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BTI’s 4 keys to beating Ohio State

Assuming Ohio State wins today in a hour, and I am going to assume that, Kentucky faces a tall task against the tournament favorites.  UK will likely need one of its best gameplans and one if its best execution games to defeat the Buckeyes.  But in this college basketball year that has no great teams, Kentucky does have a fighting chance.  And I think the game revolves around 4 keys points. 

(And if Ohio State does lose today, consider this me jinxing them and thus I should be given credit for that too)

1. Have a home crowd in Newark

-I don’t know how ticket sales will go, but I can guarantee that Kentucky fans will travel to Newark in greater numbers than Ohio State fans, who seriously care more about Jim Tressel’s cheating than their potential national champion basketball team.  Hopefully, the pro-UK crowd can make a difference.  It needs to be loud and it needs to be loud for 40 minutes.  What where the 2 loudest road crowds Ohio State played this season?  Wisconsin and Purdue.  What were OSU’s 2 losses?  Wisconsin and Purdue.  

2. Shoot the 3-pointer well 

-Wisconsin hit 12 of 24 threes and Purdue hit 7 of 20 threes in OSU’s 2 losses this season.  Kentucky has the shooters to compete with those numbers.  If the Cats can shoot a high percentage from downtown, it would likely eliminate all advantage the Buckeyes would have in the post.

3. Don’t let Diebler shoot from the perimeter

-In OSU’s two losses, Diebler was only allowed to ATTEMPT 6 total 3-pointers.  This from a guy who has hit 9 and 10 threes in games this season.  I would argue Diebler is a greater threat to kill UK than Sullinger.  Sullinger will likely get his no matter what, and I think the Cats should guard him 1-on-1 and let him score his 20 or 25.  But whatever they do, you can NOT leave Diebler.  If Diebler hits 5 or more treys against UK, the Cats have no chance.

4. Brandon Knight Brandon Knight Brandon Knight

-The offense should revolve around getting Brandon Knight opens looks and isolation plays to drive to the basket.  He will likely have Aaron Craft or David Lighty guarding him, neither of which are good defenders.  It is the position on the floor the Cats have the biggest advantage.  E’tuan Moore scored 38 points and Jordan Taylor scored 27 against Ohio State in wins over the Buckeyes.  Brandon Knight needs to be the best player on the floor.  Period.  Exclamation Point.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

59 Comments for BTI’s 4 keys to beating Ohio State

  1. bleedblue
    4:07 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Beat George Mason!

  2. Harley Wells
    4:08 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    When will they announce what time we play Friday?

  3. RonH
    4:10 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    CATS need to shoot over 50% from Field,over 75% from FT line,not get into any foul trouble,out rebound OSU and hold them to under 40% shooting from the field and we win….EASY.

  4. JeffCat
    4:13 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    I’m watching the Michigan/Puke game right now and the refs are not even trying to hide their allegiances. A team has to be 30 points better than the Pukies in order to win against them. Michigan would be at least 15 points ahead if the game was being called fairly. Pathetic, just pathetic.

  5. MtnCat
    4:13 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Damn, that made sense.

  6. serdi
    4:15 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Cal and staff have nearly a week to get ready for the next game. If they shoot near 50% from the field and over 75 % from the FT line and play defense like they have since the Florida game at Rupp to present, and, and, the refs let them (UK) play, I would not want to bet against UK. I look for Dre to have his finest hour in shutting down Diebler. Ohio State cannot be allowed to hand check like they have been given carte blanche all season long to do.

  7. blitzedanddazed
    4:16 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Great post Ky must control tempo and play smart. Ohio State will be under greater and greater pressure the longer UK can stay in the game. Look for Cal to isolate Jones on Sulinger and try to get Sulinger in foul trouble.
    Game has to played in the 80’s.

  8. blitzedanddazed
    4:18 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Refs told Michigan coach to shut up, sit down and to take it like a man.

