What more is there to say, the #1 team in the country is playing tonight in Columbia, the so called #1 player in the country is ready to lead them. This is a battle of one team that has all the momentum in the SEC compared to a team that is still looking for another player to step up other then Downey.
Keys to a Gamecock Win
1.) Someone other then Downey will need to score, and score often. Kentucky will play a match-up zone to take away Downey’s ability to get into the paint. This should leave the wings open at times for Galloway and Railey-Ross to knock down some three’s.
2.) Carolina can’t rely on the 3-pointer, they will need to drive to the basket. UK is long and will surely have an advantage in the rebounding department. This is why USC will need to take high quality shots, or at least be in a position to pull down a rebound on the offensive board.
3.) Sam Muldrow will need to have the game of his career at USC. He is going to have his hands full with Cousins and Patterson on the low block. Sam will need to step up and be a force not only on the defensive glass, but stopping the Wildcats big men from having a field day against the small USC front line.
4.) Jefferson and Steed just play your game. We don’t expect you to pull down 10 boards and score 10 points apiece. We just need something out of you. If you could combine for a double double that would be great.
What Will Happen: Upset special, maybe? Kentucky will let USC hang around in the first half before making a big run late in the first half. USC will have to play catch up most of the 2nd half leading to a blow out win by Kentucky. Downey will again prove that he is the best player on the court, but will fall short of his freshman opponent as, Wall (a larger guard) will wear down the faster Downey with time. I would be shocked if Downey scores over 20 points tonight. Look for Coach Horn to have the troops ready to play but even with a packed Colonial Life Arena rocking, Kentucky is just to good for the injury laden Gamecocks.
Prediction: Kentucky 72 USC 62
Don’t forget tonight is $1 hot dog night, so come hungry….