Louisville Cardinals at Kentucky Wildcats: Round Table Discussion

Matt Brown

It's round table time again for A Sea of Blue, and this time the topic is the Louisville game.

As is my wont lately, I have solicited the views of our front-page authors on a couple of topics related directly the the Louisville Cardinals game at Kentucky tomorrow. As you will typically see, there is a broad diversity of opinion, and I encourage you to jump in the comments and let us have them. Our two questions up for debate today are:

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)
  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

Greg Alan Edwards

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)

    Well, #1 used to be defense. I always thought our defense led the way because the harder we played defense the harder we played period. Now we have to play "careful" defense. Officiating is killing momentum in games and teams are losing games they should never lose. So I guess it's the officiating. This game will probably be won by whatever team can play the game that the officials like. And who knows what they want? We now live and die by the mood of the officiating.

  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

    I really am not all that impressed by any one individual in the group. Their success lies in how they play as a team. Blackshear and Behanan are probably the leading non-senior candidates, and out of the two, in my humble opinion, Blackshear has the most upside. Behanan can be a beast, but he can also be a nightmare. So, I go with Blackshear. He's been pretty consistent, and has a knack for getting himself in the right place at the right time. That's a good trait to have.

James Streble

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)

    I think the phase of the game that could be the deciding factor is transition defense. Louisville is a smallish, fast and quick team that is built to run the floor. Kentucky has struggled with transition defense all season long, most evidently against Michigan State and North Carolina. Kentucky needs to make shots and get to the line in order to limit this strong point in Louisville's game.

    No more sluggishly running the floor. The Wildcats have to have their motors turning at 200 MPH from tip to final whistle.

  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

    I really like Terry Rozier. He's a good young guard that rebounds well and plays very good defense. He can run the point and play shooting guard as well. Kentucky isn't very deep at guard, therefore Rozier would be a welcome addition. He has the potential to be an explosive offensive player.

Will Marshall

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)

    I'll say free throw shooting. I suspect UofL will foul heavily and UK making shots in the bonus will be a key difference. UofL will have success defending possessions so making FTs, when available, all the more important.

  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

    I'm tempted to say Harrell but I'm going to go with Rozier because I like his game and he will be a multi-year guard. His size is suitable for PG but I think he'll develop improved shooting abilities in 1-3 years. My second pick would be Mathiang for similar projectable reasons.

JLeverenz

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)

    The easy answer is turnovers. Louisville forces them on 1 in every 4 possessions on defense for the season and that's a scary number for a UK team that has had trouble taking care of the ball. The kind of brainless, sloppy passing we've seen the last half dozen games or so will absolutely doom the Cats to a double digit loss if it continues against Louisville. Take care of the ball and UK will have a chance to actually utilize its inside

  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

    No one really. Montrezl Harrell is pretty good, but we don't exactly lack in good post players. I've not seen enough of them to get a sense of which of their role players would be a good fit, so I can't really go that direction either. I guess I'll say Chris Jones since he's proven to be quite adept at stealing the ball and that is something this UK team could really use.

Hank Rippetoe

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)

    This is difficult for me because it is the mental approach to the big games that has me more upset than anything else and it affects all the other aspects and phases of the game. The lack of a killer instinct really bothers me, but free throws is the phase I have to go with since Louisville will foul a lot.

  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

    I have to go with Harrell mainly because of his rebounding. He, however, can also score.

A2D2

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)

    I want to say rebounding will be a huge factor in this game. I want to say free throw shooting will be even more important. Then I remember if there's one thing I have learned about this game is that one can never predict what will happen because rivalries tend to be very unpredictable. A player or players on either team can turn it up unexpectedly or a hot shooter can fail to find a bucket for an entire game. The guys must be mentally prepared to bring their 'A' game.

    I also think the Sixth Man has a lot of work to do on Saturday. We do exist. Rupp has to be rockin' loud.

  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

    I ask you ... Why would I want any UofL red-tainted figure messing up my beautiful blue ... why? :-)

JC25

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)

    Offensive rebounding. Both teams are really good at grabbing their own misses. Kentucky ranks first in the nation with an O-Reb% of 45.7%, while Louisville is close behind at 41.5%. Yet both teams struggle to box out and keep its opponents off the glass. Whichever team can grab more offensive boards while preventing the opponent from doing the same has a clear advantage.

  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

    Give me juco transfer Chris Jones. The waterbug guard is instant offense off the bench, something Kentucky lacks when either Harrison twin sits on the bench due to either foul trouble or ineffectiveness. Jones' 40.5% (17-42) from distance would automatically become Kentucky's top 3-point shooter, and his 23 steals are are 3 more than the Harrisons and Dominique Hawkins combined.

Glenn Logan

  1. What phase of the game will the game on Saturday turn on, in your opinion (i.e. 3-point shooting, inside play, rebounding, etc.)

    Steals. Louisville has played exactly two games in which they did not win the turnover battle by a significant margin. One of them was versus an uncompetitive team where they didn't need them, and the other was against the North Carolina Tar Heels. The most important stat for this game will be the turnover margin. I expect Kentucky to rebound well, I expect us to shoot well from inside the arc. But if Kentucky wants to win, they need to minimize turnovers like never before.

  2. Which Louisville non-senior would you most like to have on Kentucky's team? Why?

    Montrezl Harrell. I love his energy and athleticism, and the way he goes after rebounds.

Well, that's what we think, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation. What do you think?

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