Welcome to the second and last exhibition game for the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team against the Georgetown College Tigers. This will be Kentucky’s last exhibition game before the start of the regular season next Friday. Here are the game particulars via UKAthletics.com:
|Who:||Kentucky vs. Georgetown (exh)|
|When:||Sunday, Nov. 9 - 7:00 p.m. ET|
|Radio:||UK Sports Network|
|Online:||Live Video via SEC Network+|
This Georgetown team is small, as was Pikeville, but not quite as small. They are in the same conference as Pikeville, the mid-south conference of NAIA Division I affiliation. Last season, Georgetown wound up ranked #7 in the nation with a 15-3 record, losing to the eventual national champion Vanguard of California in the Final Four. Georgetown is ranked #8 in this season’s pre-season coaches poll.
Georgetown has one particularly deadly 3-point shooter, Noah Cotrill, a junior guard from Logan, West Virginia. The Tigers’ tallest player is 6‘8", but they have three players that size plus three other players 6‘5" and over. They are not nearly as small as Pikeville was last Sunday.
What we should hope to see tonight:
Better 3-point shooting — Kentucky shot under 30% last game from three. The Wildcats must make threes this season at 35%+, or they will be pack-lined and zoned to death. This is a very important thing to watch over the next several games.
Better offensive rebounding — Kentucky rebounded well against Pikeville, but I am concerned that they gave up 30%+ offensive rebounds. They need to do better than that.
More free throw opportunities — Kentucky just threw the ball over the top of Pikeville. Georgetown’s length ought to make that more difficult, and perhaps we can see more rim attacks. A 20% free throw rate is not what I would expect from Kentucky, but against very small teams, it is understandable.
More pressure on defense — Kentucky turned UPike over at only about 23%. That’s not horrible, and Calipari has traditionally avoided pressure defense, but this season he needs to pressure more, both in the half court and full court. That’s what depth is for.
More pressure on defense — Better free throw shooting from the big guys. This needs no exposition.
Really, there isn’t much else that they haven’t done well. The Wildcats have shared the ball, they have moved the ball well, played reasonably well in defensive transition and have been devastating in offensive transition. I expect those things to continue against inferior competition and I hope to see better rebounding and better perimeter defense, although neither were anywhere near problematic in their last outing.
After last night’s struggle on the football field, this should be nice tonic for our raw Big Blue nerves. I’m looking forward to having my anguish over last night’s game soothed with a little basketball action!