Transylvania Pioneers at Kentucky Wildcats: Live Game Thread

Andy Lyons

Welcome to the first exhibition game of Kentucky's 2013-14 season.

Welcome to the A Sea of Blue Live Game Thread for the Transylvania Pioneers at Kentucky Wildcats basketball game, colloquially known as the Battle on Broadway.

Coverage:

This is the third edition of this series, and I see no good reason why it should not continue indefinitely. Transylvania is the biggest, but by no means only beneficiary of the contest, because this is just the kind of pre-season contest that allows Coach Cal and the team to ease into the college season. It has an additional benefit this year in that it will allow Kentucky to get used to the new officiating rules, which have produced games with 60 and 70 fouls so far this year with numerous starting players fouling out or getting into deep foul trouble in the first half.

Which brings me to another point — defense. Kentucky has to be very careful not to play too much defense this year, because foul trouble can get them into a lot more trouble this year, depending on how the game is officiated, than bad defense. While we will no doubt see some defense being played by everyone this season, finding the right balance will be an ongoing challenge, and complicating that will be the officials adjusting themselves as the season goes on. It looks like a volatile mix.

Things to look for tonight

  • How is Kentucky going to do without Andrew Harrison in the lineup? At some point in the season, UK is going to have to play without their starting point guard. How they are able to cope with that will tell us a lot.

  • Can these young guys sustain effort? That was a problem in the Blue/White scrimmage.

  • Will Willie Cauley-Stein or Dakari Johnson start at the five spot?

  • The officiating is quite possibly the most important thing to watch when it comes to contact. We should find out quickly if Kentucky is ready, or not.

  • The starting rotation will be interesting. Has James Young supplanted Alex Poythress at the 3, as was suggested by the Blue/White game?

  • We should see a lot of the Dribble Drive Motion, since that's about all that Calipari has had time to teach. He says they have an inbounds play or two as well.

  • Will Kentucky open up on a full-court press? I don't expect it to be an intense one, if so, but Calipari has suggested that he is going to press more this year.

  • How will this group defend on the perimeter? I'm not worried about the paint because of Kentucky's size, but how will they defend outside?

I'm sure you have questions to be answered as well, but this is a good place to start. Rejoice, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation — basketball season is here, and we'll be playing our first game that counts in seven days.

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