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#8 UK Hoops Hosts MTSU - Preview and Game Thread

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I think we can all agree that this morning's news about Alex Poythress was heartbreaking. Big Blue Nation could use a dose of happiness right now, and fortunately UK Hoops is here to deliver. The Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee should prepare themselves for the BBN, because Memorial is going to be CRAZY loud tonight!

We've been waiting for Bria to have a breakout game. Could tonight be the night?
We've been waiting for Bria to have a breakout game. Could tonight be the night?
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off their truly amazing comeback win on the road over the Cards, UK Hoops returns to Memorial to host the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State University. The Blue Raiders come into Lexington with a 4-2 record on the season, having dropped games to Arizona State (blowout) and Arkansas (nailbiter). They have scored victories over Ole Miss, Miami, Clemson and Xavier so don't be quick to count this Conference USA club out tonight.

That said, in looking at MSTU's statistics season to date it's hard to work up much of a sweat. The Blue Raiders are shooting 39.3% from FG range, and are hitting a not-very-daunting 27.8% from three point range. Their free throw shooting isn't much better at 63.4%, all of which combines to explain their relatively low average of 66.8 points per game.

Comparatively speaking, after beating UofL (writing that just never gets old) UK Hoops is sitting at a slightly improved 41.3% FG shooting, a slightly diminished 29.3% from three point land, and a teensy bit better but still really awful 63% from the charity stripe. The Cats are averaging 81.1 points per game, so as much as we may bewail the offensive efficiency they are scoring a LOT of points.

We also outperform MTSU in rebounds, assist, and steals. (Ok, and turnovers, but really - who's counting?)

Long story short: this should be an easy win for the Cats but hey, I said the same thing about Illinois and we all know how that turned out. My question is: if this club comes out missing the boat on offense and defense in the first half - which has been an unfortunate trend - who is going to be the player that steps up and leads the team to victory? Sunday it was Janee Thompson. The previous game it was Kyvin Goodin-Rogers. Before that Makayla Epps. Then it was Jennifer O'Neill. This club has a wealth of talent, and as the season progresses I'm coming to adore the unique mix all our players bring to the court.

So if you're ready to turn your frown upside down and cheer the Cats on to victory, come join us at ASoB at 9 PM Eastern (translation: 8 PM Central) on the SEC Network.

Until gametime, Wildcat fans - GO BIG BLUE!