(How could I NOT put this picture?)
The Cats are coming off of a somewhat impressive 79-54 win over Georgia in Rupp Arena on Saturday. Sure, it's not impressive that they beat Georgia, but it's the fact that they finally put the hammer down on a much less inferior opponent, something that they have not done all season long. It seems that this young and very talented team are finally starting to put two and two together and are finally ALL starting to get on the same page.
However, the true test will be a very tough road game and that's exactly what they will face tonight, that is if LSU don't cancel the game due to inclement weather. Considering the fact that Kentucky went ahead with their game against Georgia with about four inches of snow and ice on the ground, it would be embarrassing for LSU to cancel the game due to a "WINTERY MIX"!!!
Going into Baton Rouge and walking out with a win is not something that comes easily. The Cats will have to play beyond the potential that they have shown thus far for that to be possible.
The match-up of Kentucky and LSU is one that goes all the way back to 1933 when the first game was played and ended in a Kentucky victory, so it's safe to say that if you're a Cat fan, you know LSU pretty well. But, just in case, here's a look at the history of the LSU Tigers....
LOCATION: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
COLORS: Royal Purple/Old Gold
NICKNAME: Fighting Tiger, Tigers, Bayou Bengals (Unofficially)
***The Tigers have only one mens basketball championship and it came all the way back in 1935.
LSU plays in the Pete Maravich Assemble Center. The building was built in 1972 and seat 13,215. The name was changed to the 'Pete Maravich Assembly Center' in honor of former mens basketball player, Peter Maravich shortly after his death in 1988.
Dick Vitale refers to the 'Maravich Center' as 'The Deaf Dome' due to how loud the fans can be when a quality opponent is on the floor.
During the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the Maravich Center was turned into the largest triage/acute care field hospital ever in United States history.***
The only alumni worth mentioning is 'Pistol' Pete Maravich. If you don't know who he is, then you really need to find something else to read, or at least Google the name.
Coming into this game, the Tigers have a record of 12-6 (3-3 SEC) while coming off of a loss to the Crimson Tide of Alabama 82-80 on the road. So, you just know that they'll be looking for redemption and what better way to garner that than in front of a home crowd over the Cats. Considering this game is being played in Baton Rouge you just know that there will be a white out or a purple out or gold out or some kind (insert your color here) out to try and intimidate the Cats.
These next two games (on the road at LSU and on the road at Missouri) will be a good look at what Kentucky's post season chance will be. In my personnel opinion if they have a split, then it's a toss up on how this teams season will end. If they win both, the talk about a championship is not as absurd as it seemed about a month ago. If they loose both, then I'll just be happy if they make the Sweet Sixteen. The sad part is any of these scenarios is possible as of right now, so to say that tonight is a big game is an understatement...
To get you prepared for the game, here's a look at how these two teams stack up against one another.....
THE GAME BY THE NUMBERS:
PPG: 76 80
RPG: 41 42
APG: 14 13
SPG: 9 5
BPG: 7 7
TPG: 15 13
FG%: 44 47
FT%: 66 67
3P%: 33 31
There are a few LSU players to pay attention too tonight...
Andre Stinger - 3P% 39, FT% 84, SPG 2
Johnny O'Bryant - 15ppg, 7.3 RPG, FG% 51
Jarell Martin - 9ppg, FT% 75, 3pt% 37
Jordan Mickey - 13ppg, 7rpg, 4bpg, FG% 56, FT% 73
It's safe to say that the Tigers have more than a few players who can fill it up from deep. Don't think about sending them to the free-throw line as they have a few guys who 70% or better form there. This will be the first team who can match Kentucky's defense in the paint as they average the same amount of block (7) per game. This will be a very interesting game to say the least...
As I said before, these two teams go way back... Here's a look at the history between these to SEC foes...
The Cats lead the all-time series with a record of 83-24. The first game was played in 1933 ending in a Kentucky victory.
The Cats own the longest win streak of the series at 19 dating from 1933 until 1960. The longest win streak LSU has had is three and they have accomplished that feat three different times.
Kentucky has won the last five match-ups with the last loss coming inside Rupp Arena in 2009 67-58.
This game will be a war as it always is in Baton Rouge. This will be a very important game for that Cats going forward in the SEC as this will be another tough test on the road. I firmly believe that the Cats' season rides solely on these next two road games (@ LSU, @ Missouri). The will be the so called measuring stick to the remainder of the season.
We will find out tonight at 9pm if the Georgia game was a sign of things to come or if this team still has some soul searching to do...