This is the official open game thread for the Kentucky Wildcats at Tennessee Volunteers basketball game this afternoon. Game particulars are as follows, courtesy of UKAthletics.com:
|Kentucky @ Tennessee|
|Kentucky at Tennessee|
Sat., Jan. 14 - 12:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | UT
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via ESPN3
Tennessee was expected to be down this year due to the l'affaire du Pearl and the loss of some of their quality players like Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris to the NBA, and Brian Williams, Melvin Goins and Josh Bone to graduation. But new head coach Cuonzo Martin has really hit the ground running, and the matriculation of Jarnell Stokes to the Vols after the semester break.
Be sure to visit our good buddies over at Rocky Top Talk, SB Nation's outstanding Tennessee blog, for the Vols take on the game. Be nice, these guys are our friends.
To win this game, the Wildcats must:
- Win the turnover battle. The Vols are especially sensitive to turnovers;
- Get to the line. Kentucky has been doing a better job of getting to the line lately, and their free throw percentage has been better. Right now, it is a team strength;
- Run the offense. Marquis Teague really looked confused a lot of the game against Auburn, and UK struggled to recognize the defense Auburn was in. Cuonzo Martin isn't known for zones, but if he does throw one at Kentucky, they must recognize it.
- Rebound defensively. UK has been struggling to get defensive rebounds, and they looked really bad in that area for most of the game versus Auburn;
- Keep Anthony Davis in the game;
- Get Terrence Jones involved early.
This is a dangerous game for Kentucky. When Calipari talks about this game being the "super bowl" for teams, it has never been more true than for the Tennessee Volunteers this year. Tennessee was expected to be really bad, but they are finding out that this team is capable, and it is gaining fan support, so this could well be a sellout at the biggest basketball arena in the SEC.
With that said, this is the Kentucky Wildcats, and they aren't #2 in the land for nothing.