Welcome to the Kentucky Wildcats vs. Buffalo Bulls open game thread and abbreviated preview. Kentucky takes on their second opponent in three days (oddly reminiscent of the Big Blue Bahamas) today at noon in Rupp Arena. After defeating the Grand Canyon Antelopes Friday night, the pace quickens for the basketball Wildcats. The Bulls are coached by former Duke great Bobby Hurley. This is the second game in the newly-created Cawood Ledford Classic.
Buffalo comes into this game having won their first contest against South Dakota State 69-67 at home. In that closely-fought contest, the Bulls shot very poorly from the field, making only 35% from 2-point range and 11% from outside the arc. The Bulls’ leading scorer was Justin Moss, a junior forward who does most of his damage inside at 6‘7", 240# who scored 25 points and led the team with 13 rebounds. Shannon Evans, a 6‘1" sophomore point guard, chipped in 17. Lamonte Bearden is the point guard for Buffalo, a freshman who dished out 6 assists against only 1 turnover against South Dakota St.
Location: Buffalo, NY
Conference: Mid American Conference
Head Coach: Bobby Hurley
NCAA Appearances: 0
Last season’s record: 19-10 (13-5 conf.)
Source: Basketball State
This is the first time Buffalo and Kentucky have played
No injuries to report for either team.
Buffalo is a smallish team with only three players over 6‘7" who played in their last game. They have smaller, quicker guards and decent depth, but they are unlikely to provide a significant threat to Kentucky. Look for the Bulls to be competitive for most of the first half.
They are currently ranked #141 in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, so they should be significantly better than the Grand Canyon Antelopes.
What I hope to see today:
A much better shooting percentage — Kentucky needs to make point-blank shots at a much higher rate than they did against GCU;
Continued offensive rebound dominance — Nothing makes up for a missed shot quite like a rebound and put-back.
Fewer turnovers — The Wildcats have to take better care of the ball. I’d like to see 15% or less turnovers.
Better 3-point shooting — I can’t reiterate enough how important it is for Kentucky to make better 3-point percentages than they have been. 35% and up is the standard.
Extra passes — We saw a dip in extra passes last game. That needs to get better quick.
This is the last game Kentucky has to prepare themselves for the Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday, so they need to make the best of it.