UK expects loud crowd in first road test



Notes before UK travels to play Indiana:

  • Indiana native Marquis Teague tried to act like this would be just another game. His first response to a question about playing Indiana: “I’m going to come out like it’s any other game.”

    But it’s not. Indiana was one of his first offers. They recruited him hard, and he considered them seriously.

    When he chose UK, he said fans, friends and teachers tried to get him to change his mind.

    “It bothered me,” Teague said. “I talked to my dad a little bit about it. But now I’m used to it, I’ve seen so much of it.”

    Part of his recruitment meant going to Assembly Hall for some Big Ten games and seeing how loud Assembly Hall can get. Saturday, that noise will be directed at UK, and mostly at him.

    “I’m going to get a lot of boos,” said Teague, who will have family and friends in attendance. “I already know.”

  • What’s Indiana’s strategy to win? Head coach John Calipari said the Hoosiers will first look at 7-foot center Cody Zeller in the paint. The problem for the Cats? If they double down, that leaves perimeter shooters open on a team that makes 44 percent of its 3-pointers.

    “We know they’re going to come out and knock down a lot of jump shots and threes,” Teague said. “That makes them pretty dangerous.”

    And on defense, “Any time I’ve coached against Tom (Crean), you have to be ready for some junk defenses,” Calipari said. “One year I went up there, they hadn’t played any zone until we played. Then they played all zone. You have to be ready for all kinds of things.”

  • Calipari expects Assembly Hall to be at the same level Rupp Arena was when North Carolina came to town. “It should be a festive crowd,” Calipari said.
  • How does an 8-0 team ranked No. 1 in the nation keep its edge? By finding whatever slights they can.

    That includes the fact UK lost three first-place votes in the coaches poll.

    “It’s funny that we’ve won and we get less votes the week after we beat North Carolina,” Calipari said. “I don’t know if that’s people’s hope or their opinion.”

    It also includes an ESPN article in which 3 of the 7 writers picked Indiana.

    “We see the things on ESPN,” Teague said. “Coach Cal tells us they’re picking us to lose. There’s a lot of games to be the upset and they chose ours.”

    So no, UK isn’t getting content yet.

    “Because the people think Ohio State should be No. 1 and this will be our first loss,” Teague said.

  • I don’t think Teague meant anything of this — at least not in the way I’m making it — but I thought this quote was telling when asked how this year’s Hoosiers stack up to the ones he went and saw in person as a high schooler: “Last year, their teams worked very hard and listened to their coach a lot. This year they have some talented players. They have a McDonald’s All-American and their point guard is doing pretty well.”

    That’s the simple difference: Indiana actually has some talent this season, mostly in the form of Zeller. While most UK fans are writing Indiana’s chances off, that would be an unwise decision for UK’s players to make. And it doesn’t seem like one they will, considering they’ve had a whole week to both come down from the high of the North Carolina win and gear up for the Indiana game.

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