Monday, December 31, 2012

Kentucky vs Eastern Michigan....A Preview

Kentucky vs Eastern Michigan 1/2/13 (Wednesday 6 PM) TV-ESPNU
First game in the series

Eastern Michigan Eagles

Location: Ypsilanti, Mich.(Population 19,435--6 miles east of Ann Arbor)
Enrollment: 22,638
Arena: 8,824

Head Coach: Rob Murphy
Career Record: 14-18 (43.8%) One season at E.Michigan

2011-12 Record: 14-18
2011-12 MAC Record: 9-7
2011-12 Postseason: None

2012-13 Record: 7-5

E. Michigan 66 Rochester 52
Jacksonville St. 61 E. Michigan 54
E. Michigan 60 Eastern Illinois 52
E. Michigan 60 IPFW 47
E. Michigan 57 Texas-Pan American 47
E. Michigan 75 Madonna 57
Syracuse 84 E. Michigan 48
E. Michigan 47 Purdue 44
Illinois-Chicago 74 E. Michigan 48
Michigan 93 E. Michigan 54
Oakland 59 E. Michigan 57
E. Michigan 87 Siena Heights 49

Eastern Michigan

RPG-35.9 (-1.0)

Probable Starting Lineup

Jalen Ross-G 5’11” Fr……………………….4.6 PPG
Daylen Harrison-G/F 6’6” Jr……………….. 10.8 PPG
Jamel Harris-F 6’9” Sr……………………….4.1 PPG
Glen Bryant-F 6’8” Jr……………………..…10.3 PPG
Da’Shonte Riley-7’0” Jr………………………3.9 PPG

Key Sub

Derek Thompson-G 6’3” Sr………………….12.3 PPG

E. Michigan did defeat a 6-6 struggling Purdue team, but they were crushed by both Syracuse and Michigan by over 35 points. The Eagles shoot poorly from the field and the perimeter….although they have one player, Derek Thompson, who has hit 32-82 from the perimeter for a very solid 39%.

The Eagles do have good height on the frontline with Daylen Harrison and De’Shonte Riley leading the team in rebounds. Harrison also leads in steals and TO’s and shoots a terrific 89.5% from the FT line. Freshman guard Jalen Ross leads in assists with 39. MAC teams can often be very competitive, but thus far the Eagles are not a very good team.

UK is fresh off their best performance of the season when they barely lost to top 5 ranked Louisville by only 3 points. It is obvious that all the camp Cal practices have significantly improved this very young talented UK team….especially, the intensity and effort by the Cats. UK showed a lot of heart and effort coming back from a 17 point deficit to within an eyelash and missed FT’s of upsetting the Cardinals.

Ryan Harrow is now playing PG with great confidence and his impact on the team,s play has been great. Harrow amazingly played 39 minutes in the UL game and despite the Cardinal press….Ryan made zero TO’s.

The UL game showed two different Archie Goodwin’s….1st half Goodwin was missing in action while in the 2nd half Goodwin scored 19 points. Still Archie needs to play with more control….fewer TO’s…. and more consistency.

Coach Cal seems to be frustrated by the subpar effort and play by Alex Poythress. Alex has really struggled despite his great talent. Now, Cal has indicated that he will work individually with Alex pre or post practice. UK needs Poythress to start meeting expectations and give a lot more effort in games.

Julius Mays needs to work on his shot and break out of his horrible shooting slump. Fortunately, Kyle Wiltjer is now hitting his perimeter shots and Kyle hit some huge shots in the UL game at critical times.

Obviously, free throw shooting is a major concern for several players….UK simply can’t shoot 50%-60% from the charity line and not have those missed points possibility cost them some close games.

UK should no trouble with E. Michigan and I’m sure Cal wants to see the Cats continue to play with increased effort….and especially some solid improvement from Alex Poythress. After the E. Michigan game, UK has 8 days before going to Vandy to start the SEC schedule….so there is some more needed time to practice and improve for these young Cats. One thing is for sure, with 4 losses now….UK needs to start winning a lot of SEC games! I see UK defeating E. Michigan by at least 30 points. GO CATS!

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