The Wildcats have an advantage over Vanderbilt in just about every aspect of the game. Statistically, this game shouldn’t even be close; they beat Vanderbilt in points per-game, field goal percentage, rebounding, assists, blocks and steals.
Malik Monk is shooting far better than Vanderbilt’s best scorer, Matthew Fisher-Davis, who’s averaging over 4 points fewer than Monk, and is shooting a lower percentage.
One player to watch for on Vanderbilt’s side is Luke Kornet. The 7-foot senior center has posted a double-double in his last two games, putting 10 points and 11 rebounds against the Auburn Tigers, as well as 15 points and 13 rebounds against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
His scoring and rebounding abilities will put Kentucky’s big men to the test. It may help Calipari figure out who his best forwards are though, as the forward rotation still hasn’t been set in stone.
All signs point to this game being a blowout on paper. Kentucky is blowing their SEC competition away, and while Vanderbilt is currently 2-1 in league play, their wins haven’t quite been in the dominating fashion that Kentucky’s have. They beat LSU, 96-89, and Auburn, 80-61, but lost to Alabama, 59-56.
However, the Commodores are just a possession or two away from being undefeated in conference play, and the Wildcats tend to struggle mightily at Memorial Gym. But the Cats will also likely run Vanderbilt out of the gym.
Vandy ranks 223rd in the nation in points per-game, and 106th in points allowed. They’re not going to be able to contain Kentucky’s athleticism, and they’re not going to be able to score with them. Even with Kentucky’s tendency to struggle inside Memorial, it’s not likely that they’ll lose this game.
Here is everything you’ll need for this Tuesday night SEC affair:
Kentucky Wildcats (13-2, 3-0 in SEC) at Vanderbilt Commodores (8-7, 2-1 in SEC)
When: Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. EST
Location: Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee
Live Online Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: UK Radio Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt
Odds: UK opened as an 11-point favorite. The Cats are 12-3 against the spread this season, so the smart money is on UK winning by double-digits.
Score Prediction: KenPom projects a 84-73 win by Kentucky and gives the Cats an 84-percent chance of winning.