Saturday, January 31, 2015

Video: Kentucky 70 vs Alabama 55 Game Highlights

Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV

Video: Marlana VanHoose Sings National Anthem Before Kentucky-Alabama

Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV

SEC Men's BB Schedule 1/31/15

Saturday, January 31, 2015



  • 12:00 PM Auburn at Tennessee ESPN2

  • 1:00 PM Arkansas at Florida CBS

  • 2:00 PM LSU at Mississippi St SEC NETWORK

  • 4:00 PM Georgia at South Carolina ESPNU

  • 4:00 PM Ole Miss at Missouri ESPN3, Fox Sports Net

  • 4:30 PM Vanderbilt at Texas A&M SEC NETWORK

  • 7:00 PM Alabama at # 1 Kentucky SEC NETWORK

Friday, January 30, 2015

Kentucky vs Alabama....A Preview Rd 2

Kentucky vs Alabama….1/31/2015 
(Saturday 7PM) SEC Network
UK leads the series 103-37
Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC)

Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Enrollment: 34,852
Arena: 15,383

Head Coach: Anthony Grant
Career Record: 175-96 (64.6%) 8 Seasons
At Alabama: 99-71 (58.2%) 5 Seasons

2013-14 Record: 13-19
2013-14 SEC Record: 7-11
2013-14 Postseason: None

2014-15 Record:13-7
2014-15 SEC Record: 3-4

Alabama 82 Towson 54
Alabama 80 Western Carolina 74
Alabama 81 Southern Miss 67
Iowa State 84 Alabama 74
Alabama 76 Arizona State 71
Alabama 82 South Florida 71
Xavier 97 Alabama 84
Alabama 65 Tennessee Tech 53
Wichita State 53 Alabama 52
Alabama 69 Stillman 49
Alabama 60 Appalachian State 59
Alabama 56 UCLA 50
Alabama 76 North Florida 61
Alabama 65 Texas A&M 44
Alabama 56 Tennessee 38
South Carolina 68 Alabama 66
Kentucky 70 Alabama 48
Arkansas 93 Alabama 91 (OT)
Alabama 57 Auburn 55
Florida 52 Alabama 50

Alabama Stats:

PPG-68.5
FG%-44.8%
3 PT%-31.2% (6.4 PG)
FT%-73.5%
RPG-32.7 (-0.5)
APG-11.2
TO’s-12.9
SPG-7.3
BPG-4.0

Probable Starting Lineup:

Jimmie Taylor-F 6’10” Soph…………………….4.4 PPG
Michael Kessens-F 6’9” Soph…………………...6.9 PPG
Levi Randolph-G 6’5” Sr………………………..14.7 PPG
Rodney Cooper-G 6’6” Sr……………………….10.9 PPG
Ricky Tarrant-G 6’2” Jr………………………….13.1 PPG

Other Key Players:

Riley Norris-G/F 6’7” Fr…………………….…..4.7 PPG
Justin Coleman-G 5’10” Fr………………………5.0 PPG
Shannon Hale-F 6’8” Soph………………………7.6 PPG

This is a very key season for coach Anthony Grant who in his 5 seasons at Alabama has made only one NCAA appearance and had a very disappointing 13-19 record last season. 
Coach Grant knows that he must get the Tide going in a very positive direction and hopefully get to the NCAA or he might be looking for another coaching job. Thus far, the Tide is off to a disappointing start with a 13-7 record and 3-4 in the SEC. After winning their first 2 SEC games, the Tide have lost 4 of their last 5….with 3 of those losses being by just 2 points. 

Senior Levi Randolph leads the team in scoring, assists with 45 and steals with 30…..while Michael Kessons leads in rebounds with 110 and Jimmie Taylor leads in blocks with 37. Freshman Riley Norris leads the team in perimeter shooting hitting 14-30 for a blistering 46.7%….while senior Rodney Cooper is hitting 29-69 for an excellent 42.0%. Alabama is a good free throw shooting team hitting 73.5%….with the Tide’s 3 starting guards being outstanding shooters from the charity line. Randolph is hitting 83.2%….Cooper 84.2% and Tarrant 80.2% of their free throws. 

