Playing three straight Southeastern Conference road games is not something any coach wants to do, but at least Kentucky's Tubby Smith has to believe his team gained some needed confidence Saturday for its road trip.
The Wildcats benefited more than anything from the return of Patrick Sparks' shooting eye.
He was supposed to be the consistent shooter for Kentucky this year, the player the Cats could depend on to consistently hit open outside shots.
While Sparks was shooting 38.6 percent from 3-point range this season going into Saturday's game against LSU, he had been way too inconsistent. Since going 5-for-8 from 3-point range against Louisville, Sparks was only 11-for-41 in the last seven games. Three times, he made just one 3-pointer. In another game, he failed to even make one.
But Saturday Sparks was 5-for-7 from long range and had two 3-pointers in the game's first three minutes.