  9. duke
    4:19 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    we are not even fun ncaa games to watch because the refs control the games and wil get us a victory everytime i love having the easiest road playing in our home state every year.

  10. ???
    4:20 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    I sure hope you made a mistake in typing up this story…either that or you haven’t watched much college basketball, at least not Ohio State.

    Yes, Brandon Knight will be a key if the Cats play Ohio State. However, to say that…’He will likely have Aaron Craft or David Lighty guarding him, neither of which are good defenders’ may be the worst analysis of two players I have ever seen. Craft and Lighty are two of the better perimeter defenders in the country. Just as Liggins is a great defender, but Walker, Jenkins, Warren, and some others have lit him up…it is entirely possible that Knight will still get his against Craft or Lighty.

    However, the positions that UK holds the greatest advantage are either Miller or Jones. Lauderdale and Sullinger can cover neither of these off the dribble, also going at Sullinger could cause foul trouble. If Lighty or Thomas are guarding Miller or Jones, UK will have the advantage in the post. The second greatest advantage will be whoever Diebler is guarding…drive hard at him or post him up and he will struggle. Hopefully, UK plays straight up on Sullinger, limits the 3 point attempts of Diebler and Buford, and controls the boards. If so, they have a great shot at the win.

  11. JerryD
    4:23 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Craft and Lighty both made All Defensive Team in the Big 10 this year. They are better than you give them credit for…they play D at the same level as Liggins.

  12. Beav
    4:24 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    This post is a little pre-mature….the game hasn’t even happened yet. This could be “How to beat George Mason.” I would suggest you not jump the gun

  13. Twitter machine
    4:26 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    @KySportsRadio just watching the poop tooth on the boob tube

  14. hiper
    4:26 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    10) dead on! after the wv game knight will have a x on his chest and be hounded. miller and lamb will be the keys along with liggins’ defense

  15. StratCat
    4:26 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    “Assuming they win in a hour.” Who wrote this… Buckwheat from the Little Rascals?

  16. blitzedanddazed
    4:27 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Let’s face the facts. IU beat Michigan this year. Michigan sucks.

  17. indahouse
    4:27 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    We can take Ohio St. This team has nothing to lose and hopefully will play that way.

  18. Thomas Beisner
    4:27 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink


  19. tdogg4033011
    4:28 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    2) it will come out after the OSU game prolly

  20. macsauce13
    4:35 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    I’m going out on a limb and going to say that Darius Miller is in fact the key to this game. Knight is going to be hounded and will hopefully get 15-20, but Miller is going to have to be right there with him. Scoring 15-20 and getting some big time rebounds/assists.

  21. Assistant Coach
    4:36 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Has Ohio State advanced???

  22. mudcreekmark
    4:45 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    You just lost all credibility by saying Craft and Lighty cannot defend.If you’re going to do an article,at least do a little research or watch a game or something.We give other teams writers hell for their lack of knowledge and now we’re doing the same? The key to the game is for us to not let Ohio state hit a bunch of 3’s and then we need to hit abunch ourselves. We’re not going to beat them in the paint.Harrleson needs to hold his own and not get in foul trouble.Liggins needs to guard the hot hand just like he did yesterday. Ony this time don’t wait till half time to do it. Idon’t know what is up with players now. One of the first things I was taught was to make my man go against his strong side. If he was a rightie make him go left. If he was left handed make him go right.

  23. blitzedanddazed
    4:49 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    A game against OSU is THE game I would have loved to see Kanter play.

  24. Bryan the Intern
    4:59 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Lighty and Craft are such good defenders they allowed Moore and Taylor to go for 65 points in their 2 losses. But, whoever said they were All-defense Big 10 was right, so I did not realize that. The point is, when OSU has lost, GUARDS have killed them, not small forwards, like Miller or power forwards like Jones. Nobody can dispute that.

  25. culp9
    5:01 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Hopefully Jorts can at least body up on Sullinger. T. Jones may be a mis-match for them, also Knight and Miller. They only play 6-7 like we do. We are more talented, but they have matured quicker and played in close games better than UK. The more I look, the more I think we can beat them.

