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Lamb could be the key against the Cards


In basically every UK-UofL game, there is one player that rises above the fray to separate one from the other. Being a rivalry and all, the games are basically always pretty closely contested, so the exceptional performance of one player, especially in the two games Coach Cal has been on the sidelines for, usually makes the difference in the end. Two years ago DeMarcus Cousins went for 18 points and 18 rebounds, in addition to setting the physical tone for the game, and was the key performer in the Cats’ nine-point win. Last year’s game wasn’t as close, but Josh Harrellson’s 23 and 14 was the difference for Kentucky as Louisville focused on taking away Terrence Jones. Brandon Knight put up 25, but it was Jorts’ coming out party that truly propelled the Cats on to a win in their first trip to the Chicken Shack.

This year will be no different. While I believe that Kentucky is a class above Louisville and will show that Saturday, it won’t happen with a group of average performances. Someone will need to have a special game in order for Kentucky to get the result that they should. This team is full of players capable of doing that, but for me the guy who will be the key to Kentucky winning, and possibly winning comfortably, is Doron Lamb. It’s not necessarily always the case that he is the most important Kentucky player, but in this particular game he will play several major roles that will lead to him being just that. First, he’ll play an important part in taking pressure off of Marquis Teague. Louisville will pressure Teague in a way that he hasn’t seen thus far, so Lamb’s ability to stabilize things as the secondary ballhandler will be huge in helping the Cats deal with that pressure. He’ll also probably have to defend Russ Smith, who is Louisville’s wildcard and their most explosive, although not most consistent, scoring threat. If Lamb forces Smith to struggle, Louisville’s offense essentially becomes only what Peyton Siva can create, and that makes them not only easier to handle, but overmatched to the point that Kentucky can cruise.

Finally, and probably most importantly, Lamb will be the main zone-buster against the Cards. Louisville will have to play a lot of zone against the Cats because of their athletic disadvantage, meaning Kentucky will have to knock down outside shots to win. It’s no secret that UK’s outside shooting starts with Lamb. If he hits the open looks he’ll get against the zone Kentucky will roll, and if he can get into the lane for the mid-range jumpers and floaters that he’s so good at then Louisville will be forced into a man-to-man in which they simply can’t match up. Lamb can almost single-handedly disrupt everything Louisville wants to do on defense, and if he really gets it going then 2011 could end with a laugher.

This isn’t all to say that I expect other guys to have bad games, or that Kentucky can’t win without Lamb playing particularly well. I think they’re a much better team than the Filthy Cards and should win this game regardless. It’s just to say that if this game turns into a dogfight like it very well could, Lamb is the guy I believe is most likely to be the difference maker that pushes Kentucky on to a win. Now that you know who I expect to leave his mark on this year’s edition of UK-UofL, it’s time for you to tell me yours. Who do you think will be the key to Kentucky making it three in a row over the Cards?

Article written by Hunter Campbell

I used to write here.

31 Comments for Lamb could be the key against the Cards

  1. string music
    6:08 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Hate Louisiville

  2. Knoxcat
    6:10 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Miller. He needs to continue to hit the 3 ball

  3. Loyal Reader
    6:13 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Pitino in 2004 talking about how he wishes he never left Kentucky…

  4. GoCats2
    6:19 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    #20 will have 20 and we will win by 20.

  5. GoCats2
    6:20 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    #3 you suck.

  6. Go Big Blue
    6:20 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    The key for UK is to make Loserville play a fast paced game, utalizing a 15 second shot clock, much like Pitino’s “shot clock” in Porcini’s Restaruant.

  7. Bledsoe's Biceps
    6:21 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    I assume Doron. Davis and MKG will have their typical great games. I think Miller is the wild card. If he is knocking down some threes and gets a few boards and put backs, he will be the difference maker.

    6:22 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    As usual, it will start with Kidd-Gil not allowing penetration by the other teams point guard (ala Liggins). Especially a penetrating team like L’ville.

