This is the official A Sea of Blue Open Game Thread for the Kentucky Wildcats at the Connecticut Huskies tonight in the Big East-SEC Invitational. Particulars are as follows:
Date & Time Weds., Dec. 9, 9:30 p.m
Coverage TV: ESPN Radio: BBSN
Online Video via ESPN360
Location Madison Square Garden New York, N.Y.
John Calipari's young charges take on Jim Calhoun's talented and experienced Huskies tonight in one of the most legendary basketball fora in the nation. This will be a big early-season test for Kentucky.
More after the jump.
John Calipari and Jim Calhoun have an acrimonious relationship that festered in the days of Calipari's stay at UMass. There are no real signs from either coach that they wish to discontinue the rivalry, so I am sure that Calipari would very much like to coach his team to victory, perhaps a bit more than usual. Particularly in the Garden. And it should be delicious again. I'll bet "Johnny Clam Chowder can't wait.
So anyway, let's look at what UK needs to win:
- John Wall to be John Wall. But he needs to cut down turnovers.
- Get the ball to Patrick Patterson. A lot.
- DeMarcus Cousins to play to a higher level than versus the North Carolina Tar Heels.
- Continued solid three-point shooting.
- Continued great rebounding.
For UConn, they need the following:
- Somebody to stay in front of Wall at all times.
- Much better offensive rebounding than they have been doing for most of the season.
- Strong play out of their less-heralded players.
- Prevent UK from running too much.
- Get good looks inside, and make the threes they take.
UConn isn't quite as talented or as deep as North Carolina, but they are a solid, deep basketball team with two really good guards. They are much more than good enough to hand Kentucky their first loss, and if UK doesn't bring their "A" game, it will most likely happen.