Many people considered the game in the Champions Classic against the Duke Blue Devils to be the toughest early test for the Kentucky Wildcats. Duke is now undefeated, having knocked off Kentucky, Louisville, and most recently Ohio State, but the Dookies may not be the most difficult task for the Cats. It just be tonight’s game against one loss, un-ranked Fighting Irish.
The Joyce Center is one of the most difficult environments to play in in college basketball, and that’s the reason the un-ranked Irish are a one point favorite over the #8 Kentucky Wildcats. Notre Dame has made a living off of knocking off top ten teams at home. And make no mistake, the players on Notre Dame have had this game circled since it was announced that it was happening. It’s not everyday that you get a legendary team such as the Kentucky Wildcats walking into your arena.
The Joyce holds over 9,000 people and Kentucky was given only 50 tickets. Mike Brey is one of the most underrated coaches as he gets a lot out of players that aren’t highly recruited. It’s a blackout. The Wildcats are very young and Ryan Harrow is back after missing three straight games. An loss here is not unlikely.
Speaking of Ryan Harrow, it doesn’t look like he will be starting at point guard tonight against the Irish. John Calipari stated in his press conference yesterday that Archie Goodwin will remain at point guard because he has earned it. And Cal is absolutely right. His assist numbers have gone up every game that he has played (2, 4, 3, 4, 9) while his turnovers remain about the same (3, 4, 3, 4, 3). Calipari feels comfortable and confident with Goodwin, but also stated that his best teams had two point guards.
And to Ryan Harrow’s credit, he is taking this all in stride. He said that he understands the decision and he is ready to come in and help his team any way that he can. This decision doesn’t mean that Goodwin will start the rest of the way at point guard, and I for one think that we will see him back at the two spot after Harrow gets himself back into the groove of things.