  9. Its Miller Time
    6:22 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    T jones this would be the perfect game to bust out

  10. David from San Diego
    6:24 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Darius Miller, no one on their team can guard him. If we let him drive it into the lane, he could draw a ton of fouls against whomever hay have defending. Predict the hometown Kentucky kid brings it as well, since this is the last schedule matchup he will have against UofL. Expect the strong 3 point performance to continue.

  11. Mr Schwump
    6:24 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    6, agree. Gotta play fast paste.

  12. Doctor J
    6:42 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Last year, it was Jorts leading the Cats to the Ultimate Victory, this year it will be Darius leading the Cats to the Ultimate Victory again.

  13. Brian Storn
    6:43 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Definitely in the DMill camp! Darius will be the difference Saturday and the rest of the season. As DMill goes, so go-the-Kats.

  14. Halfwaykyfan
    6:44 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Miller will rule

  15. Steady
    6:45 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Miller Time!!!

  16. OneAndDone
    6:47 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Miller and TJones. I think TJones re-emerges as a beast

  17. serdi
    6:48 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Kentucky plays to its capability, it wins.

    7:08 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with this. But Terrence Jones could put all these theories to rest himself if he shows up to play. Davis will get his 10, 12, and 4 and Doron will get his 15. But Jones is the x-factor. If he plays like he did in some of those home SEC games last year, this thing should be won easily. But, that’s a big IF.

  19. bung
    7:13 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    the key aint shootin 32 3’s…its assists and fastbreaks like we did against morehouse…31 assists and 33 fastbreak points that game…we quit running lately…

  20. Calipari'sInYourEar
    7:37 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Reality is… ANY of our players could be the “special” key to victory against the Cards. And this isn’t opinion, it’s based on rankings of the players calibur from high school. Now we all know kids might or might not fill the shoes of expectation while others over achieve the rankings they were given. Yet these rankings were based on each kid and their efforts in the system they were in with the exposure they got.

    Now, let’s pay special attention to the players that will touch the floor on Saturday…

    Kentucky Roster 2011-2012: All players are ranked between 20th in the Nation & Junior Pro Scrub (Last Man Out)
    Rank Stars Player
    3 (5 star) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist F 6-7 232 FR Somerdale, NJ
    21 (5 star) Doron Lamb G 6-4 210 SO Queens, NY
    2 (5 star) Anthony Davis F 6-10 220 FR Chicago, IL
    5 (5 star) Marquis Teague G 6-2 189 FR Indianapolis, IN
    22 (5 star) Kyle Wiltjer F 6-9 239 FR Portland, OR
    42 (4 star) Darius Miller G 6-8 235 SR Maysville, KY
    13 (5 star) Terrence Jones F 6-9 252 SO Portland, OR
    26 (4 star) Eloy Vargas F 6-11 244 SR Moca, Dominican Republic

    Kentucky’s average ranking of player on the floor: 16.75

    UL Extended Bench…
    40 (4 star) Jon Hood G 6-7 215 JR Madisonville, KY
    Unranked (Below top 150) (3 star) Twany Beckham G 6-5 205 JR Louisville, KY
    Unranked (Below top 150) (Unlisted) Jarrod Polson G 6-2 185 SO Nicholasville, KY
    Unranked (Below top 150) (Unlisted) Sam Malone G 5-11 190 FR Scituate, MA
    Unranked (Below top 150) (Unlisted) Brian Long G 5-9 150 FR Dumont, NJ

