Louisville Basketball's Keys To Beating The Kentucky Wildcats

Louisville and Kenny Payne need this win more than ever in 2023

Louisville v Kentucky
Louisville v Kentucky / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Louisville's Defensive Keys To Victory:

Louisville will have its hands full with the Kentucky offense and will need to do anything to slow it down. Players to keep an eye on against Louisville specifically will be Aaron Bradshaw, Reed Sheppard, and Antonio Reeves.

The Cardinals need to try and slow down Kentucky's "run and gun" strategy. If Louisville tries to out bucket Kentucky then they will just be flat out of luck, and that is how Louisville will get blown out in this game. Payne needs to try and slow down the game as much as possible, and make Kentucky play in the half-court as much as possible.

If Louisville can limit the amount of possesions in this game then they may have a chance at upsetting the cats. Outrebounding and hustling on defense will also be a big factor. Kentucky is quick and will outrun you if you give them a chance. Louisville cannot let them get up early and continue to run up and down the court.

Slowing the game down and playing physical is Louisville's best bet.

Louisville's Overall Keys To Victory:

Louisville will need nearly everything to go right in this game and will need to break a lot of negative strides in their style of play if they want to win tomorrow.

Point guard and center play will be key in this game. How Skyy Clark matches up against Dj Wagner will be very important when looking at if Clark can give Wagner problems on offense, and if Clark can get to the basket and distribute the ball with Wagner in front of him.

Another key matchup will be Brandon Huntley-Hatfield against Aaron Bradshaw. Bradshaw has been a force ever since coming back from injury this season and Hatfield will have his hands full with Bradshaw the entire game. Hatfield has been playing great the past 2 games, putting up 20 points and 10+ rebounds in both games. It will be interesting to see how he fares against a dominant SEC center.

All in all, Louisville will need a lot to go their way if they want to upset the Wildcats tomorrow, and they will need to play their best game all season if they want any chance.

The ultimate key for Louisville is how well head coach Kenny Payne will be in this game. If Payne can get his players ready for a rivalry game of this magnitude and get them up to the level they are capable of playing at, then Louisville has a shot. However, if they come out like how they did against Arkansas State, you might as well just tally this as a blowout loss.

It all falls on Payne if the Cardinals lose this one, and this is a massive game when determining where this program will go headed into 2024. Whether that will be with Payne, or not.