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Portland Pilots at Kentucky Wildcats: Open Game Thread

Today in Rupp Arena, the Portland Pilots and Kentucky Wildcats meet for the third time in three years.

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The Maui Monkey wants to see some decent basketball today out of Kentucky.
The Maui Monkey wants to see some decent basketball today out of Kentucky.

Welcome to A Sea of Blue's open game thread for the Portland Pilots at Kentucky Wildcats game today in Rupp Arena. Game particulars are as follows, courtesy of

Gameday Information
Kentucky vs. Portland
Sat., Dec. 8 - 12:00 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | Portland Get Acrobat Reader
Gameday Live: Online audio, blog and stats
Radio: UK IMG
Live Blog
Live Audio
Text Updates

Portland hasn't been particularly tough this year, but they have some size, will play a pretty good zone, and will run their offense, which basically means getting the ball inside to their post scorers. They are not a bombs-away 3-point team and will get out and run in transition when they can.

Keys to the game for Kentucky:

  • Intensity on defense. Kentucky has had some good moments defensively, but their intensity comes and goes;
  • Rebound. Kentucky's big people will get a challenge today, and how they respond will be obvious in the rebounding statistics;
  • Patience against the zone. The Wildcats have rushed their offense against zone defenses all year long.
  • Movement without the ball. UK's zone offense tends to stand around. They need to flash a player to the center of the zone and run from there;
  • Get out and run in transition. Advance the ball with the pass rather than the bounce, but do it in a controlled manner that values every possession.

I don't expect to see great improvement today despite the advent of Camp Cal. I hope that we see better, and more consistent intensity and effort, but I'm not holding my breath. Improving this team will take time.

Go, 'Cats!