This afternoon, The Winthrop Eagles visit Rupp Arena to take a shot at the #13 Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky is coming off a less-than-stellar victory over the Mississippi Valley St. Delta Devils, and Winthrop has been on the road four of its last five games, and bowed to the Dayton Flyers on Monday.
Here's a comparison of the combatant's seasons so far:
As you get hints of above, Winthrop isn't a lowly 1-8 like the Delta Devils were. The Eagles have played some pretty good teams, and played them well, like the Va. Commonwealth Rams, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Jacksonville Dolphins.
More after the jump.
The Eagles have had a significant turnover from last year. Lost are:
|Andy Buechert||6-10||232||Senior||Starter, leading rebounder|
|Chad DeWitt||6-2||185||Senior||Minor reserve|
|Mantoris Robinson||6-5||205||Senior||Starter, 3rd leading scorer|
|Raymond Davis||6-4||195||Senior||Minor reserve|
|Chris Malcolm||6-7||208||Sophomore||Minor reserve|
|Julius Francis||6-11||243||Freshman||Never played|
|Taylor Dunn||6-2||195||Freshman||Rarely played|
Additions are as follows:
|Joab Jerome||6-5||185||Freshman||Minor reserve|
Winthrop Eagles Basketball Roster with Comments
|Justin Burton||3||G||Starter, 2nd leading assist||165||5-10||senior|
|Charles Corbin||42||F||Major reserve, 2nd leading rebounder||220||6-7||senior|
|Robbie Dreher||23||G||Starter/reserve, leading scorer||185||6-4||sophomore|
|Gideon Gamble||2||G||Major reserve, 3 point specialist||186||6-7||sophomore|
|Joab Jerome||1||F||Minor reserve||185||6-5||freshman|
|Andre Jones||21||G||Starter, 2nd leading scorer||190||6-2||junior|
|Reggie King||11||G||Minor reserve||208||6-2||sophomore|
|Patrick Marcu||22||G||Rarely plays||185||6-3||junior|
|Reggie Middleton||4||G||Starter, 3rd leading scorer||190||6-1||junior|
|Matt Morgan||5||C||Returning starter||235||6-9||junior|
|George Valentine||43||F||Starter, leading rebounder||235||6-8||junior|
As you might expect, the Four Factors favor Kentucky in this game. Kentucky shoots the ball much better, handles it better, takes care of the offensive glass better and gets to the line at a higher rate.
This is another one of those so-called "easy games" against a notably inferior opponent, except we have to keep in mind that Winthrop has beaten one below average BCS team (Wake Forest) and a good Jacksonville team. In both those games, the Eagles shot the ball well and won the battle of the offensive glass.
Kentucky's weakness this season has been 2-point field goal percentage. When the 'Cats shoot badly from 2, they wind up either losing the game or in a dog fight. The Delta Devils out-hustled the 'Cats the other day on the offensive glass, and that made an otherwise easy game look awkward and more competitive than it was.
Kentucky needs to show improvement in getting the ball in scoring position nearer the basket, and if they do not defend this Winthrop team on the perimeter, the Eagles have shown (most notably against Wake Forest) that they can shoot the ball well enough to beat anybody.