Sunday's game came be best summed up in one sentence: Welcome back, Big Game Epps! The pre-season All-SEC Kentucky native has bounced back in fine form from her suspension both on and off the court, and showed us yet again how lucky we are to have Matthew Mitchell: like John Calipari, Mitchell is players first.
Makayla ended the night with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. Janee Thompson led on assists, registering 3 to go with her 11 points. Only one other Cat scored in double digits - Batouly Camara had 10 points on the night, to go with her 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. Evelyn Akhator was her usual rebounding machine with 6 defensive and 4 offensive rebounds, but got hung up a bit with 4 fouls and 7 - yes, SEVEN - turnovers. So while it was a breakout game for Makayla, this film will also provide the staff a veritable bounty of elements to study and improve upon.(Like shooting less than 70% from the charity stripe, and going a woeful 2-10 from beyond the arc.)
So what are we facing tonight when we take on Morehead State? Interesting question. The Eagles are off to a bit of a rocky start at 1-1, having dropped their season opener against Marshall 101-104. (No OT needed to score all those points? Wow.) This is a very high scoring team overall, with 4 players averaging over 20 points per game. Players to watch include 6'2" guard Shay Steele, who averages 10 rebounds so far this season to go with her 20 points and 4 blocks per game. I'd recommend also keeping an eye on 5' 8" freshman Miranda Crockett, who is averaging 19 points 10 rebounds and 6 steals per game.
How will the Cats protect this house? (We may be a Nike school but I have no qualms about stealing this line from Under Armour.)
- The Eagles like it uptempo. So do we. I vote we play faster than they do.
- The Eagles thrive on converting turnovers into points. We like to do that as well. I suspect whoever does this better tonight? Gets the W. So effective ball control is critical. We've seen some very weak passes, particularly from our freshman newbies, so I'm hoping this has been worked on a lot in practice.
- Fast does not equal sloppy. No dribble drive, fling, and hope please. PICK YOUR SHOTS.
- We have a serious height advantage. as the Eagles only have 3 players taller than 6 feet to our 7. No need to rely on the three tonight....which is good as we were pretty lousy from beyond the arc on Sunday.
Morehead State's site got me all excited by saying the game would be televised on the SEC Network. Nope, sorry - the televised game tonight is Penn State at Tennessee. You can catch all the action via SECN+ and ESPN3/the Watch ESPN ap. Tipoff is an 7 EST.
Unfortunately I neglected to check the basketball schedule before I made an appointment I HAVE to make and as such will not be able to join the fun until the second half. As such, I'm depending on my peeps at ASoB to ensure our thread is lively and fun as always.
So until 7 EST or whenever you can join us - GO BIG BLUE!!!!