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What is the biggest story line in this Kentucky-Louisville matchup?

Bam Adebayo faces his first college road game at Louisville. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

What will be the most interesting story line in Wednesday’s Kentucky-Louisville basketball game?

Is it that John Calipari has owned Rick Pitino with an 8-1 edge since he got to UK? Is it how the Kentucky freshmen will react to their first road game? Could it be how Malik Monk responds to his incredible performance Saturday?

I asked several media members who cover Kentucky basketball for their thoughts on the top story line.

Jeff Drummond, Publisher All-Wildcats.com: “How will UK’s freshmen respond to the first really hostile crowd they face in their careers? Will they be able to overcome it, or will we see some of the decision-making errors that plagued them in the UCLA loss?”

Tom Leach, UK Radio Network/Leach Report: “How well does Kentucky shoot the ball from the perimeter.  I would expect Louisville to clog up the driving lanes and use double teams versus Bam Adebayo.  A guy like Derek Willis, to stretch the floor with 3-point shooting, could be a big key for the Cats in this matchup.”

Larry Glover, WVLK LarryGloverLive: “For me, the biggest story is…Will Malik Monk back up Saturday’s 47 point masterpiece with another great game?  If he delivers another terrific performance, then UK wins and he becomes one of the front runner in the National Player of the Year race.”

Keith Taylor, Kentucky Forward/Northern Kentucky Tribune: “The biggest story line is and always will be for me, the Rick Pitino and John Calipari matchup. Former UK coach now coaching rival team, not many of those coaching matchups around the country. I think guard play is always a factor between the two teams and will not change this year. “

Mark Buerger, WLAP Sunday Morning Sports: “Can UK run against Louisville defense versus can Louisville score at all? Kentucky has to run to be successful. Louisville has had very Louisville-like problems scoring again this year. If they struggle to find points against what has been a sub-par UK defense, it could be a long year for them.”

Next: Who is the key player for each team?

4 comments

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  1. Larry Pup

    I agree with Keith Taylor..the big story-line is the two coaches themselves. Will Cal pad is streak against Pitino or can Pitino break it?

  2. TheProfessor

    Little Ricky is already trying to lower expectations on the basis of “match up” problems with the Cats. Imagine that from Slick, Quick Rick. I believe UK has a clear edge at the 1 and 2 positions. Like UNC, Briscoe will be asked to guard a taller player at the 3, and if he is posted up repeatedly, Cal will have to try Willis on the guy. As with UNC, this match up could be a problem for the Cats. The 5 is the critical match up, IMO, but if BAM can stay out of foul trouble, I think he has the advantage. UK’s biggest problem will be at the 4, and Willis/ Gabriel will have their hands full.

    The coaching edge goes to UK by light years, and Pitino has all the pressure to stop the UK winning against him NOW!!! How will he handle it, and how will his players respond for their coach is a big unknown.

    The biggest obstacle to a Cat win tomorrow is the venue and the crazy UL fans that will populate it. My hope is for a substantial UK run early in the game to shut them up.

  3. LindaS

    It’s always about the coaches to me, players change but it is always the same two coaches…One because we love him and little slick quick rick because he speaks with forked tongue, is loathsome, he gave up a job were he was loved and then came back as a traitor. Oh and don’t forget the morals, he has none…2 sex scandals under his watch, one personal and one that unforgivable. It’s fun to sling the mud at him, he has no defense. After the fartolina game this week, loserville is going to be putting up a wall around Monk and leaving the other boys open. They don’t have enough players to hand the whole team…

  4. Cats79

    Everyone is entitle there opinion about Rick Pitino, but I don’t have hard feelings toward to him he did bring our basketball program back to it’s feet by winning 2 titles { should have been 3 and I don’t have no grudge against him by leaving and coaching at Louisvile like some UK die hard fans are. What he has done come to his personal life is his business and no other. We all not perfect!! GO CATS!

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