The Kentucky Wildcats will take on the Kansas Jayhawks on January 26th in Rupp Arena. However, this isn’t the match-up of the preseason top-two teams in the country that we all had hoped for a few months ago.
Kentucky just lost to a lowly Alabama Crimson Tide team and Kansas was just blown out at the hands of the Iowa State Cyclones. And to add a little more salt to the wound, the Jayhawks will be without their starting center, Udoka Azubuike, for the rest of the season.
According to the Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, Azubuike is done for the year after suffering a torn ligament in his right hand.
Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike is done for the season after an MRI revealed he tore a ligament in his right hand. Crushing blow to a Jayhawks team that is also without Silvio De Sousa (NCAA eligibility).— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) January 7, 2019
Azubuike was a former five-star recruit coming out of high school. He was extremely raw, but it was impossible to ignore that 7-1, 270-pound frame. And for good reason.
Azubuike has shown stretches of dominance throughout his college career. When he’s not in foul trouble, he’s one of the hardest players to guard in the country because he is just so massive.
Last season, UK had no answer for him. He scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while shooting 5-5 from the field and blocking two shots. This season, he’s averaging 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. And I’m really not sure what the Cats would have been able to do to stop him this year.
But, unfortunately, the junior’s season has been cut short. And as Goodman mentioned above, they are already without sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa, who is currently sitting out due to his involvement in the college hoops corruption scandal.
This is a big loss for a sputtering Jayhawks team. And it’ll be felt when they come to Rupp Arena in just three short weeks.