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LSU Tigers @ Kentucky Wildcats (13): Open Game Thread

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This is the official A Sea of Blue Open Game Thread for the LSU Tigers @ the Kentucky Wildcats. Game particulars as follows, courtesy of

LSU @ Kentucky
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | LSU Game Notes
Date & Time Sat., Jan. 15, 4:00 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: SEC Network
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio
Live Video via ESPN3
Text Updates
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.

The Tigers come into Rupp Arena on a 2-0 roll in the SEC, something of a surprise for this young LSU team. LSU has had its share of difficulty this season in the non-conference part of the season, losing to some teams that are well outside the top 100, and playing a very weak schedule to boot. It would have been logical to assume the Tigers would be no better than 1-1 coming into this game, but somewhat miraculously, they are undefeated in league.

Kentucky is coming off a win against the Auburn Tigers, but the surprise loss to the Georgia Bulldog in Athens has Coach Calipari wondering what it will take to get this team playing better. The offensive execution for Kentucky was better versus Auburn, but defensively, the Wildcats were not very good. Kentucky can't afford to do that against LSU, because despite LSU's lack of scoring punch, they are solid on the backboards and can really hurt Kentucky inside.

Keys to a UK victory:

  • Offensive rebounding. LSU gets a lot of points on second chances. If Kentucky can take that away, it's hard to see how the Tigers can score enough points. Josh Harrellson is a big key to this point.
  • Aggressive defense. Kentucky was much better on offense against Auburn, but defensively they regressed.
  • Better movement without the ball. I liked the UK offense against Auburn, but there was too much standing around watching Terrence Jones and not enough movement away from the ball.
  • Capitalize on LSU's turnovers. LSU is a terrible ballhandling team, and Kentucky must take advantage of live turnovers to get easy transition baskets.

Keys to an LSU win:

  • Dominate Kentucky on the glass, and get Harrellson in foul trouble by attacking the post.
  • Keep turnovers to a minimum.
  • Find some way to shut down the fabulous three freshmen -- Jones, Brandon Knight, and Doron Lamb.
  • Force Kentucky to shoot the ball from the perimeter and hope they miss.

This is a game Kentucky should win, but LSU has some talent and some matchup advantages, particularly in the middle. A lot depends on Storm Warren's Achilles injury -- if he is near 100%, he is a load for Kentucky's inside players. But if Kentucky plays their game, attacks on offense and swallows up defensive rebounds, LSU is unlikely to score enough to win.

Let's do the work. Go, 'Cats!