Coming off an embarrassing loss to Florida, Kentucky needs a win in the worst way right now. Luckily, they will face LSU at home, a team that has lost nine straight games.
The Tigers will enter the game 9-13, and 1-9 in conference play. Kentucky will have a few guys to watch out for, such as Antonio Blakeney, who’s averaging 15.6 points on 45% shooting, and Duop Reath, who’s leading the Tigers in rebounds with 6.4 per-game.
From a team standpoint, the Tigers produce underwhelming numbers, as they average 74.6 points per-game, which ranks 158th in the nation, and they allow 81.2 points per-game, which ranks 334th in the nation. They’re not a great passing team, averaging just 13.5 assists per-game (tied for 186th in the nation). On paper, Kentucky is heavily favored, but we’ve said that before.
This game should be a bounce-back for the Wildcats. After playing their worst game against arguably their only competition in the SEC, it’ll be nice to play one of the SEC’s worst. Look for Calipari to have the ‘Cats working to improve what they struggled with, and look for Cal to work on some of his famous tweaks, since he’ll have a massive advantage to work with, regardless of who’s on the floor.
With the Florida game leaving a lot to be desired, everyone will be watching Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe, after they both struggled mightily to produce at their normal rate on Saturday. Everyone will also be watching De’Aaron Fox, to see if he’s permanently healed from his illness. His 19 points against Florida marked a team-high on the day, but he didn’t play quite as much as a healthy Fox would’ve (that may have also been because of his foul situation).
In the end, this should be a blowout for Kentucky. They’ll be at home, playing a terrible LSU team, and coming off of a bad loss. Calipari should have them in shape and ready to prove that they’re still a contender. They’ll have to win this one in convincing fashion in order to prove that.
Here’s everything you’ll need for Wildcats vs Tigers:
LSU Tigers (9-13, 1-9 in SEC) at Kentucky Wildcats (18-5, 8-2 in SEC)
Game Time: 7 p.m. EST on Feb. 7
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 23.5-point favorite over LSU. KenPom projected UK to be a 26-point favorite.
Score Prediction: KenPom projects an 102-76 win by Kentucky and gives the Cats a 99-percent chance of winning.