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Kentucky Wildcats at Mississippi State Bulldogs: Live Game Thread

Kentucky braves a southern snowstorm to face Mississippi State tonight.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Once again into the breach, Bit Blue Nation, as the Kentucky Wildcats travel southwest to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs, a team that has had very little success this season. In a worrisome sign, the Wildcats wound up traveling into a winter storm like they did at LSU last year. Hopefully, they won’t fall prey to whatever it was that led them to be dominated in Baton Rouge on year ago. To be fair to all concerned, LSU’s team then was far better than Mississippi State has been in several years.

Snowy Stark-Vegas

Essentials for victory

  • Keep Mississippi State off the line — MSU gets a lot of their scoring from the free throw line. Kentucky needs to find a way to deny them that.

  • Force MSU into transition — Kentucky can be really good in transition, as we saw last week, and the Bulldogs are the kind of team that would struggle with Kentucky in a fast-paced game.

  • Take care of the ball — the Bulldogs will turn the ball over a lot, giving the Wildcats a bunch of extra possessions. In order to capitalize on that, Kentucky must take care of the ball themselves.

  • Attack the MSU ballhandlers — It’s never a bad idea to make a fragile ballhandling team cough it up early and often.

  • Get the ball into the paint — Mississippi State is going to zone the heck out of Kentucky, and the Wildcats will get plenty of open looks from three. They must turn them down and get better, closer shots.

  • Attack the offensive glass — MSU is an average offensive rebounding team, and attacking the glass will put Kentucky in a position to take control early.

This should not be a hard game, but Kentucky must respect their opponent, as Rick Ray’s squad has delivered a couple of surprises so far this season in the SEC. LSU and Tennessee never saw them coming, and paid the price. Don’t think that’s impossible in this game — it’s not. Kentucky must respect their opponent.

Go, ‘Cats!