SEC Basketball Preview/Prediction: Kentucky at South Carolina

Kentucky and South Carolina logos

Kentucky visits South Carolina on Wednesday 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

Stats | RPI | Players | Scouting Report | Prediction | Time/TV

Team Statistical Comparison

FG% 3PT% FT% ORB TRB AST STL BLK TO
Kentucky 0.462 0.321 0.775 147 568 228 80 74 188
Kentucky OPP 0.386 0.290 0.659 146 477 165 72 45 195
South Carolina 0.426 0.279 0.614 183 557 199 120 69 208
South Carolina OPP 0.379 0.306 0.733 148 518 173 89 55 236

Stats | RPI | Players | Scouting Report | Prediction | Time/TV

Statistical Leaders

Kentucky Scoring Leaders

PLAYER TEAM PPG FGM FTM 3PTM
Tyrese Maxey Kentucky 13.9 71 49 18
Immanuel Quickley Kentucky 13.3 55 50 26
Ashton Hagans Kentucky 13.1 58 70 10
Nick Richards Kentucky 13.0 79 37 0
EJ Montgomery Kentucky 7.3 41 5 1
Nate Sestina Kentucky 7.3 27 22 11
Keion Brooks Jr. Kentucky 5.6 35 11 3
Kahlil Whitney Kentucky 3.8 22 9 4
Johnny Juzang Kentucky 1.7 6 6 2

Kentucky Rebounding Leaders

PLAYER TEAM OR DR TR RPG
Nick Richards Kentucky 39 77 116 7.7
EJ Montgomery Kentucky 19 50 69 5.8
Nate Sestina Kentucky 21 47 68 5.7
Tyrese Maxey Kentucky 4 60 64 4.3
Ashton Hagans Kentucky 4 59 63 4.2
Immanuel Quickley Kentucky 9 42 51 3.6
Keion Brooks Jr. Kentucky 15 29 44 2.9
Kahlil Whitney Kentucky 14 16 30 2.0
Johnny Juzang Kentucky 5 19 24 2.0

South Carolina Scoring Leaders

PLAYER TEAM PPG FGM FTM 3PTM
AJ Lawson South Carolina 14.5 69 53 26
Maik Kotsar South Carolina 10.7 69 23 0
Jair Bolden South Carolina 9.1 51 15 19
Jermaine Couisnard South Carolina 9.0 46 21 13
Justin Minaya South Carolina 6.5 33 23 8
Alanzo Frink South Carolina 5.7 33 14 0
Trae Hannibal South Carolina 3.3 16 7 0
Jalyn McCreary South Carolina 2.8 14 5 0
TJ Moss South Carolina 2.5 14 4 6
Wildens Leveque South Carolina 2.2 11 9 0

South Carolina Rebounding Leaders

PLAYER TEAM OR DR TR RPG
Maik Kotsar South Carolina 35 59 94 6.3
Justin Minaya South Carolina 27 60 87 5.8
Alanzo Frink South Carolina 25 32 57 4.1
Jair Bolden South Carolina 4 43 47 3.1
AJ Lawson South Carolina 6 40 46 3.1
Jermaine Couisnard South Carolina 11 31 42 3.0
Wildens Leveque South Carolina 17 22 39 2.8
Jalyn McCreary South Carolina 9 18 27 2.3
Trae Hannibal South Carolina 6 14 20 1.7
Keyshawn Bryant South Carolina 9 10 19 2.7
TJ Moss South Carolina 2 15 17 1.1
Micaiah Henry South Carolina 2 4 6 1.2
Nathan Nelson South Carolina 2 0 2 0.4
Mike Green South Carolina 0 1 1 0.3

Stats | RPI | Players | Scouting Report | Prediction | Time/TV

Colonial Life Arena
Colonial Life Arena

NCAA RPI

Kentucky: 26

South Carolina: 125

Kentucky Roster

No. Name Pos. HT WT Class City-State
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

South Carolina Roster

No. Name Pos. HT WT Class City-State
0 A.J. Lawson G 6′-6″ 178 SO Toronto, ON
1 T.J. Moss G 6′-4″ 195 FR Memphis, TN
2 Trey Anderson F 6′-6″ 203 FR San Diego, CA
4 Jalyn McCreary F 6′-7″ 225 FR Marietta, GA
5 Jermaine Couisnard G 6′-4″ 211 FR East Chicago, IN
10 Justin Minaya F 6′-6″ 215 SO Harrington Park, NJ
12 Trae Hannibal G 6′-2″ 217 FR Hartsville, SC
13 Micaiah Henry F 6′-9″ 235 SR Decatur, GA
14 Nathan Nelson F 6′-6″ 189 SO Murfreesboro, TN
15 Wildens Leveque F 6′-11″ 230 FR Brockton, MA
20 Alanzo Frink F 6′-7″ 260 SO Jersey City, NJ
21 Maik Kotsar F 6′-11″ 270 SR Tallinn, Estonia
23 Mike Green G 6′-1″ 188 FR Myrtle Beach, SC
24 Keyshawn Bryant F 6′-5″ 197 SO Winter Haven, FL
25 Seventh Woods G 6′-2″ 189 SR Columbia, SC
52 Jair Bolden G 6′-3″ 215 JR Brooklyn, NY

Stats | RPI | Players | Scouting Report | Prediction | Time/TV

Scouting Report


South Carolina (8-7, 0-2 SEC) fell to Tennessee 56-55 on Saturday in Knoxville. This was a defensive battle with USC building a 16-10 lead with 8:21 to play in the first half. However, the Vols would go on a 9-0 run to take a 19-18 lead with five minutes to play in the half. A Jermaine Couisnard put the Gamecocks back up 24-22 with a little over a minute to play in the half. The Gamecocks led at halftime 26-25. In the second half South Carolina built a 39-31 lead with just under 14 minutes to play in the game. Jordan Bowden’s free throw with 9:56 to play in the game put the Vols back on top 42-41. Tennessee would go on to lead by as many as six with just over six minutes to play. South Carolina would get to within two points of the Vols three teams but never take the lead. Forward Jake Fulkerson led the Vols in scoring with 15 points. South Carolina big man Maik Kotsar was the game’s leading scorer with 17, most of those coming in the paint. The Gamecocks out-shot the Vols 33% to 26% from field goal range but the Vols won from 3-point range making six shots compared to two makes.

Guard AJ Lawson is the Gamecock’s leading scorer (14.5 ppg) so far this season. The 6-foot-3 Lawson is South Carolina’s biggest threat from 3-point range with 26 made 3-point shots. Maik Kotsar, the team’s second leading scorer (10.3 ppg) and top rebounder (6.1 rpg), is a 6-foot-11, 270 pound monster from Estonia. USC is 11th in the SEC in scoring offense (68.4 ppg) and 6th in scoring defense (65.3 ppg). The Gamecocks are the worst free shooting team in SEC basketball hitting just 61.4% of those shots. The Gamecocks are 13th in the SEC in 3-point shooting (27.9%) and 12th in field goal shooting (42.1%). Defensively, the Gamecocks are third in the league in field goal defense, holding opponents to just 37.9% makes. The Gamecocks are also third in steals with 8.0 per game.

Kentucky (12-3, 3-0 SEC) defeated Alabama 76-67 on Saturday in Lexington. In that game the played close for the first seven minutes of the game. However, with 12:19 remaining in the first half forward Nate Sestina made a 3-point shot to put Kentucky up 16-10. Kentucky led at halftime 45-35. In the second half with 5:02 remaining in the game, Kira Lewis’ free throw narrowed the UK lead to just 63-60. In the final minutes of the game Immanuel Quickley made a 3-point shot and two free throws which sealed the victory for the Cats. Kentucky was led in scoring by Quickley with 19 points. Quickley led the Wildcats from the arc making 5 of 6 3-point attempts. Herbert Jones led the Tide with 18 points. Alabama 3-point shooting specialist John Petty Jr. was limited to just 16 points on 3 of 8 shooting from 3-point land. Alabama as a team made just 4 of 21 shots from beyond the arc. Kentucky, which is normally not very active from 3-point range, made an impressive 9 of 15 3-point shots.

Guard Tyrese Maxey leads the Wildcats in scoring (19.0). With 18 made threes, Maxey is also a threat from beyond the arc. Forward Nick Richards (13 ppg), Immanuel Quickley (13.3 ppg) and guard Ashton Hagans (13.1 ppg) are UKs other key scorers. Richards is the team’s leading rebounder, pulling down 7.7 per contest. Kentucky is 6th in the SEC in scoring offense (74.8 ppg) and 5th in scoring defense (62.5 ppg). The Cats have improved from three point range making 32.1% of their attempts (8th/SEC). But from field goal range the Cats make a over 46% of shots, third best in the conference. UK also leads the conference in free throw shooting hitting on 77.5%. The Cats are also solid rebounders with a plus 6.1 rebounding margin. UK has pulled down almost 100 more rebounds than opponents this season.

Kentucky has proved they are a solid team that can do a some of everything. They should be able to take care of South Carolina in Columbia.

Kentucky-South Carolina Prediction

Kentucky 70, South Carolina 60


Wednesday‘s game tips off at 6:30 p.m. ET. TV: SEC Network.

Stats | RPI | Players | Scouting Report | Prediction | Time/TV

SEC Basketball Preview/Prediction: Kentucky at South Carolina

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