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Indiana Hoosiers @ Kentucky Wildcats: Open Game Thread

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This is the official A Sea of Blue open game thread for the Indiana Hoosiers vs. Kentucky Wildcats basketball game at Rupp Arena Saturday @ 4:00 PM.

Particulars of this game are as follows:

This game is the mirror image of last year, when the 'Cats ventured into assembly hall only to get mauled by a vastly superior Indiana team. Today, the depleted Hoosiers come down to the Bluegrass to face a vastly superior Kentucky team. Can Kentucky return the favor and feast on the Hoosiers? We'll just have to see.

The 'Cats have had a week to rest and practice, both in almost equal portions. The 'Cats definitely needed a break, as they were playing game after game, accomplishing seven games in a sixteen day stretch, which works out to over three games per week.

Five things UK needs to do to win:

  1. Get the ball inside to Patterson. The Hoosiers have no answer for him.
    Learn how to attack the zone. My feeling is, they will see a lot of it today or this game should be easy.
  2. Shoot the ball better from the perimeter. Kentucky just needs to do this.
    Run, run, run. Kentucky seems to be much better when they run.
    Attack the offensive glass. Kentucky has no excuse for their anemic showing in the offensive rebound department.

Five things UK can do to lose:

  1. Start slow. Slow starts have done more to hurt UK this year than turnovers have.
    Settle for perimeter shots. We have a huge advantage in the paint, but if Patterson only touches the ball four times in the first half in this game, it could give the Hoosiers hope.
    Take the opponent for granted. Tom Crean is an outstanding game coach, and he will get the most from his charges. We must take the Hoosiers as seriously as North Carolina.
    Allow the Hoosiers to dictate the pace. Kentucky needs a more up-tempo style, for this game in particular
    Matador defense. IU has some pretty quick guards, and they will get by us and into the paint if we let them. That could mean foul trouble for our bigs, and that is the biggest advantage we have.

The 'Cats are much better than the Hoosiers this year, and this is definitely a game we should win. We are missing Ramon Harris, but the Hoosiers are missing about two years of experience, premiere talent and dealing with a new system. If the 'Cats don't win this by double digits, I will be very disappointed.

[Note: Due to a Christmas function right after the game, the post-game comments will be later on tonight. Please continue to use this thread to discuss the game after it is over. Ed.]

Go 'Cats!