This is the official A Sea of Blue open game thread for the Miami Hurricanes vs. Kentucky Wildcats basketball game at Rupp Arena Saturday @ 5:30 PM.
Particulars of this game are as follows:
This is a match up between two very similar teams, the major difference being that Miami is the much more experienced team, although arguably somewhat less talented. Miami comes into this game off a loss to Ohio State in which the Hurricanes looked like the superior team, but star guard Jack McClinton was ejected for a flagrant slapping foul for which he has since apologized.
Kentucky, on the other hand, comes in off a spectacular showing against Lamar in which they were firing on all cylinders, but unfortunately a collision between Ramon Harris and Michael Porter opened a bone-deep cut on Porters forehead which required ten stitches, and sent Ramon Harris to the hospital for almost 24 hours and will have him sitting out of this game.
Five things UK needs to do to win:
- Take care of the defensive glass -- Miami is a very good rebounding team, particularly on the offensive glass.
- Continue to improve in the area of turnovers.
- Get the ball into the low post -- Patrick Patterson needs to have a chance to dominate.
Attack the rim -- UK is an excellent free throw shooting team, and getting to the line represents easy points.
- Continue to play up-tempo -- With DeAndre Liggins on the floor, the 'Cats need to run, run and run some more to take maximum advantage of his passing.
Five things UK can do to lose:
- Patrick Patterson with only 3 rebounds like the Lamar game -- We can't get away with that against the Hurricanes.
- Foul trouble -- Patterson or Meeks in foul trouble is always bad news for the 'Cats, as they represent most of the scoring.
- Fail to defend the three -- Jack McClinton was 4-4 the other night from the perimeter before he was ejected, and he isn't the best 3-point shooter on this team.
- Help Miami -- Turnovers will be much tougher to overcome against the 21st ranked Hurricanes.
- Leave the primary ballhandler on an island -- Miami is a tough defensive club,and if UK's perimeter players start turning their back on the ball again, Miami is going to turn UK over for layups.
This is a real measuring-stick game for the Wildcats. Kentucky needs to show that it has turned a corner, and this game will definitely tell that tale.