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Missouri Tigers at Kentucky Wildcats: Live Game Thread

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The Wildcats try to get out of the overtime funk against the Missouri Tigers tonight in Rupp Arena.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats welcome the Missouri Tigers into Rupp Arena tonight for the third game of the SEC season for both teams. Missouri is 1-1 in the SEC, and Kentucky is 2-0. This will be the second road game in a row for the Tigers, who just fell in Auburn 85-79 on Saturday.

This Missouri team is really young and still finding their way. They have improved noticeably since the beginning of the season, but injury and eligibility problems have bedeviled them, making them more even more vulnerable than their youth would suggest.

Essentials for victory

  • Defensive rebounding — Kentucky right now is bad at defensive rebounding — 281st in Division I, in fact. That has got to improve, starting tonight.

  • Zone offense — With Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles in the starting lineup, zone offense should be easy, but it hasn’t been. That has to improve.

  • Shot selection — This needs no exposition, but if Kentucky attempts more than 17 or 18 threes, I’m not going to be happy no matter how many they make, unless it’s a 75 possession game. That’s not who they are.

  • Attack the rim — Kentucky has been reluctant to get into the paint lately. That cannot continue.

  • Better ball movement into the post — What we’ve seen lately is few good post entries, and almost no offense coming from the post. That has to change.

This Kentucky team has been frustrating to watch since the Louisville game, and it’s frankly inexplicable. I don’t buy the idea that the platoons, or lack thereof, have anything to do with it. What has something to do with it is shot selection, blocking out, getting good position and making layups. Those are among the things the Wildcats have not been doing well.

Let’s get the swagger back. This is a game UK should win comfortably.