In the midst of a string of ostensibly winnable games, Kentucky is looking to smooth out its rough edges, especially offensively. If Tuesday's win over Santa Clara was any indication, that process is going to take a while.
Looking a little less than stoked, a Cats team coming off two rivalry games and finals week struggled to score again early in the first half. And again it was the reserves that sparked a comeback before halftime.
Randolph Morris was outstanding, taking advantage of single-team coverage to the tune of 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Massachusetts enters the game stronger than in recent years, with a crew of transfers and veteran players itching to sting another big-time opponent. Two weeks back, the Minutemen rudely smothered Louisville in Freedom Hall, sticking it to coach Travis Ford's mentor Rick Pitino.
I can't improve in any way on Trez's fantastic look at the game, so I'll get to the basics.
What to look for:
* Hustle and Flow: Kentucky's inability to improve its offense at the start of games is maddening, despite its vast improvements on defense. The bench has proven capable of scoring points in bunches, which is great. Now let's see the first-teamers not hand off a 10-point deficit to the subs.
* Bobby Mc-'Faring poorly': Senior Bobby Perry came into the season with as much buzz as any Wildcat. After his impressive showing in two NCAA tournament games last spring, folks got giddy thinking about a senior riding high into his final season. But whether he's suffering from small injuries or a lack of confidence, his o'fer for two straight games in limited minutes starts to make one wonder if Tubby Smith may have to shuffle the lineup again to get better production.
* Chic Razor II: Tuesday we saw the debut of the Ramon 'Razor' Harris era, all 43 seconds of it. Depending on the state of the game tonight, will a few more days of practice allow fans to see more of the mystery man from Alaska?
Probable starting lineups
SG: Ramel Bradley, Jr., Brooklyn, NY, 12.4 ppg
3G: Joe Crawford, Jr., Detroit, MI, 12.8 ppg
PG: Derrick Jasper, Fr., Paso Robles, CA, 4.0 ppg
SF: Bobby Perry, Sr., Durham, NC, 6.9 ppg
C: Randolph Morris, Jr., Atlanta, GA, 16.1 ppg
F Perry Stevenson, F Sheray Thomas, F Ramon Harris, C Lukasz Obrzut, G Jodie Meeks, G Michael Porter
PG: Tiki Mayben, 6'2", Fr., 5.1 assists
SG: James Life, 6'6", Sr., 10.9 ppg
SF: Gary Forbes, 6'7", Jr., 11.5 ppg
F: Stephane Lasme, 6'8", Sr., 12.4 ppg, 4.2 blocks/game
C: Rashaun Freeman, 6'9", Sr., 18.2 ppg
G Chris Lowe, G-F Brandon Thomas, G Ricky Harris, G Luke Bonner
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