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Women's NCAA Tournament - The Road to Music City - Part One

And so it begins: Today UK Hoops begins the first step in their season long quest to be the final team standing in Nashville on April 8th. Let's talk about the challenge in front of us, and how we'll make it to the next part of the journey.

Yes, Wildcats, it's DANCE TIME!
Yes, Wildcats, it's DANCE TIME!

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." ~ Lao Tzu

With all respect to the Honorable Tzu, the Cats have every intention of making it to Nashville. The Elite Eight is a fine and admirable achievement, but having reached it three of the last four years, the Wildcats would like to smash through that final glass ceiling and carve their names in program history.

But before all that smashing and history making, the Cats need to get past Wright State today. As we saw eloquently demonstrated by the fine boys in Duke blue yesterday, taking any team for granted is a dream killer. So what do we know about Wright State?

Mike Bradbury and his Wright State Raiders squad won the Horizon League championship this past Sunday to earn the program's first ever ticket to the Big Dance. Players to watch include Kim Demmings, who averages 23 pts. a game. Kim shoots 43% from the field and puts up a lot of 3s, averaging 7 attempts per game and landing 35%. Also keep an eye on Ivory James, the club's 2nd best shooter, who averages 17 pts. a game. Ivory shoots 44% from the field and is 35% from three-point range.

Wright State will have a lot of emotion coming into this game, as it is such a great achievement for them to make the tourney. For Bradbury this is something like a homecoming, as he has Kentucky roots, including a stint as HC at Morehead.

"I did grow up a Kentucky fan. It’s kind of weird because the family is split down the middle and you have to be careful where you want to watch the game and stuff when Kentucky and Louisville are playing. It’s really not that big of deal now, but when I was growing up I did pull for Kentucky." -Mike Bradbury

So what does Kentucky have to do to get the win and move on with their journey?

  • Do not let the Raiders force us to play small. I don't get to say this too often but we have a size advantage in this game. We're bigger, stronger, and more athletic than the Raiders. If we play our game, and not theirs, we should be fine.
  • That unyielding defense that we saw in Duluth? We need to see that again. There's a reason we shut down South Carolina, and it was defense.
  • Balanced offense. One of the greatest things about our recent performance was how balanced we were in the scoring column. Yes, it's terrifically fun when Jennifer O'Neil goes on a tear - anyone who knows me knows how much I love watching the Bronx Bomber in action - but we need every player shooting well.
  • Until 11 EDT Cat Fans - GO BIG BLUE!