Kentucky Basketball: Buckle up, lace ’em up as UK and Bama battle for SEC top spot

Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kentucky basketball
Isaiah Jackson of the Kentucky Wildcats. Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

Mismatch: Don’t get caught in one if you’re UK

The Tide offense will play off mismatches spreading things out and taking defenders one-on-one. Calipari has been teaching and hyping court awareness over the holiday break and they will need to be effective tonight and not allow Alabama to confuse and take advantage of them.

They also must play help defense and defend the paint something that until Florida had been a lost art. The problem with getting beat is picking up cheap fouls.

Calipari mentioned on his coach’s show on Monday he has been pleased with Isaiah Jackson’s defense and while he has a tendency to get behind offensive players or let them slide by he somehow manages to blocks shots as well.

It’s kind of wash but Cal likes the effort none the less.

Jackson said he and his teammates are ready for this important battle.

"“I feel like it’s very important. Every game that we’ve played this year was a war. So, it’ll continue on. This one is a war too. We’re preparing every day for practice and then practice to prepare for every team we face including Alabama. We’ll come in fighting.”"

Alabama will most likely go right at Olivier Sarr and Allen trying to get them in early foul trouble. Sending both of these to the bench will in effect shut down the inside and outside shooting and make for a long night for the Wildcats.

But if they can avoid it and match up effectively they should be able to keep pace.