  26. Alamo_CatFan
    5:04 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Duke sucks

  27. Coach Clyde
    5:07 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink


  28. Say What??
    5:10 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Wow, what bad analysis. I’ll just just focus on item 1.

    You’ll be quite surprised at the Ohio State fan turnout in Newark assuming they beat GM. Ohio State has one of the largest alumni bases in the country and they will show up. Don’t fool yourself into thinking UK will be playing in front of a home crowd.

  29. Sheriff Buford T. Justice
    5:16 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Great, GMU is missing a starter against OSU.

  30. dusty380
    5:22 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Hopefully this thread will have to be deleted……Go GMU!

  31. why
    5:38 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    quit reading at “What where”

    It’s one thing to make a typo.. but how anyone can even write that and expect someone to take them seriously is beyond me.

  32. catfaninvegas
    5:58 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    You hit it with point 3. Liggins one assignment MUST be to take Diebler out of the game. In fact, if you have to zone because of foul trouble, the traditional 2-3 must be avoided and a box and 1 used. Essentially, Diebler must be face guarded and not allowed to shoot if UK expects to beat OSU.

  33. mudcreekmark
    5:59 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Ohio State is proving my point. You can’t let them kill you from the outside.George Mason is giving their shooters too much space.

  34. Chris
    6:04 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Watching Ohio state/ GM and I really do not give the cats much of a chance ….too much interior strength and the can shoot the 3 as well but tru blue till the end Go Cats!

  35. mudcreekmark
    6:05 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    By the way BTI, Liggins gets alot of credit for being a great defender and he has been lit up a few times this year himself. Ohio State is going to be a tough game. We have to guard the 3 point line and take our chances.

  36. Threes from everywhere
    6:09 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    More to Ohio State’s three point shooting then Diebler. He’s the best but Buford, Lighty, Thomas and sometimes Craft can all hit from deep.

  37. Wow
    6:11 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Wow… Is KSR pulling random people off the street to write on their website??? Lighty is a great defender… I agree with about 10% of this article. Epic Fail.

  38. Millie
    6:12 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Wow. We sure got a crappy draw. I hope our guys bring a gun and they bring a knife or we don’t stand a chance. Geeeeez……………..

  39. justice
    6:16 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    UNC and Duke suck; they are not going to win playing outside their home state. Shame on NCAA.

  40. justice
    6:16 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    UNC and Duke suck; they are not going to win playing outside their home state.

  41. justice
    6:18 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    The NCAA is just a baby-sitter for Kansas, Duke and North Carolina, period.

  42. Logan
    6:20 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Write a better article if you don’t like what your reading. Also it’s a free site you people baffle me. Anyways Go Cats.

  43. justice
    6:20 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    The NCAA is just a baby-sitter for some schools.

  44. Tickets needed
    6:34 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    If Syracuse wins tonight, getting tickets will be brutal. I live in Philly and will be there if I can get in the door. We need KSR to find out where these tickets can be acquired so we can have the fan advantage. Let’s hope UK gets some tickets into the East Coast fan and Alumni hands too!

  45. Stack30
    6:44 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    I like it BTI! But you are wrong about Lighty! He is their defensive specialist…basically, he is Ohio States Deandre Liggins. Knight will have to start well, or it could be a looong crappy night!

  46. NYCcat
    6:47 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink


    Sullinger and foul trouble? Ever happen?

    If he’s gaurding jorts, post jorts up, send tj to screen same side and let brandon run at sully.

    Two quick fouls at beginning of game cld change the tone and, from watching them dump inside while not pressing GM here in second half wld disrupt their offense.

    I call this the “dribble drive defense offense.”

    We get points. He gets fouls.

  47. NYCcat
    6:50 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Sorry, while pressing GM. Scratch the “not” — up thirty and pressing. Jeez.

