This year’s Kentucky vs. Louisville basketball game has a lot of unanswered questions. Both teams have a ton of potential, but has yet to show complete dominance against top quality opponents.
The two teams are both in the top 25 rankings. Kentucky fell back far from their preseason No.1 ranking after losing to three top 25 teams. Louisville has only lost to North Carolina, but some say they haven’t had any other tough competition.
So what will be the keys to each team to being crowned King of the Bluegrass? Let’s take a look.
Julius Randle: There isn’t a player in college basketball that can take over a game like him. The 6’8” freshman PF has been a double-double king. He will be battling Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell and Chane Behanan for points and rebounds Saturday. Harrell and Behanan have played against some great inside players in their college careers, Randle on the other hand hasn’t played against the strength and intensity Louisville’s power forwards will be bringing. NBA scouts will be watching this matchup like a dog watches his bone.
No Youthful Mistakes: Coach John Calipari has griped at his players often this young season about playing smart basketball. Unfortunately he has a group of young players, no turning back now. Louisville’s Russ Smith and Chris Jones will be waiting for the UK freshman to make even the slightest mistake so they can get a steal or to draw a foul.
Play Your Size: Kentucky is tall and long. Louisville has some length, but the height is not their strength. The Wildcats must when the rebound battle. At each position they will have the size advantage for the most part.
Shut BBN Up Early: Rupp Arena will be rocking and there wont be too much red in the stands. Louisville must go for blood early, allow UK’s youthfulness and jitters to distract them and get an early lead. Kentucky doesn’t have the experience really to make a comeback late in a game.
Make Shots and Keep the Pressure: Louisville’s game plan will be the same as every game. Put the pressure on the entire game and their opponents will break soon or a later. But the Cards cannot set up their full-court press if they don’t make baskets.
Act Your Age: This game is always full of emotions. That is why the real basketball usually doesn’t come until the 2nd-half when both teams are calm and focused after their coach yells at them in the locker room. Russ Smith and his teammates for the most part know what to do, there should be no jitters. As Kevin Ware said, “It’s just another game.” Play like it is just another game and let the Kentucky freshman make a big deal out of it.
What are your thoughts? What do you think will be the keys to your team’s victory?