This is the official Open Game Thread for Kentucky at Georgia.
Playing the Bulldogs in Athens is never easy, especially since Dennis Felton took over the coaching duties. The Dawgs play the most physical defense in the league, and arguably in the entire NCAA. That defense keeps them in every single game, and drives opposing coaches and players crazy.
Georgia will fight very hard to prevent the Wildcat players from catching the ball where they want it. That means the guards are going to have to work very, very hard to get the ball to Patterson in the low post. It also means that drives into the lane are going to be difficult. Kentucky must be patient on offense but they can't run down the shot clock and wait to go on offense like they did against Kentucky, or they will never get a good look against the Dawgs.
I always fear that a team in a shooting slump will pick Kentucky as the opponent to break out of it, and I have that same fear today. This game will definitely require Kentucky's best, and anyone who walks into Stegeman Coliseum without respecting the toughness of the Georgia team will surely regret it.
The good news is that Kentucky has been playing much better of late, and I see no reason to believe that this trend is ready to reverse itself. Gillispie continues to laud the young Wildcat's progress in practice, and we have seen some notable improvement from Ramel Bradley, Joe Crawford and Perry Stevenson. If this continues, Kentucky is in a good position to get its first road win of the year, a win it badly needs.
Keys to the game:
Ballhandling -- This stat is improving. Regression would be deadly.
Defensive intesity -- The Dawgs will bring it. Can the Wildcats also?
Get into the lane -- Great foul shooting is only an advantage if you get fouled.
Toughness -- The toughest team should win this game.
- Patterson -- Georgia will work hard to deny him the ball in scoring position. We must find a way to do it anyway.