The Kentucky Wildcats are set to take on Cleveland State on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET. The Wildcats are heavily favored to beat the 1-2 Vikings.
The Wildcats will be led by their top scorer Isaiah Briscoe, who’s looked much better scoring the ball this year than he did last year; he’s averaging 18 points per game on 52% shooting. They’ll also be led by Bam Adebayo, who’s averaging 6.3 rebounds per game and De’Aaron Fox who has 6.8 assists per game.
As for the Vikings, they’ll be led by Rob Edwards, who’s averaging 17 points per game, Jibri Blount who’s averaging 5.7 rebounds and Kasheem Thomas 6.3 assists.
Cleveland State trails Kentucky in every team statistical category, including points, points allowed, field goal percentage, rebounds (shockingly), assists, blocks and steals. They’ve also lost four of their five last games, going back to last season.
This will be a great chance for Kentucky to tune up on some of the aspects they struggle in. They’ll get a chance to work on rebounding against a team that’s worse than them on the boards, and they may get a chance to get work on their half court execution against a team with a drastically worse point differential, rather than just running the floor at a breakneck pace the entire game.
Obviously the Cats will succeed in transition, as they always do, and they’ll score a ton. Also, Cleveland State will struggle to score. They shoot a lower percentage than Kentucky (42%), and Kentucky has already established itself as a dominant defensive team early this year.
Kentucky has the depth, the scoring, the ability in transition and the defensive ability to make this an absolute blowout. Don’t expect Cleveland State to roll over, but don’t expect this game to be close either.
Here is everything you’ll need to watch and follow this game
Cleveland State Vikings (1-2) at Kentucky Wildcats (4-0)
When: Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. ET
Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.
TV: SEC Network
Channel: 611 on DirecTV; 404 on Dish Network
Live Online Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: UK Radio Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt
Live stats: UK Athletics
Odds: UK is favored by 28. points.
No. 0 De'Aaron Fox, Point Guard, Freshman
No. 1 Sacha Killeya-Jones, Forward, Freshman
No. 3 Edrice ‘Bam’ Adebayo, Forward Freshman
No. 5 Malik Monk, Shooting Guard, Freshman
No. 10 Jonny David, Guard, Sophomore
No. 11 Mychal Mulder, Guard, Senior
No. 13 Isaiah Briscoe, Guard, Sophomore
No. 14 Tai Wynyard Forward, Redshirt Freshman
No. 15 Isaac Humphries, Forward, Sophomore
No. 20 Brad Calipari, Guard, Freshman
No. 25 Dominique Hawkins, Guard, Senior
No. 30 Dillon Pulliam, Guard, Redshirt Sophomore
No. 32 Wenyen Gabriel, Forward, Freshman
No. 35 Derek Willis, Forward, Senior
Prediction: It’s always hard to get motivated for the early Wednesday game before players take off to be with their families for Thanksgiving. Then again, these Cats are far superior to the Vikings, so this game shouldn’t be close for more than a half.
Cleveland State ranks 200th or worse nationally in scoring, rebounding, assists, and points allowed per game, and they’ve only played the likes of Kent State, Canisius and UT-Martin thus far.
This is a game UK should win by at least 20 with relative ease.
Kentucky 84, Cleveland State 63