Winthrop Eagles (2-2) at Kentucky Wildcats (3-1)
- Where: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- Game time: 1:00 pm EST on Nov. 21
- TV Channel: SEC Network
- Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington. You can listen to an online radio stream via UK Athletics.
- Online Stream: You can watch it online using Watch ESPN, the Watch ESPN app and fuboTV. You can listen to an online radio stream via UK Athletics.
- Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings)
- Odds: Kentucky is a 22.5-point favorite. KenPom projected Kentucky to be a 21-point favorite.
- Predictions: ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Kentucky a 92.7% chance to win. KenPom gives the Wildcats a 97% chance of winning and projects a 91-70 win for the home team. TeamRankings projects a 91-68 Kentucky win. numberFire is going with an 85-73 win for the home team.
- Rosters: Kentucky | Winthrop
- Live Stats
- Digital Gameday Guide
Early tip means an early start for us. Game day! #WUvsUK pic.twitter.com/jeDNzI43cX— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 21, 2018
After being trounced by Duke in their first game of the season, Kentucky has won three in a row. They Wildcats will try to move to 4-1 on the year when they face the 2-2 Winthrop Eagles on Wednesday afternoon.
Kentucky came into this season loaded with young talent and high expectations. Multiple players have stepped up with impressive performances so far, but still no clear go-to option has emerged four games into the year. Coach Calipari has spent most of the early season tinkering with different lineups and rotations, which is to be expected with such a young team.
Even playing much weaker opponents, it hasn’t been easy going for UK. Besides their game against North Dakota, the scores do not reflect how close the games actually were. Turnovers have been the biggest problem for Kentucky. They are averaging 15 turnovers a game, which is atrocious considering the teams they have faced.
Besides the turnovers, their lack of perimeter shooting is an issue for the second straight year. Kentucky is shooting 32.8% from three and is averaging a measly 4.8 per game. Again, considering who they’ve faced so far, that statistic is extremely underwhelming. In fact, the best shooter we’ve seen at Rupp was VMI’s Bubba Parham, scoring 35 points and going 10-16 from deep.
Still, it’s early in the season. This why Coach Cal schedules the way he does. They won’t face a tough opponent for another couple weeks. They have plenty of time to continue to find their rhythm.
Kentucky has utilized it’s size to dominate the glass against the smaller matchups in Southern Illinois, North Dakota and VMI. Winthrop lacks the height and athleticism of Kentucky, so the Wildcats should be successful there once again. Winthrop is a solid 3-point shooting team, but the size differential puts the Cats at a supreme advantage. This should be a high scoring affair, as Winthrop is averaging 95.2 PPG while allowing 87.2 PPG.
UK shouldn’t have any issues winning this one. As we’ve seen already this year though, if Winthrop gets hot from 3, it could be closer than most expect.