by Griffin Bennett
When: 6:30 PM
The day we have all been praying for has finally come. The Huskies are given a chance to show that loyalty, leadership, and experience overcome selfishness, deceit, and greed. It’s the ultimate good versus evil show down. The saying “teams end up reflecting their coach” couldn’t be more true in this case. Romar and Calipari are different ends of the coach’s spectrum in every conceivable way. Rooting for the Huskies comes natural to us, but tonight the whole country will be on our side. Here’s how it breaks down tonight.
This isn’t your one-year-younger-sibling’s Kentucky team. Without John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Patrick Paterson they don’t pound it into the paint like they used to. Their game consists of more of screen-and-pop style this year. I will mention his name once and once only; Terrence Jones (He Who Shall Not Be Named) is their best weapon. His combination of size and athleticism make him a dominant force in the paint. His biggest skill is rebounding the ball on the offensive end. Against Oklahoma on Monday night, the team was playing the offense through him in the middle.
Their guards are young, but they can shoot. They might not drive as well as Wall, but Brandon Knight can shoot with the best in the country. He has the skill to get in the paint as well, but his true talent remains on the perimeter. Doron Lamb plays exactly like Knight. A fellow freshman (shocking), Lamb is their first guy off the bench, but has played top-5 in minutes each game. Their guards have a ton of potential, but they are only great at shooting. Fellow guard DeAndre Liggins got hurt at the end of the Oklahoma game on Monday night and it is yet to be seen how serious it is. Liggins has a great combination of size and shooting skill.
Josh Harrellson is the team’s only senior starts down low next to HWSNBN. The big man is in to rebound and defend, but Kentucky usually plays small most of the game. They only played an 8 man rotation Monday night and will probably do that tonight as well. Darius Miller is a great glue guy for them and contributes on the glass as well.
PG: Brandon Knight – 6’3” (17 ppg)
SG: DeAndre Liggins – 6’6” (10.7 ppg)
SF: Darius Miller – 6’7” (9.3 ppg)
PF: He Who Shall Not Be Named – 6’9” (22 ppg)
C: Josh Harrellson – 6’10” (3.3 ppg)
Huskies win if:
- They can continue their hot shooting streak from last night. Anything above 50% would keep the Wildcat defense on their toes and open things up down low.
- Reject the entry pass to HWSNBN and force their offense elsewhere. The Huskies need to keep the passing lanes closed and block out when the shots go up.
- Limit Kentucky’s offensive rebounds and try to get out on the fast break. Kentucky struggles during transitions and they seem to be slow to get back into position.
- Run, run, run! Huskies depth is a huge advantage and they need to get the Kentucky team tired early.
- The front court stays out of foul trouble. MBA may be the key for the night. He needs to establish a dominant defensive and offensive game. Aziz and Gant are nice to have, but they don’t have the skill to stop HWSNBN.
Huskies lose if:
- The Wildcats get hot from the outside. Knight, Lamb, and Liggins can all shoot and have the ability to shoot like the Huskies did last night.
- He Who Shall Not Be Named is not physically and emotionally challenged. He is still a freshman and if gains confidence without challenge his skills might be too much.
- The Huskies lose the rebounding battle. Rebounding has been the worst part of the Huskies game so far, and it must be fixed tonight.
- Karma doesn’t exist.
5 Things I Want to See:
1. Gaddy drill a three-pointer and do the John Wall Dance as he gets back on defense.
2. MBA posterize HWSNBN.
3. IT gives the “salute” to Calipari’s face.
4. Terrence Ross score on HWSNBN and give a good stare down.
5. Venoy picks Knight’s pocket for a dunk.
I don’t remember a bigger November game ever and I couldn’t be more pumped. I am quietly confident and I truly believe that we have the better team. We might not have the potential, but we have the talent and versatility to beat Calipari’s boys. If we bring a little extra of the Husky swagger, Big Blue Nation won’t know what hit ‘em. Bow Down.
Oh… and just one fun fact about Kentucky fans: