Kentucky (10-3, 1-0 SEC) opened its season on Saturday at home against Missouri. The Cats led by 3 points at the half before winning 71-59. The difference in this game was Kentucky making 10 more free throws than Mizzou attempted. Kentucky’s Immanuel Quickley led the Wildcats in scoring with 23 points. Quickley was UK’s only threat from three making 4 of 8. The rest of the Wildcats went 0 of 8. Kentucky as a team excels at free throw shooting making 80% of them as a team. Meanwhile from 3-point range the Cats are struggling making just 29% with Quickley leading the way. Rebounding is another area in which the Cats shine. They are currently third in the SEC in rebound margin (+6.5). UK has five players that average more than four boards a game led by 6-foot-11 Nick Richards with 7.5 rebounds per contest. No scouting report is complete without mentioning guard Ashton Hagans who is running away with the assists lead in the SEC with 95 so far. The second player (Lamonte Turner of Tennessee) in assists is 17 behind Hagans.
Georgia (10-3, 0-0 SEC) closed out its preconference schedule with a big time resume building 65-62 win at No. 9 Memphis on Saturday. Georgia also has good wins over Georgia Tech and SMU but Memphis was the Bulldog’s first win in a road venue. Rayshaun Hammonds, a 6-foot-9 forward, led the Bulldogs in the win over Memphis with 15 points. The Bulldogs had balanced scoring at Memphis with three other players scoring double figures. Hammonds doesn’t just score. He’s third in the conference in rebounding averaging 9.1 a game. Guard Anthony Edwards leads the Bulldogs in scoring (18.4 ppg). He and fellow guard Tyree Crump each have 27 three pointers made so far this season. A key reason for Georgia’s success so far this season is their ability to get offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs are third in the conference in that category. A couple other interesting Georgia accomplishments stat wise. Georgia is second in the in steals per game and first in the conference in assists per game. However, when you look at the SEC players stats no Georgia player is listed in the assists or steals categories. This indicates that team ball being played in Athens.
This is another tough one to predict. Two very talented teams squaring off Stegeman Coliseum. I think the Bulldogs prevail in this one but it could go either way.
Kentucky basketball sits in a very uncertain position heading into the final 10 days of January. This uncertainty isn’t darkness, just fog. It isn’t a crisis, merely a period in which clear and confident knowledge […]