A lot of CATS fans aren’t feeling very confident about this game, but we disagree…we think there is a very good shot that we come away with a victory. At worst, it should be a very very close game that is decided in the final minutes. Here are a few reasons why we think the Kentucky Wildcats of Lexington, KY will win and move the Louisville Cardinals out of the top 5.
UL has no half court offense -none. They score something like 60% of their points on free throw and breakaways. Their best 3 pt shooter is Russ Smith who is only shooting like 33% from behind the arc. They struggled against Northern Iowa and Illinois St. Yes, they beat Mizzou, but they also lost to Duke. They are not unbeatable. Lets compare the lineups:
Harrow 6’2 vs Siva 5’10
Mays 6’2 vs Smith 6’0
Goodwin 6’4 vs Blackshear 6’5
Poythress 6’7 vs Behanon 6’6
Noel 6’10 vs Dieng 6’10
WCS 7′ vs Harrel 6’8
Wiltjer 6’10 vs Hancock 6’5
The only other player UL really utilizes is Steven Van Trease. He is another big body 6’10″ less talented Josh Harrellson. Looking at the comparison, there is really no lineup they could put in that would cause us much trouble. Our big issue is to make sure that Dieng, Behanon, and Blackshear don’t have big games. Smith could go off for 30 against us like last year, but it wouldn’t mean much if we hold their front court to under 30 points combined -which we can do if Noel, WCS, and Poythress play hell of defense. Our next biggest issue to scoring. We need huge games from Noel, Poythress, and Goodwin. No off games and we need to be hitting the 3 at a decent rate. anything above 30% would be awesome.
They will most likely put Smith on Harrow to try and disrupt our offense…but by doing this, they will have to put Siva on the much bigger Goodwin, causing a big mismatch -this is where we need production. Noel/Dieng or Van Trease, Mays/Hancock or Behanon, Poythress/Behanon. Pretty decent match ups. If we play composed and keep our fouls limited, there is no reason we can’t come away from this game with a W.
We am predicting 67-64 Cats.