1. Stop Switching Screens
I’m not going to beat a dead horse, although I don’t want people to forget. Two days after I wrote about how switching ball screens is not a good idea, Bruce Pearl proved my point.
“The only way we could score was to bring their bigs underneath the basket, set ball screens, and drive it down the hill,” Pearl said after his team took an L at Rupp Arena. He added, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the farther I get Bam (Adebayo) away from the basket, the better fighting chance we have.”
It probably will not change tonight, but it’s something you should keep an eye on throughout the rest of the season.
2. Stop Quindarry Weatherspoon
The SEC is filled with average teams. The league still isn’t good, but there are fewer teams at the bottom of the barrel. For one of these teams to upset Kentucky, there’s a simple formula:
- Get Kentucky on the road
- Get hot from behind the three-point line
- Get your best player to play his best game.
Mississippi State’s roster isn’t filled with elite shooters. They’d like to have their entire team get hot from behind the three-point line, but Weatherspoon and Lamar Peters are the only two that shoot over 40 percent from behind the arc. The Dogs don’t need to fire on all cylinders, but if Weatherspoon gets hot, he can be the next Elston Turner or Devan Downey.
3. Less Than 10 Turnovers
In conference play, Kentucky didn’t have a game with double-digit turnovers until they gave Auburn the ball 13 times on Saturday. It’d be nice to see ball security against a team that forced 22 turnovers in their last game and forces its opponents to turn it over 14.8 times per game.