Wednesday, March 28, 2012

'6 Things You MUST Do To Beat The Kentucky Wildcats'

All statistics provided were researched and calculated by Mr. AllDayEryDay via
Teams and games noted either beat Kentucky (Indiana and Vanderbilt) or gave them the best competitive challenge based on final score, halftime score, and closeness of the game during its final eight minutes.  Key for exact game instances located at the bottom of this piece.  Feel free to leave any comments.
Kentucky can be stopped . . . with the right plan of course.

Play from behind.
Kentucky has had atleast a six-point lead in every game this season.  Don't get discouraged if you fall behind.  Indiana rallied from six down to beat Kentucky and Vanderbilt trailed by 14 points in its win against the Wildcats in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.

Biggest Deficit:
Vanderbilt - 14 (twice; SEC tournament win 71-64 Mar. 11 and 69-63 loss Feb. 11; both games played in Nashville)
Indiana - 6 (won 73-72 Dec. 21 on 3-pointer at the buzzer in Bloomington)
*North Carolina - 6
+Louisville - 15
^Tennesse - 8
%Florida - 9
&Alabama - 9
#Mississippi State - 9

Play at Kentucky's pace
Ideally you would want to slow down a high-scoring team like Kentucky and limit its possessions and shot attempts.  Not only is that much easier said than done, but the teams that have played the Wildcats toughest have not used that technique.  Kentucky fired 58 shots in the game it lost to Vandy and 54 in the loss to IU.  The 'Cats jacked up 63 shots in their early season matchup against North Carolina, yet the Tar Heels only lost by one point.

Field Goal Attempts Allowed:
Vanderbilt - 58 (both)
Indiana - 54
UNC - 63
L'Ville - 57
Vols - 49
Florida - 60
'Bama - 51
Miss. St. - 57
Good luck slowing down the Wildcat pace.

Defend without fouling.
When playing a team as talented as Kentucky is, you're naturally gonna want to ramp up the defensive intensity.  But being too aggressive and letting the fouls add up plays right into what the Wildcats want.  They're shooting 73-percent from the foul-line as a team on the season and the guys that get the most offensive touches -- Anthony Davis (493) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (483) lead the team in combined field goal and free throw attempts -- both shoot over 70-percent from the charity stripe.  Case in point: Kentucky had 17 free throw attempt in its one-point loss to Indiana and recorded 37 attempts in its NCAA tournament win, connecting on 35 of them.

Free Throw Attempts Allowed:
Vanderbilt - 15 (both)
Indiana - 17
UNC - 18
L'Ville - 43
Vols - 29
Florida - 20
'Bama - 40
Miss. St. - 21

Hit atleast eight three-pointers.
You have no chance beating this team if you are a team that lives in the paint.  Davis, the leading shot-blocker in the nation, lives there too, and even if he does not block your shot, he will make you think about it.  Just be careful not to get into a three-point shooting contest though.  Kentucky is shooting 37-percent from beyond the arc this year and since Jan. 1, they are hitting at a 44-percent clip (84-for-193) in games where they attempt atleast 15 treys.

Three-Pointers Made:
Vanderbilt - 8 (both)
Indiana - 9
UNC - 11
L'Ville - 4
Vols - 6
Florida - 11
'Bama - 5
Miss. St. - 9
Give Doron Lamb too much space and he will make it rain on you.

Have 4-of-5 starters score in double-figures.This may seem like a head-scratcher but Kentucky has a 2-2 record this year in games when four of the opposing five starters have scored in double-figures.  Both Vandy and IU had 4-of-5 starters score in double-figures in its wins (Vandy had four of its five starters score double-digits in all three of its matchups with Kentucky).
UNC 3 starters, 1 bench.
L'Ville 1 starter (R.Smith - 30 points).
Vols 2 starters.
Florida 3 starters. 
'Bama 3 starters. 
Miss. State 2 starters, 1 bench.

Grab atleast 12 offensive rebounds.
Second-chance points are a big factor in winning against any team.  And when playing Kentucky, they are often the difference between winning and losing.  Both the Commodores and Hoosiers had 12 offensive rebounds in their wins against the Wildcats (Vandy also had 12 off. rebounds in the Feb. 11 defeat).

