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Central Michigan @ Kentucky: Open Game Thread

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This is the official A Sea of Blue open game thread for the Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Kentucky Wildcats basketball game at Rupp Arena, Monday @ 7:00PM.

Particulars of this game are as follows:

The Central Michigan Chippewas limp in to Rupp Arena tonight to face the Kentucky Wildcats after losing six of their last seven games. Conversely, the Wildcats have now taken five in a row from their opponents, all but the most recent in dominant fashion.

Central Michigan will likely set the record for attendance at one of their games tonight, the current record being right around 16,000. If the normal fan turnout happens in Rupp arena tonight, the new record should be in the 21,000+ ballpark, depending on how the holidays affect turnout.

Central Michigan is in a very tough spot tonight, but as we saw recently, if you give a team hope, they can sometimes go off in your face, just as FAU went off in Kentucky's face on Saturday. Fortunately, the 'Cats were able to overcome an early second half deficit to defeat the Owls. Hopefully, we won't have to do that again tonight.

Five things I would like to see from Kentucky tonight:

  1. Much more defensive intensity, especially in the first ten minutes. We let FAU see the ball go through the net a few times, and they went nuts on us.
    Handle the ball pressure. Many people still doubt that Michael Porter can perform well in a game where strong pressure is applied. Ernie Zeigler is a defensive-minded coach who learned under Ben Howland. The 'Cats will see pressure tonight.
    Good interior passing. CMU will have to double-team Patterson, and good interior passing should lead to some dunks.
    Continue the good ballhandling from last game. 'Nuff said.
    We need more early offense than we got last game.

Five things I do not want to see tonight:

  1. A bunch of threes early in the shot clock.
    Aimless dribbling without a purpose.
    Allowing CMU guards into the painted area.
    Allowing open three point shots.
    Careless ballhandling.

CMU is banged up and not nearly as potent as FAU was, so there is no excuse for letting this team hang around for any length of time. UK needs to charge out to an early lead and deflate any hopes this team may entertain of an upset. Failing to do so can have frightening consequences, as we almost found out last game.

Go, 'Cats!