Kentucky enters Saturday’s contest with an abnormal 1-4 record. The Wildcats lone win was their season opener vs Morehead St. They have since dropped contests to Richmond, Kansas, Ga. Tech, and Notre Dame. It is safe to say Kentucky is struggling and not the Kentucky of normal, but make no mistake, Coach Calipari will have his team ready to battle the Tar Heels. It is important the Tar Heels come ready to play.
Kentucky players to note:
*Guard-Brandon Boston Jr.-averaging 14.4 points per game.
*Guard-Terrence Clarke-averaging 13.8 points per game. Shooting 49% from the field, including 31% from three.
*Olivier Sarr-transfer from Wake Forest. At seven-foot tall, Sarr has size to match the Carolina bigs and is averaging 12.2 points and 6 rebounds per game.
Things to watch for the Tar Heels:
*It’s time to move beyond the flashes of good play. Establishing a rhythm on offense is much needed.
*Tighten up the defense. Kentucky comes in shooting just 27.5% (30/109) from three. Carolina cannot afford to let Kentucky get hot from behind the arc.
*Overall shooting-can the Heels find consistency at the line and gain some confidence from deep?
*Dominate the paint-this will be a theme all year long. Feed the post and use easy buckets to open up the perimeter. Also, must win the rebounding battle.
I’ve said this in prior articles, but it is extremely important the Heels get off to a good start and play well for an entire 40 minutes. Yes Kentucky is 1-4, but Kentucky is still loaded with talent. Similar to the Tar Heels, they are a team that is figuring itself out and working on coming together. If the Tar Heels play well and win, they will gain much needed confidence and positive momentum going into conference play.
TV info-the matchup will be televised on CBS at 2:00 PM eastern time