Alabama lost badly to UK in Tuscaloosa 70-48 and now must face the Cats at Rupp arena. The Tide likely feel they are a much better team than the 22 loss to UK, but winning at Rupp arena is a rare occurance for any team. 

Kentucky Stats:

PPG-74.3
FG%-45.7%
3PT%-35.6% (5.8 PG)
FT%-69.1%
RPG-40.2 (+8.3)
APG-15.3
TO’s-11.4
SPG-7.7
BPG-7.8

Kentucky found Missouri to be a lot tougher on their home court as the Cats did win 69-53, but far from the 49 blowout previous win over the Tigers. As expected, Missouri played hard and were very physical and the much to closely called game turned into a foul fest with a total of 54 fouls called and made the game ugly.

UK did not play a great game, not even close, but they did make 27-37 foul shots which helped ensure a win. Game ball to the Harrison’s, especially Andrew, who scored 15 points on his aggressive drives to the basket making 9-11 free throws. Andrew also had 3 assists and 3 steals. WCS was missing in action for the 2nd game in a row as had only 2 points…missed all 4 free throws…grabbed only 3 rebounds with zero blocks. In fact, UK had only one block the entire game while committing 14 TO’s.

Towns struggled again finishing around the basket hitting only 3-8 in the paint as have most of UK’s big men. Johnson was only 2-6 in the paint, but Dakari did hit 4-5 free throws and grab 7 rebounds. It is very frustrating to see these very talented big men for UK have so much trouble putting the ball in the basket in the paint. Coach Cal has made it a priority in recent games to get the ball to the big men in the paint, but they have been disappointing in scoring around the basket. 

Once again UK’s defense was solid for most of the game, but offensively the Cats still are a work in progress. In the previous Alabama game where the Cats prevailed 70-48, UK did have one of it’s best offensive games….hitting 50% from the field….making 8-17 perimeter shots…while nailing 16-18 free throws. Even though the game is played in Rupp arena, you can bet that the Tide will play hard and physical….and look for a huge upset. However, that’s not going to happen, but I do feel the Crimson Tide are a better team than they showed in Tuscaloosa and will play a much better game against the Cats.

Cats win by 10-15 points….GO CATS!

Video/Transcript: UK Assistant Coach John Robic Pre-Alabama Presser

Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV

ASSISTANT COACH JOHN ROBIC

On the game against Missouri …
“I think we get a little bit spoiled every now and then. You know the numbers were fine. Points scored against us was fine. We had a couple of breakdowns that we typically don’t have, especially in pick-and-roll defense, where they scored, I think, six or eight points on that, which is pretty unusual against our team. But give them credit, they made adjustments to the first time we played them. When we were switching they were doing some things to us in the pick-and-roll game. But overall, to come back off the road and win by 16 in front of their biggest crowd they’ve had all year, it felt good.”

On if there were communication problems on the pick-and-roll …
“Little bit of both. Little bit of both. Not only did it affect the ballhandler and the screener’s defender, but especially the guys off the ball where we try to, we call it tag. We’re trying to tag on the pick-and-roll to have help there and that helps wasn’t there, so it was almost more off the ball than it was on the ball.”

On what kind of adjustments he thinks Alabama will make …
“Well, they played us all zone the first game and played their tandem matchup zone. I think they’ll mix it up a little bit this time with some man and some zone, and have us make shots. We did a good job in the first outing of getting the ball inside and playing inside out, which was really effective for us. It got them in a little bit of foul trouble. It got us into a good rhythm and we made shots that game and our players did a good job of following the game plan pretty well.”

On if it was by design to have fewer than 10 3-point attempts in the past few games, or if it’s something the opponents have been doing …
“No, it wasn’t by design. I mean, if they’re open we want to shoot them, so from our standpoint, if they’re not forcing 3s we’ll take what they give us. Our big guys have been doing a good job of kicking it back out, probably could do it a few more (times), but we want our guys to be a little bit more aggressive going to the rim, especially Aaron (Harrison), and he showed that last night. In the last couple games he’s shown that. Against a zone could be different. Missouri played us all man-to-man. We just gotta go with how the game is flowing and take open shots when they’re there.”

