Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kentucky vs Lafayette, Pa....A Preview

Kentucky vs Lafayette, Pa.…
11/16/12..Friday 7PM..TV-FS SOUTH
(First meeting)
Barclays Center Classic 
(Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.)


Lafayette Leopards

Location: Easton, Pa.
Enrollment: 2,406
Arena: 3,500

Head Coach: Fran O’Hanlon
Career Record: 239-260 (47.9%)
17 Seasons all at Lafayette

2011-12 Record: 13-18
2011-12 Patriot Record: 7-7

2012-13 Record: 1-1

St. Francis 76 Lafayette 65
Lafayette 98 LIU-Brooklyn 94 (OT)

PPG-70
FG%-45.8%
3 PT %-43.5%
FT%-65.3%
RPG-34
APG-12.5
TO’s-12.5
SPG-4.5
BPG-7.5

Probable Starting Lineup

Dan Trist-F 6’9” Soph……………PPG-23.0
Levi Giese-F 6’9” Sr……………..PPG-4.5
Seth Hinrichs-G 6’7” Soph………PPG-16.5
Bryce Scott-G 6’2” Fr……………PPG-2.0
Les Smith-G 6’0” Jr……………...PPG-4.0

Other Key Players

Tony Johnson-G 6’0” Sr…………PPG16.5
Joey Ptasinski-G 6’2” Soph……...PPG-9.5

Certainly, the primary focus for Lafayette is to be competitive in their Patriot league….and they hope that scheduling the likes of UK, Maryland, Minnesota and Stanford will help toughen the team up….even though they know they will be losses.
Lafayette was one of the top 3 point shooting teams last season….ranking 24th nationally hitting 38.5% and averaging 9.1 perimeter shots made. Although, the Leopards lost a couple of their perimeter shooters, they return two very good long range shooters in Seth Hinrichs and Joey Ptasinski. Of course, Lafayette hopes that by having a great night shooting the 3 ball, they might catch lighting in a bottle and upset one of the big boys on their schedule.

UK returns to Rupp arena after defeating Maryland and losing to Duke. Importantly, the coaching staff and players learned a lot regarding their weaknesses by playing both good teams. These young Cats now must focus on correcting those weaknesses and improve their overall game. UK did show improvement in the 2 games, but still have a long way to go to make a serious run in the NCAA tourney.

Hopefully, Harrow will be healthy enough to return to the court as PG. Otherwise, Goodwin and Polson will have to run the point until Harrow returns. While it’s OK for Goodwin to play some at the point, Cal would likely prefer him to play mostly at the 2 guard where he is most effective.

Coach Cal and the coaching staff have their work cut out for them because of the youth and inexperience on this team. However, in both early games, UK fans got to see the great talent on this team and their obvious potential.

The PG is the most important position and whoever plays it…..must get the Cats in their offense and look for the open man. UK has two very good long range shooters in Wiltjer and Mays….somehow there must be some plays and screens to free these two for some decent looks. At the same time, both need to work hard to get open…..it definitely hurt UK in the Duke game that Wiltjer got only 5 shots and only 2 from the perimeter. The Cats must establish a solid perimeter game.

The Lafayette game will be important for these young players to work on improving various aspects of their overall game. Certainly, they will need to defend the perimeter against Lafayette. This game should be another step toward correcting problem areas.

I see UK defeating Lafayette by 25 points…..however, the final margin will likely be determined by how much time the bench gets in the game. GO CATS!

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