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Kentucky Hoops Fan: The Cats Will Be Tested in Indiana
The Kentucky Wildcats have another tough game on December 10th against Indiana. By all accounts, the Cats are bigger, stronger, and more talented than the 8-0 Hoosiers. Of course, one of the great things about college sports is unpredictable match-ups like this one. It could go either way.
The Hoosiers have yet to play any ranked opponents. Their strongest opponent so far was North Carolina State, a middle of the road ACC team with a new coach. Still, NC State is good and Indiana beat them in their own building. They also beat Butler who is clearly coming down from two great seasons in a row. However, Indiana has a good team that may end up in the top 20 soon. The game with Kentucky will serve as the Hoosiers' first real test.
Their best player is Cody Zeller, the younger brother of North Carolina forward Tyler Zeller. The 6'11" Zeller is off to a great start. The addition of Cody Zeller gives them a go-to player down on the block who can score and rebound. Another player to watch out for is Jordan Hulls. He dropped 20 on NC State and can cause some defensive problems for Kentucky. Hulls is hitting over 57% of his shots from the floor including 53% from three point land. Three point defense will be huge for the Cats.
Kentucky is one of the most hated teams in college hoops. They always have the bull's eye on their chest. On top of that, there will be more than 17,000 Indiana fans at Assembly Hall and all of them are going to be jacked up. Assembly Hall has one of the biggest student sections in the country at 7,600 and is one of college basketball's toughest places to play. With the game being played later in the day, they will be especially loud. The Indiana fans have been looking forward to this game and were chanting "Beat Kentucky" toward the end of the Hoosiers' 84-50 win over Stetson. The Cats will need to keep the crowd from getting them out of their game.
Some people think that the officiating might be a factor. If the referees call some early touch fouls on Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, or Michael Kidd-Gilgrist, it could change the game. Obviously, true road games like this are more difficult. The young Kentucky team has played in Madison Square Garden and they've played in the most hyped game of the year on national television. They are battle tested.
Anyone that says Indiana has no chance is crazy. In last year's game, Indiana was tied with Kentucky with five minutes to go and they didn't have Zeller. A Hooser win would be huge for Tom Crean in building the program.
The young Kentucky team may wilt or they may step up as they did against North Carolina. Maybe, the young players will take Indiana too lightly after the big win against the Tar Heels. They should be fully rested and prepared, though. Whatever the outcome, it should be another great game.
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