When Florida comes to town for a basketball game, you know it is going to be serious. There have been many significant games with Florida over the years, particularly in recent history. This is one of them.
A win here would really help erase the loss at Georgia Thursday night. The 38-hour turnaround doesn’t help, but those are the breaks when you are playing in the SEC. It would have been much better to come into this game off a win in Athens, but alas.
Congratulations to our seniors, Twany Beckham and Julius Mays, who have helped the team in many more ways than we know. Today, they leave Rupp Arena as our alumni, and one of them (Twany) leaves with a NCAA Tournament championship ring. There are worse ways to end a career.
Julius still has a chance to add to the chapters of his life as a Wildcat. Julius graduated last year, so this is his swan song as a college basketball player. Let’s hope he has a great final game in Rupp.
Game particulars as follows, courtesy of UKAthletics.com:
Kentucky vs. Florida
Sat., March 9 - 12:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | UF
Gameday Live: Online audio, blog and stats
TV: CBS Sports
Live Video via CBS Sports
Radio: UK IMG
For Kentucky to win this game, they must:
Take care of the basketball. Turnovers to the Gators are always deadly to the chances of beating them.
Hold their own on the glass. Florida is not a great rebounding team, and at home, UK should have a chance to be right there with them.
Shoot well. Florida is the most efficient team in the SEC and the fourth most efficient team in the country. We have to score consistently to beat them.
Draw fouls. The very best way to score is from the line, and if UK can get there and shoot a decent percentage, we have a chance.
Defend the perimeter. 41% of Florida’s shots are threes. We have to reduce that number, and make the ones they do take contested.
Be effective in transition. If there is one place where Kentucky has really struggled, particularly on defense, it’s in transition. Florida is an outstanding transition team, and UK must match them to have a chance.
I know most of your are not optimistic about Kentucky’s chances in this contest, and frankly, neither am I. To be honest, the Wildcats have not provided any substantial reason for optimism lately.
With that said, this is Senior Day, the Wildcats’ backs are against the wall, and that means something. We have seen, over the years, some great stuff under circumstances like these.
No matter what happens, there are still things to be done. Glory has largely ignored the Wildcats this year, but opportunities to excel remain in front of them for the next couple of weeks, no matter what, and this is one of them.