  48. wow
    6:54 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    42. Im sorry but i am only stating that the facts that are listed on this article are indeed false… i love this site, but lets do a little bit more research before saying that Lighty and Craft are “Not good defenders”… How am i supposed to believe anything in this article after a statement like that??? How about you watch Ohio State play once before writing a article on “keys to beating them”.

  49. Si
    7:01 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    48 u

  50. Jrt0030
    7:15 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Just heard lighty was best defender in country…per jay billas…so that point is mute…

  51. the truth
    7:19 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    I love your articles normally BTI, but if you’ve watched ohio state play any this year you would know that lighty and craft (especially lighty) are great defenders. Lighty just happened to get lit up in the games you named.

  52. IndyAlum
    7:26 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Ohio State fans were a massive majority at the game that was just televised. I’m not so sure Kentucky fans will outnumber Ohio State in Newark by much, if at all…

  53. Seetoo
    7:27 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Not to go all historical, but the Cats are 0-6 versus Ohio State in the tourney. My love affair with the Cats started in the early 60’s when OSU beat us three times in about six years. Maybe number seven will be lucky.

  54. Jdub
    8:47 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    BTI, you’re high! Craft is arguably the best perimeter defender in the country. He’s a lockdown guy. I’d love to have a guy like that playing for the cats. I still think Knight can have a good game, but to say those guys aren’t good defenders is ridiculous.

  55. no clue
    11:15 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Craft and Light are two of the best defenders in the country. Watch any game and you would have know that. The key for UK to this game is to Keep Jorts out of foul trouble and for Jones to stay down low on offense and use his advantage against Diebler or Buford.

  56. no clue
    11:20 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    yeah Moore and Taylor did have good games against Craft, but in the rematch Moore shot 4-13 and Taylor was 2-9. Taylor also said Craft was the best defender he saw all year.

  57. ???
    12:21 am March 21, 2011 Permalink

    24…first off, did you watch the entire Purdue or Wisconsin game? I did see some, not all of both. While Craft and Lighty spent time on Moore and Taylor…Diebler and Buford did as well(not assigned to them, but at times in the game flow). Those two are no where near the defenders that Craft and Lighty are, as I mentioned in the second biggest UK advantage…whoever Diebler guards should kill him! Yes, Lamb, Liggins, Miller, Knight…any of them should be able to get to the rack on Diebler.

    As for small forwards and power forwards not hurting Ohio St…I, for one, think we have two of the toughest SF and PF matchups in the country. If, and I have dreams of this happening….the Jones from Notre Dame, UConn, Washington, etc and the Miller of the last 10 games who was the SEC tournament MVP both show up…that’s the place where our advantage lies. I know, I know…I’m dreaming. But, can you see Sullinger or Lauderdale stopping Jones driving from the top of the key like he did when he crammed on the whole UConn team? Can you see Lighty or Thomas stopping Miller posting?

    Like I said before, limit OSU’s three point attempts, play Sullinger straight up, and control the boards and UK wins. An extra bonus would be to that stay out of foul trouble/cause OSU foul trouble too. Get a little of that TJ and this Darius to go with BK doing his thing…Liggins defense and 7 or 8 points and 9 or 10 rebounds from Josh. I like it. Oh, and Lamb being checked by Diebler, I forgot. That’s like taking candy from a baby there. Lots of things must fall into place, but I can’t wait for this game.

  58. AKA cold buckets
    2:40 am March 21, 2011 Permalink

    hahaha Lighty and Craft are two of the best on ball defenders in the country. I hope that was a joke.

  59. ukgags
    10:02 am March 21, 2011 Permalink

    Something is off with the commentary from KSR (I read it everyday by the way and love it). I am not sure about Lighty but CBS announcers were saying craft has the greatest lateral movement, blah, blah blah, one of the best Big-10 defenders, blah, blah, blah. I agree that BKight needs a huge game but I do not think we have an advantage in that area either. Go Cats. Play your best and take it home,