Kentucky visits Auburn on Saturday in a key SEC basketball matchup. Look inside for a preview of the game along with a prediction of the game’s final score.
By 14Powers Hoops
Team Statistical Comparison
Kentucky Scoring Leaders
|Keion Brooks Jr.||Kentucky||5.1||42||15||3|
Kentucky Rebounding Leaders
|Keion Brooks Jr.||Kentucky||22||43.0||65||3.3|
Auburn Scoring Leaders
Auburn Rebounding Leaders
|0||Ashton Hagans||G||6′-3″||198||SO||Cartersville, GA|
|1||Nate Sestina||F||6′-9″||234||SR||Emporium, PA|
|2||Kahlil Whitney||F||6′-6″||210||FR||Chicago, IL|
|3||Tyrese Maxey||G||6′-3″||198||FR||Garland, TX|
|4||Nick Richards||F||6′-11″||247||JR||Kingston, Jamaica|
|5||Immanuel Quickley||G||6′-3″||188||SO||Havre De Grace, MD|
|10||Johnny Juzang||G||6′-6″||214||FR||Los Angeles, CA|
|11||Dontaie Allen||G||6′-6″||200||FR||Falmouth, KY|
|12||Keion Brooks Jr.||F||6′-7″||205||FR||Fort Wayne, IN|
|13||Riley Welch||G||6′-0″||185||JR||Littleton, CO|
|14||Brennan Canada||F||6′-6″||198||FR||Mount Sterling, KY|
|21||Zan Payne||G||6′-4″||235||FR||Lexington, KY|
|23||EJ Montgomery||F||6′-10″||228||SO||Fort Pierce, FL|
|33||Ben Jordan||F||6′-9″||250||SO||Olive Hill, KY|
|0||Tyrell Jones||G||6′-1″||170||FR||Chicago, IL|
|1||Jamal Johnson||G||6′-4″||195||SO||Birmingham, AL|
|2||Jaylin Williams||F||6′-7″||230||FR||Nahunta, GA|
|3||Danjel Purifoy||F||6′-7″||230||SR||Centreville, AL|
|4||Javon Franklin||F||6′-7″||218||SO||Little Rock, AR|
|5||J’Von McCormick||G||6′-0″||185||SR||New Orleans, LA|
|10||Samir Doughty||G||6′-4″||195||SR||Philadelphia, PA|
|12||Lior Berman||G||6′-4″||205||FR||Birmingham, AL|
|13||Babatunde Akingbola||C||6′-10″||236||FR||Ogun, Nigeria|
|14||Preston Cook||G||6′-4″||200||SO||Auburn, AL|
|20||Myles Parker||F||6′-8″||200||SO||Madison, AL|
|21||Will Macoy||G||6′-4″||200||SR||Birmingham, AL|
|22||Allen Flanigan||G||6′-5″||200||FR||Little Rock, AR|
|23||Isaac Okoro||F||6′-6″||225||FR||Powder Springs, GA|
|24||Anfernee McLemore||F||6′-7″||220||SR||Warwick, GA|
|33||Chase Maasdorp||G||6′-0″||175||SO||Lakewood Ranch, FL|
|35||Devan Cambridge||G||6′-6″||190||FR||Nashville, TN|
|50||Austin Wiley||C||6′-11″||260||SR||Hoover, AL|
|54||Thomas Collier||F||6′-9″||215||SR||Birmingham, AL|
Kentucky (16-4, 6-1 SEC) defeated Vanderbilt 71-62 on Wednesday night in Lexington. The Wildcats led this one early in the first half until the 8:46 mark when the Commodores took a 17-16 lead on a Saben Lee layup. Except for a brief tie, Vandy maintained that lead for the rest of the half and went to halftime up 35-28. In the second half Vandy built a 40-30 edge before UK gradually started cutting into that lead. An Immanuel Quickley jump shot finally put the Cats back on top 50-49 with 10:19 to play. UK would build as much as a 10-point edge in the final minutes before picking up the win. Tyrese Maxey led the Wildcats with 17 points. Vandy’s Lee paced the Commodores with 21 points. UK won this one by making five more field goals and five more free throws than this Commodores. This offset Vandys nine made 3-point shots compared to Kentucky’s three.
UK is averaging 75.4 points per game so far this season and allow 65.0 points a contest. Nick Richards leads the Cats in both scoring (14.4 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg). The other players also average at least 13 points a game including Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey. Hagans is one of the best guards in the country both offensively and defensively. Quickley’s shooting is second to none. Kentucky as a team is shooting 46.2% (2nd SEC) from the field, 32.3% (5th SEC) from 3-point range and 77.4% (2nd SEC) from the line. The Cats are second in the league in 3-point shooting defense (28.9%) and third in the conference in field goal shooting defense (38.9%).
Auburn (18-2, 5-2 SEC) defeated Ole Miss 83-82 in double overtime on Saturday in Oxford. Ole Miss dominated this game in the first half leading by as much as 18 points. The Rebels held a 37-20 lead at the half. In the second half the Rebels briefly led by 19 early in the half. After this point Auburn began to cut into the Rebel lead. With 10:05 remaining the Ole Miss lead had slipped to 50-43. Auburn narrowed the Rebel lead to 63-59 with 3:45 to play and then took a 66-64 edge on a Samir Doughty jump shot with just under a minute to play in regulation. Two Devontae Shuler free throws tied the game at 66 and the game would head to overtime. Auburn built a 75-70 lead with one minute to play in the first overtime but that period would end with score tied at 77. In the second overtime period Ole Miss forged an 82-78 edge with 3:04 remaining. However, Auburn scored the final five points of the period to gain an 83-82 victory. Shuler led the Rebels and all scorers in scoring with 26 points. Anfernee McLemore paced the Tigers with 19 points. The stats were fairly even except for rebounding and 3-point shooting. Auburn held a 45-33 rebounding edge and made 9/30 shots from 3-point range compared to Ole Miss’ 6 of 20 shots. Both teams hit 30% from 3-point range but the three more treys by the Tigers were significant in a game this close.
Guard Samir Doughty leads the Tigers in scoring (14.8 ppg). Okoro is the next leading scorer with 12.9 points a game. Center Austin Wiley is the top Tiger in rebounds, bringing down over 9 per game. Auburn is third in the SEC in scoring offense (79.2 ppg) and first in the conference in scoring margin (+10.7). The Tigers are fourth in the league in rebounding margin (+5.1) and second in blocked shots (5.5 bpg).
This is one of the most pivotal games for the SEC this season. Auburn is probably the favorite here but we predict the improving Wildcats to get another big road win.