I admit to being a bit nervous….maybe its the snow, the ice, the darkness or the legacy of the White Brothers from Oxford….but Saturday’s game against South Carolina is nerve wracking. The new look Gamecocks (coached by Darrin “School Boy” Horn) have the same feel of the old look Gamecocks. They are a guard oriented team that likes to penetrate to the basket and shoot threes in bunches. Sound familiar? This Gamecock team has the make up of the types of teams the Cats have struggled with in recent years. They are quick and when hot, they can pull off the upset. Thus the possibility of an upset looms.
Having said that, there are a great number of factors pointing towards a Cat victory. Most importantly, the game is at home and Gillispie still has not lost an SEC game in Rupp. In addition, the Cats have superior talent and will showcase the two best players on the floor, one of whom must be eager to shake off the perfomance of Tuesday night from his mind. Thus most signs point to a Kentucky win. Make no mistake however, this is a BIG game. As Bobby Knight always says, “losing begats losing” and it is important to cut off memories of poor performances quickly and to focus on success. A win against South Carolina sets up a big game on Tuesday night against Mississippi State at home, with a lot at stake. A loss and the possibility of the Cats being able to do something special with this year diminishes.
I still think the Cats win Saturday at 3 pm in an ice-encrusted Rupp Arena. But I will admit that the game leaves me uneasy….a lot is on the line Saturday and we shall see how the Cats respond.