Kentucky preview, courtesy of Jeff

Thanks, Jeff.

Now, who agrees? Or disagrees? Or sees the game a bit differently?

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Come Saturday at 4:00 pm, I will have seen North Carolina, Duke, Connecticut, and Kentucky all venture to Assembly Hall in the past four years.  While I love seeing national powerhouses come in, I’d like for the Hoosiers to finally get on the board in one of these marquee games. This Kentucky team is not one of its strongest, so IU better exact revenge for last year’s narrow defeat at Rupp Arena. With that said, here are five things I’ll be keeping an eye on (besides Eric Gordon):

1. DJ White vs Patrick Patterson
— Patterson is a legitimate low post threat, and is every bit the athlete that White is. DJ will need to contest shots, stay out of foul trouble, and hope Patterson is having an off night from the floor. Still, it couldn’t hurt for White to get Patterson in foul trouble on the other end. Give DJ the ball on the block! Please! He scored 29 last game!

2. Jordan Crawford
— After three games, the IU backcourt finally has a sub off the bench. Crawford’s one on one skills will be needed if IU continues its lane-penetrating offense. He will also need to match the defensive intensity that the starting backcourt has put out over the last few games (most notably against SIU). Oh, and please shoot better than your 3-13 against Xavier.

3. 3-Point Shooting
— The Hoosiers shot an abysmal 16% (4-25) in last year’s border war, perhaps the main reason for the loss. If Kentucky can return the favor, I like IU’s chances. The Cats come in shooting 35% from beyond the arc this season, with Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley as basically the only threats. If IU hits 8 or more threes I like our chances even more.

4. Kentucky’s Morale
— Potential starters Jodie Meeks and Derrick Jasper are sidelined with injuries, All-American freshman Alex Legion decided to transfer this week, and they boast an unimpressive RPI of 164 (per Ken Pomeroy). But what better time to turn it all around? Expect the Cats to be fired up despite the events of the 07-08 campaign so far.

5. The White-Out
— Still with the white-outs? Has IU ever won a game where there was a white-out? Do we think the stripe-out could work better than the white-out? What about two years ago when DJ was injured, and my brother thought white-out referred to White being out? Regardless, I’ll be wearing crimson (it’s my good luck t-shirt).

5 comments

  1. Jeff – Excellent post man. I am impressed.

    Your 1st two points I think will be the key on Saturday. Eric Gordon is of course a phenom, but with the back injury, we do not know how he will play, and if it will have any effect on his jump shot. These doubts, lead me to think DJ has to be the go to man in this game. He needs to get on the block and get Patterson in early trouble. A big night from DJ equals a big win for IU.

    As for Crawford being back, hi splay off the bench at the guard spot has been missed the last few games. He is an explosive young player who seems to give the team a completely different attitude when on the court.

    Hope you do these more in the future man.

  2. Bryan, thanks for the info. I didn’t know if there was a white-out last year, but obviously we would have won that game since it was an undefeated home season.

    Tex, I say black.

    Mike, thanks for the kind words. Hopefully Jordan raises his game and takes it to big brother!

  3. Good job Jeff, I like all the points and would simply add that Armon needs to control the ball as well as shoot above average. This will take pressure off a sore EJ. Stemler can help with toughness and position for rebounds.

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