Reeling from another loss to a top-10 team, Kentucky's men in blue take the court again tonight against Chattanooga in Louisville's Freedom Hall.
After the loss to North Carolina on Saturday, Tubby talked about turnovers and shaking things up, potentially. But what you'll see, at least initially, is the same-o, same-o. It seems unlikely that what did not work three of seven times this season will still not work, but that, however frustrating, I suppose is what the Cats will have to prove or disprove.
Fans would like to see the talented freshmen have to offer, especially on the offensive end, where Kentucky simply can't compete with the best teams right now. While defense is Tubby Smith's calling card, you still have to score enough to win, and in all three losses, the offense was somewhere between ineffective and painful.
Chattanooga is 4-3 as well, but with markedly different opponents. The Mocs' last win was over Berea .. .yes, THAT Berea. They beat Ball State and got their ass handed to them by then-No. 1 Florida. Other than that, most of the schools on UT-Chattanooga's schedule don't even look like actual schools (Ohio Valley? Prairie View?).
UPDATE BEFORE START: Matt May at TCP saying Derrick Jasper to start at the point, Ramel Bradley at the two, Joe Crawford at the three, Bobby Perry at the four and Morris. Here we go?
What to look for:
* Tension: What team comes out early for UK? Is it a team determined to right its wrongs and flow on offense, to prove it can be a dominant team? Or is it the team so scared to miss a defensive assignment and ride the pine that it plays stiff, ugly and scores less than 10 points in the first 10 minutes?
* Fresh meat: Much has been made here and elsewhere about the freshmen and their roles in te rotation. Most fans feel they are being underused in favor or ineffective upperclassmen. Tubby seems to think they are too raw and undisciplined to play significant minutes over experienced players. Who wins out, the talented but green frosh or the coach? Not a tough one to predict unless things change.
* On the road again: It's a home game on the road for Kentucky tonight, the first of two games in Freedom Hall (known to my family as Cheat-em Hall, of course). It's a good test in advance of a much bigger game there, against Louisville in a week plus.
Probable starting lineups
PG -- Ramel Bradley, Jr., Brooklyn, NY
SG -- Joe Crawford, Jr., Detroit, MI
SF -- Bobby Perry, Sr., Durham, NC
PF -- Sheray Thomas, Sr., Montreal, QC
C -- Randolph Morris, Jr., Atlanta, GA
F Perry Stevenson, C, Jared Carter, C Lukasz Obrzut, G Derrick Jasper, G Jodie Meeks, G Michael Porter
SG -- #4 Keddric Mayes, 6'0", Sr. (Leading scorer)
PG -- #22 Casey Long, 6'2", Sr. (3.9 apg)
G -- #13 Ricky Hood, 6'4", (Grad)
PF -- #34 Nicchaeus Doaks, 6'7", So. (Rebounds leader)
F -- #44 Khalil Hartwell, 6'8", So.
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