On starting the season 20-0 for the first time in the SEC since the ’60s …
“Yeah, I mean, give the players a ton of credit. They’re finding a way how to win games. It’s kinda neat that they can make their mark as a team. But they probably don’t even know it. It’s a good feeling to have, and we’re just going to try to keep stringing games along right now.”

On how Karl-Anthony Towns’ play and opponents getting physical with him …
“They’re definitely trying to be physical with him, there’s no question. He’s finding that out. I thought in the first half last night he played very very well, even though he had a turnover, I think, on the first possession of the game. (He) held his position much deeper into the paint. When he’s aggressive like that and goes and catches the ball with two hands and catches it in tight—we like that. We just don’t like when he fades away or he settles for getting post position of the block and that doesn’t do us any good and our spacing is terrible. But he knows ad he’s working at it. We need to have some type of presence inside, whether it be from Dakari (Johnson) or Karl(-Anthony Towns) or Willie (Cauley-Stein) or Marcus (Lee). Probably the first three more than Marcus, he’s more of an offensive rebounder type. But we’ll get that. For Karl it’s just a little of bit of confidence and understanding how strong you have to be to play on the blocks.”

On how difficult it is for a freshman to hold his position on the block when he’s used to playing against smaller players …
“You’d have to ask a post player, I’m definitely not that. Don’t forget, he’s young. So I’m sure it’s a new thing playing against someone near or at the same size you are, not only in the games, but in practice every day when you’re going up against the bigger players on our team. It’s only going to help him and it’s helped our entire team because the practices have been competitive, it just has to translate into games.”

On if they told anything to Andrew Harrison that got him to play how he did at Missouri …
“No. You know what, he warmed up great, he had a great attitude, really good shootaround. He was aggressive and he pushed the ball. He was playing with confidence last night, maybe seeing the ball go in a couple times, even if it’s free throws. We really liked – his pace of game didn’t start great last night but toward the latter part of the first half and the second half he pushed the tempo a little bit more and was more aggressive and used his size to his advantage.”

On the quick turnaround for UK in playing Alabama on Saturday …
“That’s probably the only drawback, but we’re going to face that in the SEC Tournament. We’re going to face it in the NCAA Tournament. We got back about 1:40 last night, so the guys probably got back to campus about 2 o’clock. We’re going to work out later today, show them some film and get ready for Alabama. But, these kids are used to playing AAU basketball where they play four or five times a day. That’s a good thing about playing as many players as we’re playing, they should be somewhat OK physically.”

Video: Coach John Calipari Post Missourt Presser

Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV

Video: UK Players Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson Post Missouri Presser

Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV

Video: Kentucky 69 at Missouri 53 Game Highlights

Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV

Transcript: UK Coach John Calipari Post Missouri Comments

UK Coach John Calpari 


On it being a foul-ridden game …“Very physical game. A lot of fouls called. Devin Booker struggled. Tyler (Ulis) played really well in the first half and the second half he was trying to go all pick-and-roll and they kind of smothered him. Karl(-Anthony) Towns was really good in the first half and not so good in the second half. Willie Cauley(-Stein), I just—come on. You’re one of the best players in the country. Go do your thing. And then Andrew (Harrison), I thought played great, but Aaron (Harrison) played pretty good too. I will tell you that you go on the road and you play a late game. We had to go—I was figuring out all day, I didn’t want them to sleep all day. So we were trying to figure out what to get them to do. But, like, Missouri had Arkansas beat, beat LSU and they came after us and they were not afraid. We struggled in pick-and-roll defense in the first half. Played a little bit better in the pick-and-roll in the second half. I guess that’s the M.O.: be really physical, body to body and we’re going to have to figure out and play through it.”
On the issues with pick-and-roll defense …“Well, we were going to switch it and our guards play behind and then a couple times we didn’t get back to the big quick enough and they were just—our weak-side defense wasn’t there. We’re just giving them layups. They had about three dunks, four dunks. Give them credit. They went right back to it. Kim (Anderson), he just said, ‘Hey—‘ ”
On the difference for Andrew Harrison on offense tonight …“He had more confidence. It’s like I said: You have the green light to go play basketball, but not mess around with the ball. Go by people, get fouled and no one’s stopping you. But you can’t—just don’t mess around with the ball. And I thought he did a great job today. He did a great job of running his team.”
On whether this stretch of three games in five days is difficult …“Yeah. Yeah, and we’re trying to get out of here. I told the guys, ‘Get back on that bus. Let’s go.’ They got class tomorrow. We’ll probably have a later practice tomorrow, 5 or 6 o’clock, and it’s probably going to be really light because then we come back, play Tuesday.”
On what he worries about during this stretch …“It’s going to be like you saw today. We just gotta play through the physical play. Again, we didn’t guard in the first half. I thought we did a better job in the second half. The last two baskets you give them change the percentages, but I though we guarded better in the second half.”
On why opponents want to be physical with UK …“Because we’re young. Got a bunch of young guys. Karl(-Anthony) Towns was so good in the first half and then just started fading away and didn’t attack the glass the same way. I don’t know, but I thought in the first half, wow. If that’s who he is, in the first half—again, and I was hard on these guys and I told them after. I said, ‘I’m not backing up. I don’t care what the score is. I’m worried about us. I’m worried about each individual here getting better and if you step back I’m going to be all over you.’ I thought Devin (Booker), again, I should have recognized that he was going to struggle in this venue. But here’s what I would say – because everybody wants to say, well it’s this guy – what’s happened for this team, all year guys have played poorly and we’ve still won. So maybe it was Dakari (Johns0n). Maybe it was Karl(-Anthony Towns). Maybe it was Willie (Cauley-Stein). Maybe it was Marcus Lee. Maybe it was guards. Maybe it was Andrew (Harrison). Maybe it was Tyler (Ulis), who couldn’t play against Mississippi at the end of the game. Maybe it was Devin (Booker), today and in a few games early in the year where he just played awful. Well, it’s OK. We can win without you. Just play hard. Play with energy. And that’s, I think, what makes this team pretty good.”
On whether anything surprised him about Missouri …“No, I knew it would be—you don’t beat somebody like we did there. And they come back and they played like I would have expected them to play.”
On whether the environment got to Devin Booker …“No, it wasn’t that. He didn’t play with an edge. He was almost like standing straight up, turning it over because he wasn’t being aggressive. We threw a ball deep to him; he acted like the other guy’s not play. The guy’s in a fistfight. You’re standing there thinking you’re, you know, skipping and whistling and all of a sudden he grabs a ball from you. But again, he’s 18 years old. He’s one of the youngest kids in college basketball and he’s coming to Missouri where his dad played and he’s getting booed. I mean, what do you expect? I should have expected that more and I got on him hard in the first half. The shots that he missed today, you all know, he doesn’t usually miss those. And he missed them badly. Like, he wasn’t shooting in the ocean today.”
On the key to Andrew Harrison’s confidence …“He is too self-critical. And it’s OK to be self-critical if you’re using it to improve yourself. But if you use it—your inner dialogue buries you, then you gotta change your inner dialogue. We all have inner dialogue. I’m telling Karl(-Anthony Towns) the same thing. His inner dialogue, I don’t know what he’s saying but he’s gotta change it. He’s gotta go from—what were you saying to yourself in the first half? Say that to yourself in the second half. And I think Andrew, he’s like Derrick Rose was for me. He’s so self-critical that he affects how he plays himself. And again, I coached him. I was hard on him today. He knew a couple screw-ups that he had that he just stopped playing. Gave them a 3. But overall, I thought he just really did some good stuff today.”
On if he thought Willie Cauley-Stein was beyond the vanishing act …“No, these kids are all – let me tell you, all these college players in every program, including mine, you think they’re all these confident guys until they miss three shots or a raindrop hits them on the shoulder and all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh my God, wha (stuttering), oh I hated it.’ Every college player is the same, and the tough ones will fight through it, but it’s a hard deal. I mean, Willie, did he end up scoring a basket? Yeah, he got one basket. We had 10 guys score baskets, I love that. Too many turnovers, not enough assists, but part of it is how they played. They were really physical.”
On if this is the type of game he likes, in that his team found a way to win …“Yeah, and you just want to see who would step up and make plays. Who will make free throws? Who will do their thing? I thought Dakari (Johnson) played good. I thought he did some good stuff today. I’ve got a good team. I’ve got good players and I’ve got a good team. Now we have to go play Saturday and we have to play Tuesday (against) two of the better teams in our league, Alabama and Georgia, and it’s back-to-back. That means we have three games in what, five days or six days? Six days. Three games in six days, and we have to travel here and now we have to travel back. So, it’ll be a tough stretch. You know, thank God we have a lot of guys, but it’s still going to be a tough stretch of games for us.”
On if there’s anything from his NBA experience that –“I got fired from the NBA so we’re not going to use that experience.”
On what the difference was in the second half that allowed UK to pull away from Missouri …“We made free throws and drew fouls. They got physical, so we played into their physical play. We told them we’re going to get the ball in different spots on the court and drive right at that rim. Be strong with the ball and they’re going to foul, and they did. But there was a lot of banging both ways. We were trying to protect ourselves too.”

