Must win game for Kentucky tonight

Kentucky takes on Mississippi State tonight in Rupp Arena.  Fellas, Kentucky has to have this game.  No if, ands, or buts about it.  If they lose tonight, they will have lost three straight with Florida looming next Tuesday.  Kentucky could easily lose the next four games if they are not careful.  Mississippi State is coming off of a loss to Mississippi at home, so I guess UK fans can’t feel too bad about losing to Ole Miss (yeah, right).  Look for the Bulldogs to be ready to play.  Good news about playing State tonight; they no longer have the ‘UK killer’ in Jamont Gordon.  He lit UK up in the game last year in Starkville, and he banked in a game tying three at the buzzer, in the SEC tournament to send the game into overtime, a game in which Mississippi State won 82-80.  Bad news; they still have Jarvis Vernado.  He had ten “blocks” last year, which was a part of his triple double that he posted against Kentucky.  Yes, get ready for the refs to allow Vernado to rake Patterson across the arms repeatedly without blowing the whistle, and thus crediting him with a “block”.  He blocked 10 shots before he was called for his first foul in the waning minutes of the game last year.  At least five of those “blocks” were fouls and if this happens again tonight, look for Gillispie to pick up another ill-timed technical foul (remember Louisville?).   Also, if you don’t know who Ravern Johnson is, you will after tonight.  He shoots the three at a 48.2 percent clip, better than Jodie Meeks.  The way UK likes to leave shooters wide open on the perimeter, expect that percentage to increase.  Mississippi State can shoot the perimeter shot with a high degree of accuracy.  They are the tied for the third best overall three point percentage in the SEC (36.8%).  Only LSU and South Carolina are ranked higher.  This does not bode well for the Cats.

If UK is to win this game, they need to crash the boards, something that they have failed to do in the last two games.  Limit the turnovers, this is game number 23, and it is about time that UK learns how to handle the ball, without turning it over 20+ times.   Also, feel free to get a hand up on the shooters, doing this simple task will decrease the opponents’ three point percentage.   This is a game that UK must have, as they get Florida, and then road games against Arkansas and Vanderbilt.  Right now, in the last nine games, the only “sure” win is at home against Georgia (they are awful).  UK’s on the bubble, and that bubble is about to burst if the play does not improve.

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