Sandwiched in-between a difficult road win at Georgia and a duel for first place in the SEC against Florida, tonight’s road trip to Missouri is by definition a trap game.
The Tigers are are just 2-12 in the SEC, second to last in the league, and their best quality win was a one-point loss to eleventh-ranked Xavier. The game will not tip-off until 9:00, but a black-out will surely create the best atmosphere that arena has seen all season.
Been there, done that.
What makes this “trap game” even more of a trap, is that nothing good can come from this. As T.I. once said, “You either you lose or you lose.”
If Kentucky blows out Missouri, it’s expected. Any significant improvements made will be brushed aside. Instead of praising them, most will credit the result to Missouri’s ineptitude. It should not be the case, especially with just two weeks left in the regular season, but that is how most will perceive their performance.
Even if Kentucky wins by double-digits, they will not get credit for winning on the road, even though the Cats are just 5-3 in true road games. In those eight games, the point differential is just +30. For some, Kentucky could win by double-digits on the road for only the second time this season, but if they don’t cover there’s hell to pay.
If Kentucky loses, prepare for anarchy.
Luckily, not even Kim Anderson is confident that will happen. “We have to play a near perfect game in a couple aspects to be able to hang with them.”
There are some things the Cats can work on tonight — pick-and-roll defense, on-ball defense, playing with pace offensively and offensive rebounding — but in this trap game, it’s unlikely anyone will leave satisfied.