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Kentucky Wildcats @ South Carolina Gamecocks: Open Game Thread

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This is the official A Sea of Blue open game thread for the Kentucky Wildcats @ South Carolina Gamecocks basketball game this evening at the Colonial Center, Columbia, South Carolina February 25th @ 7:00 PM.

Particulars of this game are as follows:

Here we are once again with a huge game on our hands. The Gamecocks and the Wildcats are tied atop the East, with Florida and Tennessee having fallen by the wayside. This is the battle for supremacy in the SEC East, and even though either Florida or Tennessee can still win, the winner of this game will have a big leg up on the field.

Kevin Galloway will not be available tonight due to a family issue, so Kentucky will not be as deep as they normally are. This could be a big factor if there are a lot of fouls called, and UK will need to guard the perimeter particularly well in this game. Devan Downey, Zam Fredrick & Co. are going to be playing in front of a packed house tonight, and this is a big moment for them. Kentucky is going to have to rise just as high as the Gamecocks to win this one.

Things Kentucky needs to do well to win:

  1. Rebound. Kentucky is a bigger team, and they have no excuses. Offensive rebounds have been hurting us a lot lately, and we can't afford to give them up tonight.
    Stay in front of Devan Downey. Keeping him out of the lane tonight is job 1.
    Stay in control. South Carolina is the kind of team that can make you waste possessions running up and down the floor and committing turnovers.

Things that will make it hard for Kentucky to win:

  1. Forgetting Patrick Patterson. Pat is healthy now. Get him the ball and let him do what he does.
    Failing to attack the basket. Kentucky cannot rely on jump shots against this team.
    Leave the perimeter unguarded. Fredrick, Downey and Archie will burn UK if that happens.

This is a huge game, and could be either a launching point for a deep run, or a stumbling block that could send UK to the NIT. UK needs this game very badly.

Go, Cats!