    Lousyville Roster 2011-2012: All players are ranked between 21 in the Nation & Junior Pro Scrub (Last Man Out)
    Rank Stars Player
    44 (4 star) Gorgui Dieng C 6-11 235 SO Dakar, Senegal
    21 (5 star) Chane Behanan F 6-6 250 FR Bowling Green, KY
    39 (4 star) Peyton Siva G 6-0 180 JR Seattle, WA
    Unranked (Below top 150) (Unlisted) Chris Smith G 6-2 195 SR Millstone, NJ
    Unranked (Below top 150) (3 star) Russ Smith G 6-0 160 SO Briarwood, NY
    Unranked (Below top 150) (3 star) Kyle Kuric G-F 6-4 195 SR Evansville, IN
    70 (4 star) Kevin Ware G 6-4 185 FR Conyers, GA
    36 (4 star) Rakeem Buckles F 6-7 215 JR Miami, FL
    130 (3 star) Jared Swopshire F 6-8 200 JR St. Louis, MO

    Lousyville’s average ranking of player on the floor: 87.78
    This number is extremely generous since I counted 3 of these players as 150 (R. Smith, K. Kuric, C. Smith), the number Rivals stops ranking at… since they were unranked.

    UL Extended Bench…
    Unranked (Below top 150) (3 star) Angel Nunez F 6-7 190 FR Bronx, NY
    67 (4 star) Zach Price C 6-10 235 FR Louisville, KY
    Unranked (Below top 150) (Unlisted) Mark Jackson G 6-3 210 FR Brooklyn, CA
    Unranked (Below top 150) (Unlisted) Tim Henderson G 6-2 185 SO Louisville, KY
    Unranked (Below top 150) (3 star) Elisha Justice G 5-10 175 SO Pikeville, KY
    36 (4 star) Wayne Blackshear G-F 6-5 220 FR Chicago, IL
    Unranked (Below top 150) (3 star) Stephan Van Treese F 6-8 235 JR Indianapolis, IN
    Unranked (Below top 150) (3 star) Mike Marra G 6-4 200 JR Smithfield, RI

    If you know the way Rivals does their rankings, you’ll know that a 5 star player is usually between 1 and 25ish. While the 4 star player is ranked between 25ish and 100ish.

    The only reason Louisville will even have a chance to keep the score within 20 points, is if Kentucky’s players forget who they are, decide not to play as a team, and play down the the Cardinals. Point Blank Two Losses In A Row Period.

  21. kyrgaines
    7:39 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    I wanna see Louisville put three guys in the backcourt against us like they’ve been doing on inbounds…. if Miller and is on, this game gets out of hand in Rupp.

  22. Hoodsgood
    7:45 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink


  23. cats paws
    7:45 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    #20 that was impressive, too bad games aren’t decided on paper.

  24. InternationalPhilosophy
    7:57 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Pitino will use his bench liberally to try to get UK in foul trouble as early as possible.
    Guards will attempt to get into the lane and draw fouls as well as open up the 3.
    Davis and MKG will get their share of rebounds. The rest will be up to Miller and Jones.
    Given that Pitino’s strategy may meet with some success, the play of Wiltjer and to a lesser extent Vargas off the bench will be key.
    I agree that if Lamb and Miller are hitting 3’s it’s over, and if Davis and MKG can stay out of foul trouble it’s over, too.
    Cards will be highly motivated and come out with intensity.
    Teague will have to take care of the ball, and as mentioned above, Lamb will go a long way in helping out.
    Fairly fast-paced game with UK winning 82-72.

  25. CatFanNLville
    8:38 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    83-65 Cats write it down

  26. Experience
    8:43 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Marquis….”It doesn’t matter who scores the points, it’s who can get the ball to the scorer” -Larry Bird. Set a single game assist record you have all the weapons you need.

  27. Needed to win
    8:51 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    “It doesn’t matter who scores, it’s who can get the ball to the scorer” -Larry Bird Let’s go Marquis!

  28. kycatman
    9:21 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    77-60 Cats Cats Cats, Point Blank-Period

  29. Darius
    10:43 pm December 29, 2011 Permalink

    Like lamb but it’s miller time baby

  30. Louisville Doesn't Exist
    8:37 am December 30, 2011 Permalink

    T-Jones…he’ll have his “coming out” game and finally be the player we all know he can be.

  31. Mark Wilson
    10:44 am December 30, 2011 Permalink