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Let's Talk Michigan State

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  • Let's Talk Michigan State

    Friends, here we are again. It seems like yesterday that we suffered through the disappointing overtime against Auburn. In fact this was one of the fastest off-seasons I can ever remember. Like always, I'm looking forward to firing it back up and seeing what the Cats have this year.

    Of course Kentucky starts out big with #1 Michigan St. The game might play out a bit differently than everyone thought because Michigan St. will possibly have two key players out--one definitely in Josh Langford, and Kyle Ahrens is questionable. And of course Kentucky isn't sure if it will have Nick Richards.

    This game is likely going to come down to the point guard position and whether we see the Ashton Hagans we saw in the North Carolina game last year, or whether we see the Hagans who took the court against Auburn in the Elite 8. Cassius Winston is the likely Naismith Player of the Year, so you can pretty much bet he's going to bring it. How Hagans can defend him (without fouling) will probably tell the tale.

  • #2
    Unless they are much worse than everyone says or we become magically improved, I expect UK to get blown out. We might be an effective small ball team by March.

    Go Cats?
    Jordan Peterson is my spirit animal...

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    • #3
      I'm not expecting a win, but I'm not expecting a blowout. I'm guessing we'll be down 8-10 for the majority of the game, make a late push, and then lose by about 10.

      Just not sure where the rebounding and toughness come from this early.

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      • #4
        Michigan St. generally is rough around the edges early on. Notorious for losing early games. So I wouldn't expect a blowout, especially not with the injuries they've had.

        Point guard usually is a good barometer for how a college game is going to go. Cassius Winston's an odd player. Plays like the best YMCA player you've ever seen. I saw a game last year that he was abysmal in the first half in and then he stayed at it and dominated the last ten minutes. He won't get down on himself if Hagans gets into him early.

        In these Champions Classic games a lot of times it comes down to big individual performances from Kentucky players. I'm thinking Malik Monk three years ago, Kevin Knox two years ago, etc. If we can get a coming-out party from somebody like Hagans or Maxey then we can win.

        I expect it to be ugly and close(ish).

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        • #5
          I don't have a lot of expectations for this team, especially early on. I think we have some great players with excellent length and size, but we're still young and I don't think we have the size down low to contend with them.

          Like Spirit said, I think we might be able to have some success going small, but I'm not sure our freshmen are ready for this level of play.
          When he was a kid Lord, he never imagined all the ways that the city could bring a country boy down.

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          • #6
            Regarding interior play, Michigan St. has some questions too. The reason they're #1 in the country has everything to do with those two guards--one of whom might be out for the year.

            Their best interior play is Xavier Tillman. He led them in rebounding last year. They lost their next two best rebounders, and if their exhibition game against Albion College is any indication they're going to rely on a guy named Thomas Kithier, who averaged five minutes a game last year. Freshmen Malik Hall will also probably play down low some, as will Marcus Bingham Jr. Bingham averaged about 4 minutes per last year.

            So not a whole lot of ballers in the post for them either, though they will have the game's best frontcourt player in Tillman.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post
              Friends, here we are again. It seems like yesterday that we suffered through the disappointing overtime against Auburn. In fact this was one of the fastest off-seasons I can ever remember. Like always, I'm looking forward to firing it back up and seeing what the Cats have this year.

              Of course Kentucky starts out big with #1 Michigan St. The game might play out a bit differently than everyone thought because Michigan St. will possibly have two key players out--one definitely in Josh Langford, and Kyle Ahrens is questionable. And of course Kentucky isn't sure if it will have Nick Richards.

              This game is likely going to come down to the point guard position and whether we see the Ashton Hagans we saw in the North Carolina game last year, or whether we see the Hagans who took the court against Auburn in the Elite 8. Cassius Winston is the likely Naismith Player of the Year, so you can pretty much bet he's going to bring it. How Hagans can defend him (without fouling) will probably tell the tale.
              Probably because this is the earliest we've ever started a season, and I hate it. Mid November should be the start, but those days are gone...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lilproUK98 View Post

                Probably because this is the earliest we've ever started a season, and I hate it. Mid November should be the start, but those days are gone...
                Does seem early. I went back and Jon Scott'd some recent schedules and it looks like we did have our first real game on November 6th one year, but this is the earliest start.

                Where it really starts to suck is when we do that thing where we start to play like a football team in December and get one game a week. I'd much rather start on November 15th but play a couple more games in December.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post

                  Does seem early. I went back and Jon Scott'd some recent schedules and it looks like we did have our first real game on November 6th one year, but this is the earliest start.

                  Where it really starts to suck is when we do that thing where we start to play like a football team in December and get one game a week. I'd much rather start on November 15th but play a couple more games in December.
                  That was the Duke game last yr. (Also started on Nov 6th in 07-08) CBB officially moved the start of the season up one week last yr, tipping it off with the Champions Classic. The 92-93 season started on Dec. 2nd lol.

                  Almost every season since then started Nov. 15 or later. Most from 93-2004 started after Nov. 20

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                  • #10
                    We played Duke in the champions classic on November 6 last year.
                    When he was a kid Lord, he never imagined all the ways that the city could bring a country boy down.

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                    • #11
                      It would seem to me not having the Lankford kid will be a major liability for them. I also question if BOTH of us are not overrated. If I was a gambler , no way I would bet on this game

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                      • #12
                        I think at times in the exhibitions we've looked okay, and you can definitely see the potential there long term. But I don't think Kentucky's at all ready right now, it's just a question of whether Michigan State is more ready than we are.

                        Tomorrow night will be fun as long as you keep in mind that it's in no way a measure of this team's potential and that it's a long time til March.
                        When he was a kid Lord, he never imagined all the ways that the city could bring a country boy down.

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                        • #13
                          Hope springs eternal. I'm excited for the new beginning. You really never know when someone is going to just breakout and reach his potential. IQ certainly looks.much improved. I fully expect this to be a "work in progress" type of season.

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                          • #14
                            Don't see Michigan State playing as well as Puke did last year. Don't see Cal letting that happen again either. So I'll be the first to go out on a limb and say CATS by 3.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jload View Post
                              I also question if BOTH of us are not overrated.
                              Problem is, it's hard to see who might not be overrated at this point.

                              It's a very weak year in college basketball, on paper at least. This might bode well for Kentucky. Other programs have snuck their way into national titles with flawed teams over the last 10 or 15 years.

                              Also, the game is a guard's game. Having two guards who went through some stuff last year should make it so that we aren't as blown back as we were last year at this time. We weren't even sure who the point guard was going into the Duke game.

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                              With the recent discussion of rules and what is and is not posted I set out to find what our mission statement originally was and this is what I found:...

                              Let's Talk Michigan State

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