportunities. The Mississippi Rebels currently co-lead the SEC along with the Florida Gators, and Kentucky needs to make some noise against these two teams or it may wind up in the NIT.
Game particulars as follows, courtesy of UKAthletics.com:
|Kentucky at Ole Miss
Tues., Jan. 29 - 9:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | OM
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via WatchESPN
What it will take for UK to come out of Oxford with a win:
- Better ball handling. Turnovers nearly doomed the Wildcats against the LSU Tigers last Saturday.
- More consistent play from the backcourt. Right now, Kentucky's backcourt has been consistent at only two things: Shooting a lot, and making a few.
- More Alex Poythress. If the same Poythress shows up in Oxford as we saw this past weekend, Kentucky has a chance.
- Better shooting from the perimeter. Kentucky has to make some threes in order to win tonight.
- Gel as a team. We have been waiting a long time. We can't wait much longer.
- Limit the Rebel's 3-point shots, and make them put it on the floor. Marshall Henderson is a fearless 3-point shooter, and Kentucky must force him to move off the spot, particularly in transition.
- Transition defense. Kentucky has been very bad in transition defense lately. They must improve that area.
It's hard to feel good about this team's chances the way they have been struggling, but we can all hope that this will be the game the light comes on for more of the players. Alex Poythress could make this a real upset possibility if he can just continue the good work he put in on Saturday. Archie Goodwin needs to find a way to be more efficient and turn the ball over less, and Kyle Wiltjer must overcome an athletic deficiency and find a way to be effective.
Let's hope it happens. Go, 'Cats!