Friday, January 17, 2014

Kentucky vs Tennessee....A Preview

Kentucky vs Tennessee….1/18/14 Saturday 12 Noon..(TV-CBS) 
UK leads the series 149-67

Tennessee Volunteers

Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Enrollment: 27,523
Arena: 21,678

Head Coach: Cuonzo Martin
Career Record: 100-69 (59.2%) 5 Seasons
At Tennessee: 39-28 (58.2%) 2 Seasons

2012-13 Record: 20-13
2012-13 SEC Record: 11-7
2012-13 Postseason: NIT 0-1

2013-14 Record: 11-5
2013-14 SEC Record: 2-1

Xavier 67 Tennessee 63
Tennessee 74 USC Upstate 65
Tennessee 66 The Citadel 60
Tennessee 88 Tennessee State 67
UTEP 78 Tennessee 70
Tennessee 64 Xavier 49
Tennessee 82 Wake Forest 63
Tennessee 84 Tennessee Tech 63
Wichita State 70 Tennessee 61
NC State 65 Tennessee 58
Tennessee 82 Morehead St. 67
Tennessee 87 Virginia 52
Tennessee 98 Tusculum 51
Tennessee 68 LSU 50
Texas A&M 57 Tennessee 56
Tennessee 78 Auburn 67

Tennessee Stats:

PPG-74.9
FG%-45.7%
3 PT%-36.2% (5.8 PG)
FT%-70.2%
RPG-39.4 (+9.1)
APG-13.2
TPG-10.4
SPG-5.4
BPG-5.0

Probable Starting Lineup:

Jarnell Stokes-F 6’8” Jr…………………………...13.4 PPG
Jeronne Maymon-F 6’8” Jr……………………….10.8 PPG
Josh Richardson-G 6’6” Jr………………………...9.1 PPG
Antonio Barton-G 6’2” Sr…………………………8.8 PPG
Jordan McRae-G 6’6” Sr………………………….18.4 PPG

Other Key Players:

Derek Reese-G 6’8” Soph………………………...5.0 PPG
D’Montre Edwards-G 6’6” Sr…………………….3.1 PPG

Tennessee is a very experienced team with juniors and seniors in the lineup. Importantly, Jeronne Maymon returns to the lineup after missing last season due to injury. Maymon and Jarnell Stokes….both 6’8” 260 lbs….give the Vols a strong presence in the paint. As expected, both Maymon and Stokes lead the team in rebounds and both are scoring in double figures.

Tennessee did lose starting guard Trae Golden who transferred, but the Vols luckly gained transfer Antonio Barton who transferred from Memphis and is eligible to play this season. The Vols are a solid perimeter shooting team with Barton hitting 41.8% from long range….and Josh Richardson hitting 44.0% while Jordan McRae is hitting 35.7%.

The Vols know that this is their only game against UK this season, so they will be more than ready to give the Cats a tough game in Rupp Arena.

UK Stats: 

PPG-80.8
FG%-47.6%
3 PT%-30.5% (4.9 PG)
FT%-65.9%
RPG-44.2 (+13.0 PG)
APG-12.5
TPG-12.9
SPG-4.2
BPG-6.9

UK arrived back in Lexington after a truly heartbreaking loss to Arkansas. The Cats fought and scraped playing with great energy and heart…..but, 17 turnovers and too many missed free throws were too much to overcome. UK playing in one of the most difficult away arenas….never gave up….and frankly made me very proud of their great effort!

Now UK must turn their attention to a very good Tennessee team that starts three seniors and two juniors and will present a very tough front line along with solid perimeter shooting. Obviously, it will be very important to win SEC games at Rupp arena as winning on the road will not be easy as the Cats found out at Arkansas..…..so this is an extremely vital game for UK to mentally bounce back from the loss and get a win over the Vols.

Hopefully, we see the same great energy against Tennessee that we saw in UK’s loss to Arkansas. Obviously, the Cats must take much better care of the ball and minimize turnovers and hopefully they have been working on their free throw shooting. As we have seen in close games….turnovers and poor free throw shooting can be a receipe for a heartbreaking loss!

I see a determined UK team take the floor at Rupp arena and play with great energy….and hand the Vols their 2nd SEC defeat on the season. Cats win by 8-10 points……GO CATS!

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