When you look at the non-conference schedule, Texas is pretty much the only team that matches up well against the Cats. As Matt Norlander pointed out yesterday, the Longhorns have five starters/rotation players who are 6’8″ or taller, which automatically puts them light years ahead of some of the opponents we’ve faced this season. Calipari called their bigs “beasts” and described their inside game as “awesome.” So, as fans burned by 40-0 dreams last season, don’t blame the BBN for tapping the breaks just a little bit in preparation for the showdown with awesome and beastly Texas Friday night.
And then Texas only beat UT-Arlington by 10. Kentucky beat UT-Arlington by 48.
How much should we read into that? Is Texas/UT-Arlington some heated in-state rivalry or something? Not quite. The Longhorns were awful on offense, hitting only 30% of their shots and a paltry 5-27 for 18.5% from behind the arc. Without their point guard Isaiah Taylor, Texas also committed 13 turnovers; however, they dominated the boards, winning the rebounding battle 52-25.
After UK beat his team 92-44, UT-Arlington coach Scott Cross said he believes the Cats can go undefeated. After losing to Texas by ten, does Cross think the Cats will have any problems with the Longhorns? Yes.
“I honestly think they can play with them without a doubt. When I left Kentucky, I didn’t think anyone could play with them but watching Texas on tape I think they match up very well, obviously when they get all their guys healthy and get Isaiah Taylor back. Kentucky’s depth is off the charts, but Texas, their big guys are just as good as Kentucky’s. They probably have as good a chance as anyone in the country to play with them.”
Is it Friday yet??