Friday, February 01, 2013

Kentucky vs Texas A&M..Rd 2....A Preview

Kentucky vs Texas A&M 2/2/13 (Saturday 6PM) TV-ESPN
Series tied with both teams at 2 wins each

Texas A&M Aggies
Location: College Station, Texas
Enrollment: 50,054
Arena: 12,989

Head Coach: Billy Kennedy
Career Record: 225-197 (53.3%) 14 seasons
At Texas A&M: 14-18 (43.8%) 1 season

2011-12 Record: 14-18
2011-12 Big 12 Record: 4-14
2011-12 Postseason: None

2012-13 Record: 13-7
2012-13 SEC Record: 3-4

Texas A&M 71 Louisiana Tech 59
Texas A&M 83 Troy 65
Texas A&M 81 Prairie View A&M 59
St. Louis 70 Texas A&M 49
Texas A&M 55 Washington St. 54
Texas A&M 78 Northwestern St 65
Texas A&M 70 Houston 58
Texas A&M 62 Stephen F Austin 54
Oklahoma 64 Texas A&M 54
Texas A&M 66 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 54
Southern University 53 Texas A&M 51
Texas A&M 61 Army 55
Texas A&M 67 Houston Baptist 59
Texas A&M 69 Arkansas 51
Texas A&M 83 Kentucky 71
Florida 68 Texas A&M 47
Alabama 50 Texas A&M 49
LSU 58 Texas A&M 54
Georgia 59 Texas A&M 52
Texas A&M 55 Mississippi St. 49 (OT)

3 PT%-36.1%
RPG-34 (+3.4)

Probable Starting Lineup

J’Mychal Reese-G 6’1” Fr……………………….7.2 PPG
Fabyon Harris-G 5’11” Jr……………………….10.9 PPG
Elston Turner-G 6’5” Sr…………………………15.5 PPG
Kourtney Roberson-F 6’9” Soph…………….….6.7 PPG
Ray Turner-F 6’9” Sr……………………………9.7 PPG

Another Key Player

Alex Caruso-G 6’5” Fr………………………….5.0 PPG

Texas A&M after opening the SEC season with wins over Arkansas and Kentucky…..then proceeded to lose four straight SEC games. The Aggies finally got back on the winning track with an OT win over Mississippi St. Texas A&M is led in scoring by Elston Turner who lit UK up for 40 points, but hasn’t come close to duplicating that rare feat. Fabyon Harris and Elston Turner are the two primary perimeter shooters hitting a very good 43.5% and 39.0% respectively. Kourtney Roberson is the teams leading rebounder while Alex Caruso leads in both assists and steals.

Attendance at Aggie home games has been close to embarrassing….the closest they came to a sell out was the Florida game where they still had 2,000 empty seats. Other home games have been a half full arena. It will be very interesting as to the attendance when UK comes to College Station….I’m guessing a full house!

UK is fresh off their biggest and best win of the season…a big 87-74 victory over Ole Miss in Starkville. It was truly a team win with everyone playing well….but, the defense and shot blocking of Nerlens Noel was a real game changer….and the terrific offense from Kyle Wiltjer was huge in the win. Importantly, Archie Goodwin played under control and had arguably his best game of the year offensively and defensively while Alex Poythress became Tarzan on the court and played his best game of the season as well.

Obviously, the key now for these Cats is to build off this past game and continue to make steps forward in improvement. UK simply can’t allow itself to take backward steps at this point in the season.

UK goes into this game having lost to the Aggies at Rupp arena….a loss that hurt UK. Now it’s payback time….the Cats obviously can’t allow Turner or any Aggie player to score 40 points or anywhere near that. In addition, UK must play much better defense and they need to not allow Texas A&M to out rebound them as they did at Rupp arena.

Coach Cal has remarked that after UK played a very good game against Auburn and won….they then proceeded to play a terrible 2nd half against Alabama and lost. So while Cal is extremely pleased with UK’s terrific win at Ole Miss…he knows that it is exceedingly important that the Cats leverage that win and continue to play hard and smart going forward and not take a step backward.

I am cautiously optimistic that finally these young talented Cats get it….that they are buying in…..and understand the need to play 40 minutes of hard, smart and unselfish basketball. So I’m picking UK to defeat Texas A&M by 12 points! GO CATS!

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