Stopping Bogans is key for UT

Kentucky guard Keith Bogans has had some of his best games against Tennessee, and Vol head man Buzz Peterson is hoping he won't have another one when the Big Orange hosts the Big Blue Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.

''If Bogans is hot and gets his shot going, they're tough to stop,'' Peterson said prior to Monday's practice. ''It's one of those deals where we'll put different bodies on him, try to keep fresh legs on him. We can't do like the New Mexico game, where a lot of fouls were called. We've got to do a better job keeping our hands off.''

Bogans suffered through a disappointing junior year but is averaging 18.2 points and 3.4 assists per game this season. Apparently, he has recaptured the magic that made him one of the SEC's premier players in 2000-2001.

''If you look at Bogans, compared to last year, his attitude's changed,'' Peterson said. ''He's playing under control, he's playing smarter and he's hitting the outside shot.''

In addition to Bogans and Gerald Fitch (11.6 ppg) on the perimeter, Kentucky boasts a big frontline of Marquis Estill (6-9, 236), Erik Daniels (6-8, 214) and Chuck Hayes (6-6, 247).

''Inside, they've got the big guys who can block shots and score,'' Peterson said. ''They've got the athletes.... It's the biggest frontline we've faced.''

Basically, the head man sees two keys to victory:

''A couple of keys for our team: Our defensive transition's got to be at its best and our box-outs have got to be at their best,'' Peterson said. ''That's something we've done a pretty good job of. We've got a plus-10 rebound margin now but we're going against better athletes, stronger people inside, so it'll be interesting to see how we do.''

In addition, it will be interesting to see how C.J. Watson, UT's freshman point guard, handles the pressure that's sure to come from a team as tenacious as the Wildcats. Peterson concedes as much, noting: ''I don't think C.J. Watson has faced a Cliff Hawkins, who's quick and small and can stay with him.''


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