Kentucky goes on the road for the first time in SEC play and only the second time this season, this time down I-65 to Nashville to challenge the Vanderbilt Commodores. Every time Kentucky goes to Nashville, you always worry about the crazy configuration of Memorial Gymnasium, and the legend of Memorial Magic, which has made it so hard on so many Kentucky teams. UKAthletics.com has the game particulars.
For the opponent's view, visit Anchor of Gold.
Formula for a Kentucky victory
Defend the perimeter — As usual, Vanderbilt is sold from the arc, although they are not devastating. But that can change in Memorial.
Assault the rim — If Vandy goes man to man, Kentucky should assail the rim and hope to put them in foul trouble. Vandy is very thin, particularly in the front court.
Rebound — If Kentucky rebounds offensively at their regular rate, they are going to get a lot of good looks close to the basket.
Be patient — If Vandy zones, as I expect, Kentucky must be patient attacking the zone. Don't take the first perimeter shot, try to work it into the foul line area and force the zone to collapse.
Ignore the surroundings — Forget about the officials and the crazy arrangement. Play basketball. The Wildcats are superior in most respects, and much bigger overall.
Defend hard — Kentucky has not defended great this season, even though they are built to be one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
Make free throws — Kentucky has gone to the line a lot every game. It's time to start taking full advantage of it.
The only thing that really worries me about this game is how Kentucky will respond to this road environment. If Kentucky is patient and plays their game, they should win. If they rush, fail to make easy plays or free throws, and give Vandy open perimeter looks, this game could get very interesting very quickly.