Well ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, what we have seen so far is pretty much what we have seen the entire tournament — Kentucky gets down early, pretty big, then runs it back to a small halftime deficit. So far, everything is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen.
First half stats
Napier scored 15 points and UK has a 16-15 rebounding edge. Complete halftime box score: pic.twitter.com/XScVPwOcGP— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) April 8, 2014
Kentucky's zone has worked extremely well against the Connecticut Huskies, but the Wildcats have to do a better job of defending on the perimeter. They also have to stop turning the ball over. I'm glad to see Kentucky is starting to do a good job of moving the ball inside out. Julius Randle in particular has been doing a good job of getting the ball back to open shooters when he runs into resistance.
There is nothing that Kentucky can do about great shots. They have to guard as well as they can, and hope for the best. Randle has to continue to attack DeAndre Daniels, it's pretty clear that Daniels cannot guard him. Also, Kentucky needs to keep leaning on UConn's frail inside players, and wear them down to a nub. That physicality will eventually wear them out.
Unfortunately, we cannot wear down Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier. We just have to guard them. James Young had a big half, and we need more of him. Alex Poythress did remarkable things, and he just needs to keep doing them. Just keep coming at them like a never-ending tsunami of size and strength, and if UConn still wins the game, we'll congratulate them on a job well done and a great season.
Did I forget to mention rebounding? We must do that a lot better.