What do you give the team that has everything? A home win over a pesky Vanderbilt, we hope. Riding the nation's third-longest winning streak (11 games), Kentucky returns home today at 3 PM ET for a tilt against the surprising Commodores, winners over Bama and Tennessee already this season, although both wins were at home.
Joe Crawford tied his career high with 23 points, and Randolph Morris reached another double-double in Tuesday's smack down of South Carolina on ESPN. The Cats were unstoppable in that one, at least for a painfully bad Gamecocks squad. Still, against an SEC team at home, the Boys in Blue did what they needed to do and punished a team from start to finish (sort of).
Today, Kentucky needs to avoid a letdown. This Vandy team does something very scary -- hit threes, and lots of them. Smith's ball-line defense tries to put the ball into the hands of the poorest shooters, but doesn't always succeed in cutting off the deep ball. If Shan Foster and Derrick Byars get free, it could be a long afternoon for the Cats.
What to look for:
* We are the Champions: A 38-point win on Tuesday had everyone from Bill Keightley to the Cats Pause' most gloomy posters feeling good about this team, and why not? Still, overconfidence is great against UMass or EKU. Vandy can crush those hopes with one win at Rupp, turning the fanbase back into "eat itself" mode. The players have been saying the right things, now let's hope they prove they are learning their lessons by doing the right things.
* The Meeks Will Inherit the Playing Time?: Freshman Jodie Meeks came into mop-up time against USC firing and scored 12 points in about as many minutes. It was great to see, as was his driving to the hoop and shooting midrange jumpers. Meeks had been relying heavily on his three-point shot, which is fine except it wasn't going in enough. In a game like today's, an unexpected scoring punch could prove decisive. Look for Meeks to get his chances. Will they go in?
Probable starting lineupsKentucky
PG: Derrick Jasper (6'6"/213 Fr.) 5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.4 apg
SG: Ramel Bradley (6'3"/175 Jr.) 13.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.8 apg
3G: Joe Crawford (6'5"/211 Jr.) 14.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg
C: Randolph Morris (6'11"/259 Jr.) 16.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg
SF: Bobby Perry (6'9"/215 Sr.) 6.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
F Perry Stevenson, F Sheray Thomas, F Ramon Harris, C Lukasz Obrzut, G Jodie Meeks, G Michael Porter
PG: Alex Gordon (5'11"/164, Jr.) 8.2 ppg, *4.1 apg
SG: Shan Foster (6'6"/200, Jr.) 15.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg
F: Derrick Byars (6'7"/230, Sr.) 15.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg
F: Dan Cage (6'5"/215, Sr.) 11.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
C: Ross Neltner (6'9"/247, Jr.) 10.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Jermaine Beal (G), Ted Skuchas (C), JeJuan Brown (F), George Drake (G)