Transcript: UK Players Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson Post Missouri Comments

Andrew Harrison 

On what it was like to play in a game with 54 fouls …

“You know why I’m here—no. I mean it was a fun game. We beat them pretty bad last time, but they’re a better team than (how) they played at Rupp, so we had to come in and play as hard as we could to win and that’s what we did.”
On what was different for him in shooting …“I’ve just been working out a lot, putting extra work in, just having confidence in myself.”
On what was different this game that made it so much closer …“They made lots of big shots. I mean, you can’t take (anything) away from them, they played well.”
On how well he thinks they played …“I mean we could’ve played—a little stuff here and there. But they made a lot of big shots and they played well. I mean we can always improve on certain mechanics, execute more, which is on me, so we can always improve on that.”
On if Devin Booker knew he was getting booed every time he touched the ball and what that would be like …“I didn’t really pay attention to it, but it’s a part of coming to Kentucky. You’ve just got to block that out and play.”
On if he was consciously trying to be more aggressive when Missouri cut the lead to six …“Yeah, I’ve been working on just getting to the right, staying low …”
On if it’s hard to ignore the early results and stay motivated against a team they’ve already beat, like Alabama …“As a competitor you have to look at is as another basketball game. We played them earlier in the season, but it doesn’t matter. They’re a better team, we’re a different team, so it’ll be a fun matchup.”
On if they did anything special to prepare for the Thursday, Saturday, Tuesday game schedule …“We’ll see. It’ll be tough, but we’ve gotta get back tomorrow.”
On Willie Cauley-Stein struggling these past few games …“I mean, you’re going to have your up-and-down games just like myself, I haven’t been playing well either. So Willie will be fine. Willie will do him and he’ll be just fine. I can promise you that.”
On if he’s talking to Cauley-Stein through those times …“Yeah because he does the same for me when I’m not playing as well as I want to. He can lean on all of us and he knows that, but it’ll be fine.”
On what he says to Cauley-Stein …“Just keep playing your game. Don’t worry about stuff you can’t control. He’s been making free throws before this game, so it’s been great. Everything else will come.”
On what his ups and downs were …“Just being more aggressive, really. Being more aggressive and having more confidence in myself, so attack the rim and stuff like that.”
On if anyone has brought up going undefeated …“We have to take it one game at a time. The SEC is a great league.”
On if being undefeated halfway through means anything to him …“Not at all. Might as well be 0-0.”
On if he’s alright with Booker’s dad wearing his “house divided” shirt …“I’m pretty sure he was rooting for us.”
On if it’s hard to get into an offense rhythm will all the fouls …“Yeah a little bit, but like I said, that’s all on me—execute and have the team follow my lead. That’s what I’m trying to do. When you have people like Dakari (Johnson), so you can throw it in there …”

