Posted on: February 7, 2012 11:24 am

UK vs Florida, Round 1

There are several aspects of this game that are being analyzed, synthesized, debated, argued, proclaimed, and several other words that are above my IQ level.  Such aspects would be:

    1. Can UK keep Florida from having success behind the 3-pt line?
    2. Can UK's post players come up big on the defensive end - blocked shots, keeping Young and Yguette off the offensive boards
    3. Will UK have success scoring in the post?  Both from their post-players, but also with mis-matchs

Florida, with SEVERAL minutes being played by Boyton, Walker, and Beal - are subject to mis-matchs when UK goes "big".  If you have Jones, Davis, Miller, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Teague/Lamb on the court....who guards Miller?  Kidd-Gilchrist?

With that said, Florida goes 2-3 zone 85% of the night.  Can they keep UK from getting 15+ offensive rebounds?  I doubt it.

HOWEVER, this BIG aspect of tonight's game, what UK fan's REALLY need to look at, is Teague's turnover-assist ratio....

Teague has struggled to impress, at least consistently, this season.  He's had some solid games, but usually he has solid halves (2nd half vs IU).  Rarely, in my opinion, has he put together solid, 35-40 minute, games.  

Tonight will be a legit test.  It's not a non-con game against IU or Kansas, this game is a HUGE step in this team achieving its goal of being SEC champs.

In my opinion, Teague doesn't really need to score a single bucket (except free throws late in the game, if it comes to it).

However, he needs 4 assists per every turnover he commits.  If we're getting 8 points per 1 turnover, UK can win with that.  Anything lower than 8 points and UK is in serious jeopardy. 

IF Florida plays their 2-3 zone, then Teague cannot afford to turn the ball over.  Zones aren't typically designed to force turnovers, and he needs to remember that.  He needs to be, what I like to call, aggressively patient.  UK needs Teague to be aggressive, but he needs to be patient in his attacks.  He can't attack attack attack....he's got to see the court, see the numbers, know the situations, and sense the flow of the game.

He needs to push the ball in transition WHEN the advantage is there.  He needs to attack the gaps in the zone WHEN there are gaps, not trying to create his own gaps, but taking what the defense gives him.

If Teague can play aggressively patient, and he can keep is turnover-to-assist ratio at no worse than 1:4, then UK will win this game.

Anything else, should be an exciting game!

GO CATS!                            

Posted on: December 6, 2010 2:39 pm

What do we know so far on the season?

We're just 7 games into this young season, and the Kentucky Wildcats are sitting at a record of 5-2, probably right around where most level-minded UK fans figured they'd be.  Even so, what has Big Blue Nation learned about their young team? 

First off, this is a MUCH different UK team than last year.  When the starting 5 is on the court, every single one of those kids won't hesitate to shoot a wide open 3-pointer.  Last year, Wall, Cousins, even Bledsoe at times, would take the ball right to the basket for a contested lay-up/dunk.  But that mentality is history.  Brandon Knight, Darius Miller, Doron Lamb, Terrance Jones, Deandre Liggins, and Josh Harrelson will shoot the 3, and won't even hesitate, even if there is a hand in their face.

That kind of confidence from beyond the arc is a great thing.  Even a deadly thing.

If the shots are falling....

So we've learned that this team, who are very undersized in most games, might develop the reputation of "live by the 3, die by the 3."  Which won't have the Bluegrass State complaining...unless dying by the 3 becomes more prevalent than living by it.

The team's post-presence is nearly absent.  Josh Harrelson is my early selection for Hustle Award/Most Improved/Biggest Heart/Doing Everything He Can With the Tools He Has award.  But you know what, at this level of basketball, and for this particular program, it just isn't enough so far.  God bless the kid, he's doing everything he can (along with Eloy Vargas), but the results simply aren't there right now.  The University of North Carolina just worked UK in the post-play, something that has all of Big Blue Nation worried for the rest of the season.  Unless....

Yes, unless....

Dare I say it....

Enes Kanter is re-instated by the NCAA and granted his eligibility back.  I have none, absolutely ZERO, inside sources on this appeal process, but there are plenty of UK fans that are hoping he'll be re-instated.  I know that he was ruled "permanently ineligible", but if there's one thing I've learned about the NCAA, it's that consistency is not always their 'bread and butter.'  But as of now, this team without Kanter, so we'll continue.

Brandon Knight is NOT John Wall, and he doesn't need to be.  However, he needs to value the possession on EVERY possession.  John Wall was explosive, and he was tough to defend.  But Brandon Knight needs to be intelligent, and savvy, which is as tough, if not tougher, to defend.

Terrance Jones - kid can score.  Kid can block.  Kid can rebound.  But can he do it consistantly, and against good teams?

Will the real Darius Miller please stand up?  Come on now, kid, give us some consistency.  You've got, arguably, the most potential on the team.  Coach Cal needs to find a way for Darius to put all the pieces together, and to turn this puzzle into an elite scoring machine.

DeAndre Liggins - you're doing great!  Keep up the intensit on defense, knock down open shots, and run the court in transition.  That's your game, keep playing within that game and we'll be good.

Press?  Full-court press?  Half-court traps?  Please Coach Cal, let's speed the game up.  We're too small to play half-court defense for 80 minutes.  We're too young.  We're too foul-plagued.  We need to speed up the game.  Run the other team's post-players off the court.  Use our speed to create turnovers.  This is where our success will be found!

As always, GO CATS!

I'm done here.  Thank you, and keep on truckin', Big Blue Nation

Posted on: November 30, 2010 2:07 pm

Looking for some advice

So I'm a diehard UK fan that, unfortunately, moved away from the Bluegrass State some 10 years ago (when I was in 8th grade), and now I'm heading back in December to see my Cats play against Mississippi Valley State.  For those of you who never miss a game, or just love the Lexington area, I'm posing a few questions to you....

Is there a restaruant/bar that a UK fan MUST visit when they're in the Lexington area?  I'll be looking for a great dinner and great atmosphere, so suggestions are more than welcome!

Next, is there anything in particular that a UK fan must do before or after the game?  Any kind of special tradition or tailgating that I'm not aware of?

Best place to park?  Or shuttle to take from a hotel?

What's the best way to try and meet some of the coaches or players?  Is this a plausible idea at all?

Any advice and suggestions that I can get from Big Blue Nation is VERY much appreciated!  I can't wait to make it back to Rupp for a game, it's been a long, long time! 

Help me out please!
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or