Vanderbilt Commodores (8-13, 2-6 in SEC) at Kentucky Wildcats (16-5, 5-3 in SEC)
Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY
TV : ESPN
Time: 9:00 pm EST on January 30th
Live Online Stream: You can stream the game online or on a mobile device using WatchESPN.
Replay: UK Basketball Live and WatchESPN
Odds: Kentucky opened as an 11-point favorite. KenPom projected the Cats to be 11-point favorites and gives them an 84-percent chance of winning. ESPN’s BPI predictor gives the Cats an 86.3-percent chance of winning.
Score Prediction: 71-59
While we wait for tonight’s game, enjoy some highlights from Kevin Knox’s masterpiece in Morgantown:
Saturday against West Virginia was about more than just Kevin Knox scoring a lot of points and the Wildcats pulling off an upset on the road. The Cats committed just five turnovers in the second half. They also went 18-18 from the free throw line in the second half. They even snatched 13 offensive rebounds in the second half.
Jarred Vanderbilt, in limited minutes, was jumping left and right after every 50-50 ball. Kevin Knox actually got off the bus and pounded his chest. Nick Richards finally grabbed an offensive rebound and scored right after. Wenyen Gabriel had a 2 minute stretch where he was the best 2-way player on the court.
Hamidou Diallo had a few sequences where he wasn’t completely out of control. Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, while having an off night offensively, proved yet again how talented he is by locking down Jevon Carter in the second half.
The Cats pulled off that comeback without much from two of their more productive scorers from the first half of the season: PJ Washington and Quade Green. Sacha Killeya-Jones also played just 11 minutes.
This comeback meant more to this young team than most outside of Big Blue Nation realize. In my opinion, it’s one of the greatest wins Calipari has had at Kentucky. The level of difficulty has never been higher than it was Saturday night.
With all of that being said... most of the time when a young and/or inexperienced pulls off a significant upset, they come out flat in their next game. Most teams, though, don’t have John Calipari as their head coach. And Coach Cal won’t let his young guns sleep on their next opponent.
The Vanderbilt Commodores will travel to Lexington on Tuesday, coming off a home-upset over TCU. The Commodores are just 8-13 overall and the worst SEC team at 2-6 in conference play.
The last time these two teams met, Kentucky won 74-67. The Wildcats are 12-4 all-time against the Commodores under Calipari.
Kentucky matches up extremely well with Vanderbilt, as Gilgeous-Alexander has the length to disrupt both Jeff Roberson and Riley LaChance. Gilgeous-Alexander can hold his own against pretty much anyone, but can Diallo and Green disrupt the other of LaChance or Roberson enough to make life difficult for Vandy?
The Cats also have a significant size advantage. While this is nothing new, the young Cats taking advantage of their height is (see UK-WVU highlights, as most were the Cats dominating inside). I look for them to follow the same game plan as Saturday night’s second half and demolish the offensive glass.
The Cats may come out slow early, rightfully so after their emotional and exhausting comeback two days ago. However, if the young freshman can stay true to Calipari’s halftime adjustments, the Cats should pull away convincingly in the second half.