I had thought it couldn't be easier to make fun of UK than when the Tubster was around...little did I know that Calipari would make it even harder not to make fun of UK. (That aside, they are playing great ball and I am looking forward to the game tomorrow...I just hope to goodness we win by ourselves and not in retrospect five years from now).
Anyway, I've never been comfortable with the idea of playing with "house money" though many analysts continue to apply that terminology to the game tomorrow. However, if one thing this season has made me more comfortable with this team than teams of the past, it is the "swagga" factor. I am a firm believer in the power of Memorial Magic, and I look for Memorial to be at its best for tomorrow's game. CKS suggested before the game at Ole Miss that the team needed to get its road swagga back. Though rough at first, the team did eventually reach a comfort level and the swagga returned. After the last outing in Memorial, I'm hoping the Magic and the swagga combine to leave us with a win that we'll be talking about for years to come.
Swagga factors after the jump.
The swagga factors I'm anticipating we'll see in tomorrow's game:
- Jermaine Beal: Expect some Dolla swagga threes and a fading jumpshot.
- Jeffery Taylor: Expect at least two emphatic dunks and at least one those in transition.
- Brad Tinsley: BT played some excellent and intense D on Thursday...if he keeps that up, it will definitely qualify as swagga.
- A.J. Ogilvy: Sometimes swagga is subtle...I'm expecting some soft rolls from down under and a definite swagga at the free throw line.
- Andre Walker: Is there any smoother swagga than a glue guy that seems to fly under the radar? I'm hoping his shoulder is at full strength and that his foul issues at Ole Miss have been forgotten.
- Festus Ezeli: I'm anticipating at least one huge (and timely) block from Fes, and a dunk that gets the student section even louder.
John Jenkins: No need to define JoJen's swagga...I'm hoping he comes back at full strength tomorrow after illness and some not-as-hot-as-normal shooting in his last two games.
- Lance Goulbourne: I'd love to see a powerful dunk or a key three...though my heart sinks every time he shoots one of the shots Alex Gordon would support.
I think a good balance between the players (as opposed to a solo or duo performance) will be essential. In my opinion, the most important key to the swagga for this game is to make sure Kentucky doesn't get a swagga of their own. Keeping them off balance and not letting them get comfortable will point to a Vanderbilt victory.