ESPN analyst Darrin Horn shared three things Kentucky must do to defeat Louisville Friday night.
INDIANAPOLIS (WDRB) – Earlier today, I posted Darrin Horn's checklist of three things that Louisville needed to do to defeat Kentucky Friday night in the semifinals of the Midwest Regional at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Now it's time for the flip side. Horn, a college basketball analyst who coached at Western Kentucky and South Carolina, also gave me a checklist of three things that the Wildcats needed to do to defeat the Cardinals.
THREE FACTORS FOR KENTUCKY
1. "They obviously have to limit Louisville's points off turnovers. Not just turning it over. There is a difference between turnovers and turnovers that lead to points. Russ Smith and Chris Jones do a phenomenal job of turning turnovers into points. Rick Pitino's teams are always good at that.
"If you look at Louisville's loss to Kentucky and their three losses in the conference, on the year Louisville averages like 22 points per game off turnovers. In those games they were only in the 14-16 range. (U of L had 14 points off turnovers in UK's win at Rupp Arena in December.)
"Everybody talks about your defense, defense, defense. You can't have a wide margin (in turnovers) unless you take care of the ball. Louisville is at 10.6 (turnovers committed per game) on the year. That's the reason their turnover rate is so special. They don't turn it over.
"You're going to have turnovers, but what's important is how you turn it over. If I travel, I get to set my defense. If I throw it out of bounds, I get to set my defense. If I charge, I get to set my defense. If they take it from me or I hand it to them, it turns into points.
"Not just taking care of the ball, but limiting points off turnovers. Louisville is great at that."
2. "This sounds terrible. I think Kentucky has to make shots. Let's be honest. They shot the ball well the other day against Wichita State. They made them at the right time. It's the NCAA Tournament. You've got to do that.
"They've got to make timely jump shots. For example the other day, every time Wichita State went on a run, they did a good job of answering. Maybe a better way to say it is, they've got to be careful of not letting Louisville get on consecutive runs. Louisville is going to make runs. They can't let them get on back-to-back 8-to-2, 12-to-4 runs.
"They look up and they're down 14. One of the ways you do that is by making timely jump shots. The Harrison Twins and James Young have to make shots.
3. "The third thing is they've got to take advantage of what John Calipari has had them doing all year, which is their size and length and do the job on the offensive glass. They've been phenomenal.
"One thing that I think goes underrated, I really think that when you're good on the glass it leads, not only to the points, but fouls. Now you get to the foul line, you get into the bonus. You get people out of the game. Louisville is thin on the front line. If that ends up being Montrezl Harrell and Stephan Van Treese in foul trouble, it becomes an issue."