By LARRY VAUGHT
Mississippi State coach Ben Howland doesn’t leave any doubt about how he thinks Kentucky is playing going into today’s game with Kentucky.
“Number one, they’re hot. They’re the hottest team in the country maybe. They’ve won nine in a row against good teams [on] foreign courts, much less their own,” Howland said Friday.
“They’re playing great. They’re really good. John’s [Calipari] team is getting better throughout the year. Typically, they’re starting young guys. As that team matures [and] you see where they are now from when they started … It’s amazing.”
Howland has already seen UK once and the Wildcats blitzed his team by 21 points on Jan. 22 in a game that UK’s defense dominated.
“We definitely have to do a better job with them on the glass. We’ve got to do a better job offensively. The first time we played them, I think we played rushed,” Howland said. “We’ve got to be more patient once we’re in the half court and move the ball.
“We did a good job fighting back. We got off to a wrong start with that game. We put in the wrong starting lineup. It was a bad beginning right from the get go up there in Lexington. We will have the starting five right for sure [for tomorrow’s game].”
Howland would like to find a way to get the ball inside for his interior players to get more scoring chances against UK this time.
“I thought we have done a better job at that since that game especially getting Reggie [Perry] the ball. I thought Reggie did a good job against them the first time that they played,” Howland said.
“Since that point, I think Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU and Auburn – he’s been very good. We’ve tried to make an effort to do that. We need to get Abdul [Ado] and Aric [Holman] touches in there as well.”