Matt will be along shortly for the UK-IU Live Blog, but before he arrives, just a couple notes coming into the Cats 7th win of the season:
-There is not a SINGLE PLAYER on either roster who has experienced anything but a UK beatdown of IU in this series. There are only 2 seniors total on the rosters combined, and Josh Harrelson came to UK as a sophomore and Jeremiah Rivers was a transfer to Indiana. Maybe this means nothing, but when all you know is a Big Blue Beatdown, I would think UK enters the game with more confidence.
–Who is going to guard Maurice Creek? In last years game, Creek was the best player on the floor in the first half, but was limited in the 2nd half when UK’s talent took over. Creek finished with 31 points, and was injured shortly after the game, basically destroying IU’s season. Now, Creek is a sophomore and has some help in the scoring department with Christian Watford and Verdell Jones. But, will be interesting to see if Creek has another big game.
-Turnovers have been a problem for IU with 17 a game. And considering the Hooisers pitiful schedule so far, that is not a good sign for them. Look for UK to try and pressure IU into mistakes and turn that into transition baskets. Pace of play will be HUGE in this game. If Indiana can slow the pace and protect the ball, this game could be very competitive.
–Who will be UK’s 3rd scorer? Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones have been fairly consistent in their ability to score, but UK needs one, if not two, more players to step up and become dangerous on the offensive floor. Doron Lamb, Darius Miller, and Deandre Liggins need to find their stroke and UK should win this game easily. If those guys continue their inconsistency, all it takes is for either Jones or Knight to struggle, and the Cats will be in trouble.
–How will the energy be? I have to be honest, I am worried about a letdown. Wednesday was an energetic crowd and a very spirited effort for Kentucky. They needed that win badly after the UNC loss. Now, they play what appears to be an overmatched opponent at home. An opponent they crushed last year, although most of UK’s players now were not on the team. But, with so many freshman, you have to worry about emotion swings.
So there you go. 5 things to keep an eye out for from the tip in about an hour. Also, be ready for the live blog too coming up. You know that it often starts a couple minutes early.