Dakari Johnson

On what the conversation was like at halftime …

“(Coach Cal) just said keep on playing defense, keep on competing. They were going to play their hardest, so just try to compete.”
On Karl-Anthony Towns being so active in the post …“You know, the game plan was give it to him in the post and he started to get them off, right from the tip, so he did a good job creating space for ourselves and going straight up and making good moves.”
On if they were expecting a tougher game the second time around …“We knew they were going to come out and get physical. That’s how teams are going to play us, just trying to be physical with us, and we’ve just got to play physical basketball.”
On his running the floor …“Coach Cal brings it up all the time. (I’m) just trying to run the floor and post up early and just get some easy transition baskets and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
On if being undefeated halfway through means anything to him …“Not really. We’ve just got to take one game at a time and we’re not focused on what our record is. We just want to win the next game.”
On what surprised him most about Missouri’s play …“We knew they were going to come out from the start and it wasn’t going to be like last game—they’re at home. And they just came out and played physical, just (competed).”
On if Booker said anything to him about the reception he got …“Not really. He told me his dad used to play there, so I guess that’s why they booed him. He just played him game.”
On if he notices Towns playing the way Cal wants him to …“Yeah. That’s how he wants us to play, you know, making quick moves and just being aggressive.”

Thursday, January 29, 2015

SEC Women's BB Schedule 1/29/15

Thursday, January 29, 2015


  • 7:00 PM Alabama at # 1 South Carolina SEC NETWORK +

  • 7:00 PM Missouri at Florida SEC NETWORK +

  • 7:00 PM # 5 Tennessee at # 14 Kentucky SEC NETWORK

  • 8:00 PM Auburn at Arkansas SEC NETWORK +

  • 8:00 PM Vanderbilt at # 18 Mississippi St SEC NETWORK +

  • 9:00 PM Ole Miss at LSU SEC NETWORK

SEC Men's BB Schedule 1/29/15

Thursday, January 29, 2015


  • 9:00 PM # 1 Kentucky at Missouri ESPN

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Video: UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell Pre-Tennessee Presser

Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV

Video-SEC One on One: Kentucky's John Calipari biggest pet peeve in coaching

Video courtesy of Southeastern Conference

SEC Men's BB Schedule 1/28/15

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


  • 7:00 PM South Carolina at LSU SEC NETWORK

  • 9:00 PM Mississippi St at Ole Miss SEC NETWORK

Kentucky vs Missouri....A Preview Rd 2

Kentucky vs Missouri 1/29/2015 
(Thursday 9 PM) ESPN
UK leads series 7-0

Missouri Tigers (SEC)

Location: Columbia, Mo.
Enrollment: 34,748
Arena: 15,061

Head Coach: Kim Anderson
Career Record: 274-95 (74.3%) 12 Seasons
At Missouri: This is his 1st season.

2013-14 Record: 23-13
2013-14 SEC Record: 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: 1-1 NIT

2014-15 Record: 7-12
2014-15 SEC Record: 1-5

UMKU 69 Missouri 61
Missouri 56 Valparaiso 41
Missouri 78 Oral Roberts 64
Arizona 72 Missouri 53
Purdue 82 Missouri 61
Missouri 74 Chaminade 60
Missouri 65 Southeastern Missouri 61
Oklahoma 82 Missouri 63
Missouri 78 Elon 73
Illinois 62 Missouri 59
Xavier 74 Missouri 58
Oklahoma St. 74 Missouri 72 (OT)
Missouri 72 Lipscomb 60
Missouri 74 LSU 67 (OT)
Auburn 85 Missouri 79
Kentucky 86 Missouri 37
Tennessee 59 Missouri 51
Texas A&M 62 Missouri 50
Arkansas 61 Missouri 60

