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Montana State Bobcats at Kentucky Wildcats: Game Preview

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Montana State visits Rupp Arena at 6:00 PM this evening to try to get their first win of the season against the #1 Wildcats.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

After an interesting game against Boston University where the Kentucky Wildcats were in a competitive game longer than they were with the Kansas Jayhawks, Kentucky welcomes the Montana State Bobcats into Rupp Arena for a continuation of the Cawood Ledford Classic. The game details can be found at the link just below at UKAthletics.com

After last season, Montana State changed head coaches and hired former Oregon assistant Brian Fish. Fish went to Marshall and spent almost 15 years under Dana Altman. You can read more about the hire at Mid Major Madness.

General

About OPPONENT:

Location: Bozeman, Montana
Conference: Big Sky
Head Coach: Brian Fish (first year)
NCAA Appearances: 3
Most recent NCAA appearance: 1996
Most recent NCAA win: Never
Founded: 1893
Enrollment: 15,294
Last season’s record: 14-17, (9,11)
Source: Basketball State

Season so far for Montana St.

Season record: 0-3, (0-0 conf.)

Montana St. has yet to win a game this season.  They lost to UCLA in Pauley Pavilion in a rout, 113-78, got whacked by recent Kentucky foe Grand Canyon 61-45, and lost to Cal St. Northridge by 7, 72-65.  They are not reckoned to be a factor in the Big Sky Conference this season.

Series history

This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Stats

Montana State Roster:

FULL NAME STATUS POS. HT. WT. YR. HOMETOWN HIGH SCHOOL PREVIOUS SCHOOL
Marcus Colbert S** G 5-11 180 Jr. Post Falls, ID Post Falls
Zach Green S G 6-4 195 Fr. Gilbert, AZ Mesquite
Michael Dison S* G 5-9 160 Sr. Houston, TX Dekaney
Blake Brumwell S* C 6-7 250 Sr. Big Sandy, MT Big Sandy
Danny Robison S* F 6-8 225 Jr. Billings West
Stephan Holm MR* G 6-3 175 So. Riverton, UT Riverton
Eric Norman MR F 6-9 220 Sr. San Diego, CA Francis W. Parker SMU
Ryan Shannon R+ F 6-8 225 So. Marysville, WA Mountlake Terrace
Terrell Brown R& F 6-4 200 Jr. Colorado Springs, CO Palmer Otero JC
Quinn Price R F 6-9 205 Fr. Casa Grande, AZ Vista Grande
Joseph Frenchwood IV R G 6-1 175 Fr. Newark, CA Memorial
Bradley Fisher R C 7-0 245 Fr. Chorley, England Culver (IN) Academy









Legend







Starter
Major reserve
Reserve
Returning starter
Returning player
JUCO transfer
Redshirt eligible

Source: Montana State website

Team Comparison

Stat UK MSU
Record 4-0 0-3
RPI 261 7
Home 3-0 0-0
Away 0-0 0-3
Neutral 1-0 0-0
Top 25 1-0 0-0
Sched. Strength 192 57
AP Rank 1 NR
Coaches Rank 1 NR
Kenpom.com 1 329

Four Factors

UK-Montana st. pregame four factors

Montana St. Team Notes

  • Montana St. only has one returning starter from 2014;
  • The Bobcats really struggle handling the ball;
  • Kentucky has a major advantage on the glass;
  • Montana does not shoot the ball particularly well from anywhere;
  • The Bobcats take a very large number of three-point shots.

Montana St.: Player notes

  • Danny Robinson is the Bobcats’ most efficient offensive player, even though he’s only used less than 20% of the time. He can score both inside and out, and is a good three-point shooter despite taking only five so far. He’s the leading scorer and rebounder at 12.3 and 5.3 per game

  • Marcus Colbert is the second leading scorer and point guard. He averages almost six assists per game, but suffers 3.3 turnovers per game as well. He’s a lethal 3-point shooter.

  • Michael Dison is more of a penetrating guard, taking more 2-point shots than anyone on the team. He has only attempted six 3-point shots, making one.

  • Blake Brumwell is the teams best offensive rebounder, percentage wise, and is a solid rebounder overall. He does not shoot three pointers, and is by far MSU’s most substantial player at 6‘7"/250#.

  • Zach Green is a true freshman wing who is the defensive stalwart. He rebounds very well for a guard, he leads the team in blocks and steals, but is a poor perimeter shooter.

  • Stephan Holm is the sixth man and a good offensive player. He has taken the most threes on the team and shoots a decent, but not outstanding percentage.

  • Eric Norman focuses on defense and rebounding, but sees quite a few minutes. He is not a dangerous threat to score, taking only 11 shots so far this season.

Injuries

  • Alex Poythress is once again doubtful for today due to illness.

Likely matchups

Starters

  • Michael Dison vs. Andrew Harrison/Tyler Ulis — Harrison is bigger, stronger, and more talented. Dison, at 5‘9", is likely to be much quicker. That quickness is always a challenge for Kentucky, but Harrison has a clear advantage in most areas. Tyler Ulis will be very comfortable with him on both sides of the ball.

Advantage: Kentucky

  • Zach Green vs. Aaron Harrison/Trey Lyles — Green is a big guard, but as a freshmen of significantly lesser talent, he is unlikely to pose any difficulty for Booker or Harrison

Advantage: Kentucky

  • Marcus Colbert vs. Dominique Hawkins/Devin Booker — No matter who guards Colbert, they’re going to have their hands full. Colbert can score, and his smaller size will present a challenge to Kentucky

Advantage: Kentucky

  • Blake Brumwell vs. Willie Cauley-Stein/Marcus Lee — Blake Brumwell will defend both WCS and Lee well, but their superior size makes him unlikely to sore much or have a lot of success rebounding.

Advantage: Kentucky

  • Danny Robinson vs. Karl-Anthony Towns/Dakari Johnson — Danny Robinson is a load, but he is facing one center who’s even bigger than he is and another who’s much taller and longer. He will be hard to get around for offensive rebounds, though.

Advantage: Kentucky

Bench

Montana State’s bench has some experience, but is not particularly tall or skilled.

Advantage: Kentucky

Analysis

There is no statistical category in which Montana State is superior to Kentucky. They are, by a significant measure, the weakest team that Kentucky has played all season, significantly weaker than Grand Canyon.

I expect this to be a more or less effortless win for the Wildcats unless they just sleepwalk themselves into a competitive game. On paper, there is no way MSU can realistically hope to compete