It’s late and I have a crummy night job to go to so we’ll make the notes brief.
–The big news of the day was the non-injury of John Wall. The message boards were in a fury over the potential injury to our star, but Anthony Wireman told us earlier that the rumor was bogus, prompting simultaneous sighs of relief from Cat fans and innuendos from the Frosted One and his minions that we got the info from him. As the world turns…
–Speaking of Anthony Wireman, he’s doing a helluva job and deserves thanks from everyone. And, if you’re interested in all kinds of basketball from around the state, go to his website, AllKYHoops.com.
–The road tripping crew was in attendance for the Northern Iowa-Old Dominion game and the LiveBlog featured appearances from Wario among other celebrities. If they can escape blizzard conditions in Iowa, they’ll be headed to the Butler-Siena game in the morning after an all-night drive. Between Jamie Dixon’s hate and snowy Cedar Falls, the traditional KSR ridiculousness seems to have followed the boys so far and there are rumors of a Pat Forde appearance in Hinkle Fieldhouse tomorrow. It should be brilliant and you can follow all of the crew’s musings from here.
That’s basically it for a slow news day outside of the news that wasn’t actually news, so here’s five keys to the game for Kentucky tomorrow for you to snack on:
1) The first five minutes will be as intense as any road environment the team has seen this year. They must play within themselves at the beginning to quiet the crowd and offset the fact that they won’t have Cal within earshot to keep them under control. The environment can’t be overlooked, as it will be the first time the freshmen have seen anything at all like it and will be a major test for the young Cats.
2) Kentucky must be just as dominant on the glass as they were when Vandy visited Rupp. Vanderbilt will no doubt try to utilize the “run the clock down/slow the pace/limit transition” formula that has given UK problems, and if they’re allowed to get offensive rebounds it could spell doom for the Cats.
3) The biggest key to a victory in the rebounding department is, of course, Boogie. It took about five seconds last time around to prove that Vandy has no one that can approach stopping him, but he must keep his cool in hostile surroundings much the same way he did against Mississippi State and stay on the floor for us to exploit that advantage. For the record, I think Boogie ends up with a line that goes something like 96 points, 28 rebounds and one crying fit from AJ Ogilvy.
4) The real Patrick Patterson must show up again. He was aggressive on both ends against MSU, and his experience (albeit in a couple of awful games) at Vanderbilt can be key in stabilizing the team. If Ogilvy’s supposed to stop Cousins, then that means Patterson should have a field day on whoever lines up against him. If he goes off again, we win. If he fades into the scenery, things get hairy.
5) This is a game where we will learn a lot about the Cats. It’s a game many have picked us to lose and that everyone will have one eye on. There are few chances for true quality wins in this year’s SEC, and this is maybe the best win the Cats could get all conference season if they can pull it off. It’s a huge test and one that, if they pass, will virtually assure an SEC championship and go a long way toward locking up a #1 seed. The harm of a loss isn’t huge, but the benefit of a win would be great and demonstrate that this truly is a team capable of cutting down the nets in April.
Okay, that last one wasn’t a key to the game so much as a ramble, but you don’t care. You just want gametime to get here. Me too, buddy. Me too. We’ll be along soon with more on the Dorks. Until then, play nice.