I have decided to merge the pre-game and Open Game Threads into one for this game, because there is so little real data available on the Bearkats. First, the game particulars, courtesy of UKAthletics.com:
More after the jump.
Here is a statistical comparison of what the Bearkats and Wildcats have done so far:
|2009 Team Stats||UK||SHSU|
|3-point FG Percentage||33.3%||28.6%|
|Stat||2009 Stat Leaders|
|Scoring||UK: John Wall (19.0)|
|SHSU: Gilberto Clavell (15.0)|
|Rebounding||UK Patrick Patterson (11.0)|
|SHSU: Josten Crow (6.5)|
|Assists||UK: John Wall (5.0)|
|SHSU: Drae Murray (6.5)|
|3-point FG Percentage||UK: John Wall and Patrick Patterson (50.0%)|
|SHSU: Josten Crow (50.0%)|
|Blocks||UK: DeMarcus Cousins (2.0)|
|SHSU: Three with (1.5)|
|Steals||UK: John Wall (3.0)|
|SHSU: Josten Crow (2.5)|
Bearkat fact sheet:
Head Coach Bob Marlin
Record at School 202-123 (12th season)
2009 Record 2-0, 0-0 Southland Conference
Ranking Not ranked
Series Record First meeting
- Returning starters: 3
- Returning players: 8
- Primary orientation: Perimeter -- The Bearkats are a good perimeter shooting team, shooting 35% as a team against Texas College. Against LeTourneu, they didn't shoot it well, managing only 22.5%, but don't let that fool you. Corey Allmond, Lance Pevehouse, and Drae Murray will all put it up, and can make them. Pevehouse has shot the ball poorly from three this year, but it isn't from a lack of trying
- Defensive orientation: Primarily zone/matchup zone -- You know the zone will give the DDM at this early juncture fits. We can expect more of that frustration tonight. They will pressure our perimeter players at first but may start sagging if UK gets to the rim a lot.
- Tempo: Medium -- Sam Houston State is not a slow-it-down team. They like to run, as evidenced by their 82 points per game average, but they don't run constantly.
Sam Houston State's biggest starter is 6'7", and their biggest reserve is 6'9", so they are giving up considerable size to the Wildcats. Their back court is small, but very quick, and UK will have some difficulty with SHS's quickness in this game.
I expect to see Calipari try hard to put this team away early, but you never know for sure. I expect SHS to hang in with Kentucky a while, as UK has yet to show the team cohesiveness and chemistry to get up big early. Coach Marlin will be encouraging his team to run back on defense, and UK will probably not be able to get too much off the break, much as we saw against Miami. What that will mean, though, is the combination of zone and protecting against the break will allow UK many offensive rebounding opportunities in this game, much as in the last game.
Will we have another Nick Winbush-like performance tonight? I wouldn't be at all surprised.
Predicted score: Kentucky 78, Sam Houston State, 60.