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Kentucky Basketball

Breaking Down Kentucky vs. Alabama

January 4, 2019

With most of the non-conference season behind them, the Kentucky Wildcats are set to begin SEC play. The Cats’ first test will be a road matchup, with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama is sitting at 9-3, with their best win being a close call with the Wildcats of Arizona. Kentucky will enter Coleman Coliseum 10-2 and riding high, after back-to-back impressive wins over rivals Louisville and UNC. There are three focal points to watch out for this weekend.

Matchup To Watch

Kira Lewis vs Ashton Hagans is the clear matchup to watch out for this weekend. Alabama’s leading scorer, Kira Lewis, averaging 15 points a game, will be going up against Kentucky’s best defensive player, Ashton Hagans. Hagans has been dominating on the defensive side of the floor this season. He had 8 steals against UNC and followed that up with another strong outing against Louisville. On the other hand, Kira Lewis is coming off of a 17 point 8 assist game, so he will be looking to take control on offense. It is definitely a Best-Versus-Best battle.

Three-Point Shooting

As in most basketball games, the three ball will have a lot to do with the outcome of the game.
In this case, if Kentucky gets hot from outside, Alabama doesn’t have a chance at winning. Alabama has a lower average three-point percentage, and this could very well come into play. Without a lucky streak, Alabama isn’t going to perform well from the three, which may come back to haunt them in a close game. With both teams shooting around 18-20 threes a game a large portion of the score will be determined from how well the teams perform from three. Whoever hits more shots from deep will likely leave victorious.

Energy and Intensity

The name Kentucky on a jersey always brings out the best in opposing fan bases. It is likely to be a raucous and rowdy atmosphere in Coleman Coliseum this Saturday. Very often, it seems to also bring out the best in the opponent. This means the Cats need to be ready from the opening tip. If the Boys in Blue can win the HUSTLE stats, Avery Johnson’s squad will struggle to contend.

With all of the talent and energy this team has and the fact that Kentucky has been performing well, Kentucky will be pretty hard to beat. Alabama with have to bring their A-game if they want to stand a chance this Saturday. As for my prediction, I’ll say 78-67 Cats. Post your predictions below!

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Breaking Down Kentucky vs. Alabama

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