Tonight, because of circumstances beyond my control, we are going to combine the game preview and the open game thread for the Tennessee Volunteers at Kentucky Wildcats into one article. Game particulars as follows:
|Tennessee @ Kentucky|
|Kentucky vs. Tennessee|
Tues., Jan. 31 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | UT
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via WatchESPN
Fortunately, very little has changed about Tennessee since we last played them. They have managed one big upset versus the Connecticut Huskies in Knoxville, but other than that have gone an underwhelming 2-2 despite the addition of Jarnell Stokes, who entered the starting lineup for Tennessee from the UConn game since. The starting lineup for tonight is likely to be:
- Trae Golden (G) 6'1" 209#
Josh Richardson (G) 6'6" 186#
- Cameron Tatum (G) 6'7" 193#
- Jeronne Maymon (F) 6'7" 265#
Jarnell Stokes (F) 6'8" 250#
As always, for more on the Vols, visit our friends over at Rocky Top Talk.
Since Tennessee and Kentucky last met, the Wildcats have won every game and are now 7-0 in the SEC. The Vols won the aforementioned contest with the Huskies, got creamed on the road by the Vanderbilt Commodores, and defeated the Auburn Tigers in Knoxville in a game that was painful to watch.
Here are the personnel for the Vols, with updated averages:
There are no injuries to report for either team.
- Offense: Kentucky has a major advantage everywhere on the floor;
- Defense: Kentucky is a superior defensive team, but not vastly so.
- Offensive rebounding: Kentucky has a small advantage.
- Defensive rebounding: A tie overall, but Kentucky has been better in conference.
- 3-point shooting: Kentucky has an advantage. Tennessee defends the three well, however.
- Home court: Big for UK
- Intangibles: UK in a big way. Terrence Jones is beginning to feel it, Anthony Davis is showing his toughness, MKG is MKG, Darius Miller is playing like a champion, and Marquis Teague is playing his best basketball of the year.
Tennessee is walking into a bad situation unless Kentucky is full of themselves after going on the road and crushing the LSU Tigers despite taking a physical beating. Terrence Jones' confidence must be through the roof right now, and Anthony Davis has only missed 1 shot in the last two games.
Tennessee is not unthreatening, however, as the addition of Jarnell Stokes has added a real inside scoring and rebounding threat, and together with Maymon, the Vols completely out-bulk the Wildcats. It will be interesting to see how Calipari handles the duo of Stokes and Maymon with the long but stick-thin Anthony Davis. Terrence Jones should be able to hold his own against either of them.
This looks like a game where Kentucky needs a big contribution, perhaps bigger than normal, from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Darius Miller and Doron Lamb. Lamb is due for a big game, and despite playing very hard in the last game, his points were down quite a bit from previously. In Knoxville, Kidd-Gilchrist put up 17 big points, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him score quite a bit tonight.
Kentucky needs to take care of the defensive glass like they did in Knoxville, and continue to take care of the ball like they did in Baton Rouge. An upset is definitely possible in this one, but it doesn't seem likely in Rupp Arena the way the Wildcats are playing right now.