Today, the Kentucky Wildcats head west to College Station to challenge the Texas A&M Aggies to a basketball game. This will be the second game in SEC play for both teams, and the Aggies are coming off a nasty loss on the road to the Alabama Crimson Tide, while Kentucky is coming off an overtime win in Rupp Arena over the Ole Miss Rebels.
My feeling is that Kentucky really needed that game against the Rebels to get their competitive juices flowing again, and if I’m right, we should see a much better Kentucky team today than we did on Tuesday. The Aggies are a talented squad that is having consistency problems, and they are certainly capable of pulling the upset in the comfy confines of Reed Arena.
Essentials for victory
Defensive rebounding — Kentucky must do a better job on the defensive glass. They have been good on the offensive glass all season, but defensive rebounding is a problem for them that needs attention.
Zone offensive efficiency — Every team zones Kentucky, and they have not done a great job in zone offense. That’s a big key to success going forward.
Continued efficiency on the perimeter — It can be fools gold, but the Wildcats need to continue their excellent 3-point shooting of recent games. It really does take pressure of the zone offense, but they cannot fall in love with the long balls.
Transition defense — Texas A&M is an excellent transition offensive team. The Wildcats must be ready to get back and defend very early on possession changes.
Free throws — Kentucky has been shooting free throws well, but they need a slight improvement to get where they need to be.
This game will hinge on two things — the ability of Kentucky to get back in transition and rebounding. Statistics show the Aggies perform much better when they are successful on the offensive glass. If Kentucky can deny them that, this could be a fairly easy victory. But if TAMU gets a lot of offensive boards and easy points in transition, this one could easily go against Kentucky.