This is the official Open Game Thread for Tennessee Tech at Kentucky. For those of you who can't get the game on TV, here are some links:
Unfortunately, holiday demands have made a separate pre-game analysis impossible, so I will do the quick and dirty version here in the open game thread. Mike Sutton, former Tubby Smith assistant at several different coaching stops including Kentucky, is coaching the Golden Eagles. Sutton has had a challenging couple of years since being stricken by Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a severe, paralytic disease of the nervous system. He is gradually improving from being completely wheelchair-bound earlier in the year, and is now able to get along with the assistance of a walker. In spite of his illness, the Golden Eagles were 19-12 last year.
Tennessee Tech is lead by senior guard Anthony Fisher and senior forward Amadi McKenzie, both pre-season all-league picks and both talented offensive players. Neither of them is a three point threat, but Frank Davis is, hitting almost 37% of his three pointers this year. Daniel Northern is the team's leading rebounder and shot blocker at 6'9"/210#, and he is averaging over 2 blocks per game, and the team's third leading scorer.
David Minaya a 6'6 freshman wing and Charles Moore, a 6'7" junior forward are the major contributors off the bench -- Minaya is a good 3 point shooter at 38%, and Moore gets his work done closer to the basket.
Tennessee Tech is a solid offensive team, but unfortunately they are not a very good defensive one. They are currently ranked at #262 in defensive efficiency by Ken Pomeroy.
My keys to the game:
- Patterson must make a strong comeback, both scoring and rebounding.
- Kentucky must improve in the rebounding area over last game.
- Crawford needs to continue to contribute points -- it's the only thing he is really good at.
- Michael Porter or Ramel Bradley must learn to take care of the ball better.
- Jodie Meeks should be in better shape. It could be a big game for him.
We need to beat somebody, starting today. I can't imagine that the confidence of this team is in anything other than a shambles, but turning a season around requires that they start winning games. This is the most winnable game we have had in along time.
I will be liveblogging the game today, so jump right in and comment. You may also post comments in the game thread itself, as per normal.