Tuesday night, Kentucky got another "must win" when Ole Miss and Marshall Henderson came to Rupp. It was a win that was refreshing to see as EVERYONE showed up for the game including, Willie Cauley-Stein who had been M.I.A. the last four games. For this team to reach it's full potential, Cauley-Stein must be at his best each and every night. I never thought I'd say that this team would rely so heavily on Willie, but the simple fact is these guys simply cannot stop dribble penetration and without Willie, there is no one to protect the rim resulting in WAY TOO MANY easy layups, just go back and watch the Missouri game again and you'll see what I'm talking about.
However, when Willie is playing to his potential, you get the results we saw Tuesday night against Ole Miss. With that win, Kentucky took sole possession of second place in the SEC right behind rival Florida who will be in Rupp for ESPN College Game Day in one week. If Kentucky can win it's next two games against Mississippi State and Auburn, both of which are on the road and is no easy feat, they will have a nice little win streak under their belt heading into their match-up against the Gators
Up next for the Cats is the Bulldogs of Mississippi State, a team who Kentucky has already defeated once this season when they played back in January by a score of 85-63. This time won't be so easy as it's on the road and MSU is an extremely tough place to play.
Here's a look at some history on the Bulldogs of Mississippi State...
LOCATION: Starkville, Mississippi
COLORS: Maroon/White (NO DOUBT THERE WILL BE A WHITE OUT)
Playing in Starkville is no easy task as they ALWAYS have a very large and loud crowd when Kentucky comes to town. It's more than likely the only game that sells out all season long. This will be a tough environment, but at this stage of the season, this team should be used to tough environments having already played at Vandy, Arkansas, UNC and Missouri.
Coming into the game, the Bulldogs have a record of 13-9 (3-6 SEC) so to say that this is another "must win" for the Cats goes without saying. On the other hand, this is also a "must win" for MSU as they obviously have NO quality wins and getting one over Kentucky would be huge for their post season resume.
Here's a look at some MSU season statistics...
Now it's time for a look at the history between these two long time SEC rivals...
The Cats lead this series with a record of 83-18. Kentucky won the last meeting, one that came back in January of this year by a score of 85-63. The first ever meeting between the Cats and Bulldogs came in 1933 in the SEC Tournament Championship with the Cats winning 46-27.
Like I said in an earlier post, if the Cats take care of business at home and win the games their SUPPOSED to on the road, they should get a decent seed come March. Saturday is another chance for this team to take a step in the right direction and get things figured out before Florida comes to Rupp next Saturday...