On Sunday night, Kentucky exorcised a demon by the name of Robert Morris that has been hovering around since March. There was a lot to like about the performance they had against the Colonials, like starting the first half on a positive note instead of how they have started in recent games was a relief to see. Before, we would see the Cats struggle to get a lead in the first half and then turn it on in the second. This time they turned it on when the ball was tipped and never let up, something they have got to make a habit of going forward.
With that aside, it's time to look at the Cats' next opponent, Texas-Arlington (University of Texas at Arlington). Just one days rest and the Cats will be back on the hardwood tomorrow night (7:30pm) to continue their play in the Keightly Classic.
Here's a little rundown on UTA in-case your like me and know absolutely nothing about them…
LOCATION: Arlington, Texas
CONFERENCE: Sun Belt
RAY PRICE- Country music singer, song writer. Member of the Country Music Hall of Fame
LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS- Actor
CHARLES BAKER- "Skinny Pete" form Breaking Bad (TV Show)
UTA's men's basketball team made it's first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008 where a Calipari coached Memphis Tiger team defeated the Maverick's in the first round. The Mavericks set a school record for wins in a single season during 2011-12 with 24 that also included a 16 game winning streak.
Now that you have learned a little something about UTA, here's how the Cats and the Mavericks match-up….
BY THE NUMBERS:
PPG: 90 86
RPG: 40 50
APG: 14 13
SPG: 8 5
BPG: 5 7
TPG: 14 13
FG%: 45 49
FT%: 69 64
3PT%: 34 29
After looking at the numbers you can tell that one thing the Cats need to do is take care of the ball and avoid senseless turnovers. Another is, tighten up the three point shooting. Calipari made a comment that this could be the best three point shooting team that he has ever coached and judging by the game plan that Robert Morris brought to the table (pack the lane) they will need to live up to Cal's comment. Truth is, on paper, out of high school, this is a far better three point shooting team than the 29% that they have been hitting so far this season.
UTA has several players who have been hitting 40% or better from beyond the three point line this season, so this match-up will once again test the young Wildcats' perimeter defense, something that has been somewhat of weakness so far this season.
PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
Reger Dowell: 26ppg, 41% 3pt, 77% FT, 47% FG
Brandon Edwards: 17ppg, 11rpg, 53% FG, 75% FT
That's just two of four players that average in double figures scoring for the Mavericks that the Cats will have to pay extra attention to during the course of the game.
This is the first meeting between the Cats and the Mavericks so lets hope in ends in a W and Kentucky can continue to improve on the things that they will need to make this an historic season.