Kentucky will look to pick up their second win of the conference slate on Tuesday night when they take on the Texas A&M Aggies.
The Aggies enter the matchup at 8-4 (0-1 in the SEC) and are coming off of a 73-63 defeat at home versus the Tennessee Volunteers.
To this point, the Aggies have lost to USC (65-63), UCLA (74-67), Arizona (67-63) as well as the loss to Tennessee.
The Aggies are led by sophomore big man Tyler Davis with 14.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, and 1.2 blocks per game. Davis caused a ton of problems for the Wildcats last year as a freshman, going for 15 points and 12 rebounds in the first matchup and eight points and nine rebounds in the SEC Championship.
The Aggies have also benefited from the rise of freshman Robert Williams. Williams is averaging 10.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.4 blocks, and shooting over 62 percent from the floor.
I think Kentucky’s chances of winning this game are pretty strong. Playing at home will be beneficial for the young Wildcats team. The Aggies have also struggled at times to put up points offensively, ranking 160th in Division I Basketball with 74.8 ppg. Unless Kentucky is really cold offensively, A&M will probably have to go beyond that average to win.
The Aggies also showed some weakness in their transition defense in the matchup against Tennessee, and beating Kentucky means you have to defend well in transition or greatly limit those opportunities. If the Aggies struggle to defend in transition, Kentucky could end up with several easy scoring opportunities.
This will be a tough matchup for the Wildcats and we will likely learn a lot about this squad from this game. On paper, it looks like it should be a Kentucky win but the Wildcats will have to come out and play well to beat an Aggies team that has shown to be a formidable threat the last few years.
Here is everything you’ll need for this Tuesday night affair.
Texas A&M Aggies (8-4, 0-1 in SEC) at Kentucky Wildcats (11-2, 1-0 in SEC)
When: Jan. 3 at 9 p.m. EST
Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.
Live Online Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: UK Radio Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt
Odds: UK opened as a 14-point favorite.
Score Prediction: KenPom projects an 82-67 win by Kentucky and gives the Cats a 91-percent chance of winning.