Missouri Stats:

PPG-63.2
FG%-41.4%
3 PT%-35.3% (6.7 PG)
FT%-66.3%
RPG-33.6 (-2.4)
APG-10.9
TO’s-13.3
SPG-6.1
BPG-3.0
Probable Starting Lineup:

Johnathan Williama III-F 6’9” Soph…………………..12.6 PPG
Jakeenan Gant-F 6’8” Fr……………………………….5.1 PPD
Namn Wright-G 6’5” Fr………………………………..5.7 PPG
Keith Shamburger-G 5’11” Sr………………………….8.6 PPG
Wes Clark-G 6’0” Soph……………………………...…9.6 PPG

Other Key Players:

Tramaine Isabell-G 6’0” Fr……………………………..4.7 PPG
Keanay Post-F 6’11” Sr…………………………………3.6 PPG
Montaque Gill-Caesar-G 6’6” Fr………………………..10.8 PPG

The Missouri AD and Tiger fans were shocked when coach Frank Haith left Missouri for Tulsa. The administration decided to then hire Missouri alum Kim Anderson who had led Central Missouri to a DII national championship. Coach Anderson took the reins of the Tigers this season having to contend with the departure of the team’s 3 leading scorers. On the plus side, Missouri had a recruiting class ranked 3rd in the SEC and top 20 by analysts. 

Coach Anderson goes deep in his bench with 11 players averaging 10 plus minutes. Among the top 8 players 4 are freshmen and 2 are sophomores so this is a very young Missouri team. Johnathan Williams is the leading scorer and leads in rebounds. Namn Wright and Keith Shamburger lead in shooting from the perimeter with Wright hitting a blistering 44.4% and Shamburger a solid 36.5% while also leading the team in assist with 60. Wes Clark leads in team steals with 33.

Very rough start for Missouri with an overall 7-12 record and after winning their 1st SEC game they have dropped 5 straight including an 86-37 beat down by UK. In the UK loss, the Tigers shot a dismal 27.1% and made only 1-18 perimeter shots….while getting out rebounded 46-27. Missouri will very likely play much better at home, but it would be a huge mountain to climb to make up a 49 point loss!

Kentucky Stats:

PPG-74.5
FG%-45.7%
3 PT%-35.7% (6.2 PG)
FT%-68.8%
RPG-40.4 (+9.2)
APG-15.6
TO’s-11.2
SPG-7.6
BPG-8.1

Kentucky got a payback win over a hardnose physical South Carolina team 58-43. The Cats matched the Gamecocks intensity and played great defense. However, the offense once again struggled, especially in the paint where UK’s big frontline continues to have trouble scoring and finishing in the paint. Frankly, it’s very disappointing to see the Cats very talented big men have so little impact offensively on the game more than half way through the season. Fortunately, UK is getting excellent production from Booker and the other guards have also contributed, but it is very dangerous to start depending on outside shooting to win tough games. I would hate to think where this team would be without the tremendous offense that Booker has provided….he is shooting a fantastic 50% from the perimeter…..51.2% overall….83.3% from the free throw line. Also, Booker has played solid defense!

In the South Carolina game UK was out rebounded 40-28 and grabbed only 3 offensive rebounds compared to 18 by the Gamecocks. Even in the Vandy game, UK barely out rebounded the Dores by 3 rebounds. Bottom line….UK’s frontline needs a lot of improvement on their offense and they need to start dominating the boards in games.

UK totally dominated Missouri at Rupp arena winning by 49 points. However, the Tigers will not be nearly as easy on their home floor and they will have their 2nd leading scorer, Montaque Gill- Caesar back in the lineup….as his injury cost him from playing in the Rupp arena game.

Missouri was totally embarrassed by UK at Rupp arena and you can bet that the Tigers will play super hard to make up for that embarrassment. UK must guard against being over confident after their very easy win over the Tigers. The Cats won’t beat Missouri by 49 points, but if they continue their great defense and intensity I see a 20 point win for UK. GO CATS!