Offensive Rebounds:
UNC - 13
L'Ville - 8
Vols - 6
Florida - 6
'Bama - 9
Miss. State - 6

*Lost by 1 point in Lexington (Dec. 3, ranked No. 5 in polls)
+Lost by 7 points at home (Dec. 31, No. 4)
^Lost by 3 points at home (Jan. 14, unranked)
%Lost by 3 points neutral site (Mar. 10, No. 19), also lost 78-58 Feb. 7 at home (No.7) and Mar. 4 74-59 in Lexington (No.13)
&Lost by 6 points in Lexington (Jan. 21, unranked)
# Lost by 9 points at home (Feb. 21, unranked), had 13-point lead and one point during the game, Kentucky's largest deficit of the season at the time.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NCAA Elite Eight: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Syracuse Orange

The 'Cuse needs Joseph to assert himself on offense.
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Syracuse

# 32 Kris Joseph - Guard/Forward
6-7 215 Senior Montreal, Quebec
13.5 ppg leads team, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 spg

Syracuse gave up 14 3-pointers to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet Sixteen and almost gave away the game at the end because of it. The 'Cuse have struggled defending the 3 all tournament long, and it doesn't help that standing between them and the Final Four are the Ohio State Buckeyes, and long-range threats Deshaun Thomas (7-for-15 this NCAA tournament from 3), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (4-for-9) and William Buford (36-percent on 3-pointers this year).  The Orange must counter with some sharp-shooting of their own.  The number one catalyst is senior guard/forward Kris Joseph.  He's struggled shooting from the field to this point in the tournament (8-for-25) and has been a no-show from beyond the arc (1-for-8).  In fact, Joseph hasn't had more than two made three pointers in a game dating back to Feb. 25 at Connecticut -- a six game span, which was also the last time he hit the 20-point mark (he finished with 21).  Joseph is certainly capable.  He carried Syracuse to a 64-61 overtime win against Georgetown Feb. 8 where he totalled 29 points on 6-for-11 shooting from deep.  Look for him to be aggressive on offense early as coach Jim Boheim knows that his team will need Joseph to come up big if they're going to knock off the Buckeyes.

NCAA Elite Eight: Lousville Cardinals vs. Florida Gators

Beal has a textbook form and release on every shot.
No. 4 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 7 Florida Gators

#23 Bradley Beal - Guard
6-3 207 Freshman St. Louis, MO
14.6 ppg 6.5 rpg 2.2 apg

Florida has lived and died by the 3-point shot all year long.  So no one would've expected the Gators to advance to the Elite Eight with a 65-58 win over No. 3 Marquette Thursday shooting 25.9 percent (7 for 27) from behind the 3-point line.  The Florida big men, led by forward Patric Young were able to get just enough done in the paint, but it won't be as easy against the Lousville Cardinal interior D, led by forward Gorgui Dieng, and their physical, Big East-brand of basketball.  The Gators will need another hot shooting night from freshman guard Bradley Beal, who shot 8-for-10 against the Golden Eagles in the Sweet Sixteen and finished with 21 points.  Beal is a combo guard with a textbook release on his jumpshot and surprises defenders on penetration with a very sudden first step.  Louisville coach Rick Pitino knows how much of a problem Beal can be and will likely have multiple players defend him in order to make him feel uncomfortable.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bad Week . . .

Any Melo could be a scapegoat this week.
If you play basketball and your name is 'Melo', then you're probably having a bad week.  The New York Knicks have lost six-straight games after playing pretty well when Carmelo Anthony was injured.  Now he's back and the Knicks look like they have some big time chemistry issues to deal with.  Anthony could barely get a touch late in the 4th quarter in the 104-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls March 12th, though he did manage to put up a team-high 21 shots, connecting on only eight of them . . . Fab Melo might've ended any shot Syracuse had to win its first National Championship since 2003, when Carmelo Anthony himself played there.  The sophomore center from Brazil has been ruled out for the entire NCAA Tournament for academic reasons.  Melo sat out three games earlier this season for not hitting the books hard enough and the Orange lost their only game of the regular season during that stretch (they were 30-1 entering the Big East Tournament).  Now Syracuse enters the Big Dance without Melo's 2.93 blocks per game, and removes another big man from team that already struggles on the defensive boards.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Welcome Back, Gerald Green!

Gerald Green (Gulf Shores Academy - Houston,TX) - 2005 NBA Draft, Round 1, 18th overall, selected by Boston Celtics

Current NBA Team: New Jersey Nets (on second 10-day contract)
NBA Teams Played For Before 2012: Boston Celtics, 2005-07, Minnesota Timberwolves, 2007-08, Houston Rockets, 2008, Dallas Mavericks, 2008-09
Non-NBA Teams Played For: PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban (Russia), 2009-10, BC Krasnye Krylia (Russia), 2010-11, Foshon Dralions (China), 2011, Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League), 2011-12

*career history courtesy of Wikipedia