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Kentucky Basketball

Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky Preview

January 11, 2019
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Intangible Factors

The Cats coming off a loss to Alabama, coupled with an inconsistent performance against Texas A&M, is not good news for the Commodores. Due to these poor performances, Coach Cal will have his foot back on the gas in hopes of making this team more “player-driven”. I fully expect the Cats to come out focused and intense with the home crowd behind them.

Personnel

Looking at the rosters, Vanderbilt does not have the same level of talent and athleticism as Kentucky. Pair that with the fact they are missing their best player, Darrius Garland, and the talent gap is even wider. Simi Shittu is likely the only active player for Vanderbilt who would crack the rotation for the Cats. He will be a challenge for Kentucky’s big guys as he is athletic and a true “blue-chip” player. Despite his ability to potentially dominate inside, upsets tend to need shooting from the perimeter. This matchup will simply be a mismatch in both talent and athleticism in favor of the Cats.

Playing the Percentages

How often do you think a Coach Cal led Kentucky team loses to an unranked, SEC opponent in Rupp? I will save you the time and research. It simply does not happen often.

Clearly, I am predicting a Kentucky win. Based on the topics above, I lean towards a score of 82-62 in favor of the Cats come Saturday night. Look for improved perimeter defense and all-around energy from the Cats. The player of the game will likely come from either PJ Washington or Keldon Johnson. Will I be right? What do you think? Leave your comments and predictions below!

 
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