Mount St. Mary’s (1-4) at Kentucky Wildcats (3-1)
- Date: Friday, November 22nd, 2019
- Game Time: 7 pm EST
- Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV Channel: Tonight’s game can be seen on the SEC Network.
- Announcers: Mike Morgan and Jon Sundvold will be on the call.
- Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and on the UK Sports Network.
- Online radio: TuneIn broadcast or UKAthletics.com.
- Online Stream: The game can be streamed online using WatchESPN.
- Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings).
- Odds: Kentucky is a 27.5-point favorite. ESPN BPI gives the Wildcats a 96.6% chance of winning, while KenPom gives them a 99% chance of victory.
- Rosters: UK | MSM
- Live Stats
- Score Projections: KenPom is projecting a 77-52 win for Kentucky. TeamRankings has the Wildcats winning 78-51, while numberFire went with an 84-57 victory.
- Digital Gameday Guide
Live Now: Pre-Mount St. Mary's Press Conference https://t.co/oeKON5O0nj— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 21, 2019
Kentucky will look to get back in a groove as Mount St. Mary’s comes to Rupp Arena.
Since defeating Michigan State and manhandling EKU, the Wildcats have looked pedestrian at best. After a horrible loss to Evansville and an embarrassing outing against Utah Valley, the Cats really need to come out against Mount St. Mary’s and show that they are capable of improving.
The players should not shoulder the entire load. The Wildcats were obviously not prepared for the Evansville game, and only suiting up seven scholarship players on Monday certainly was not a good situation for John Calipari.
It is possible that EJ Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley return to action on Friday, and hopefully the team will show that, when everyone is healthy they are capable of putting together a complete game.
One of Kentucky’s biggest struggles thus far has been three-point shooting, which can partly be attributed to the three-point line being moved this season back to the international basketball distance of 22 feet, 1.75 inches.
After four games, this team is shooting a John Calipari-era-low 21.3% from beyond the arc. However, Calipari believes the slow start isn’t indicative of things to come.
“Probably some of this is mental, game in the balance, are not ready to be in that position,” Calipari said after his team made just one 3-point attempt in 12 tries vs. Utah Valley. “I don’t care how good you are. Maybe not ready to be in that position yet.
“We go through this every year. I think part of it is I’ve got to figure out maybe there’s an offense that we’re running that I just say we’re trying to get threes off.”
Calipari likes his teams to attempt between 20-24 triples per game. UK is averaging 15.3 attempts through its first three games with the longer line.
The Mountaineers are coming into Rupp Arena with a record of 1-4, with their best game coming on a 10 point loss to Quade Green and the then-ranked Washington Huskies. The Mountaineers only won nine games last season, but they are returning their two leading scorers, sophomore guard Vado Mores and junior guard Jalen Gibbs. They also have their leading rebounder, Malik Jefferson, back on the roster.
After struggling with such a young team a season ago, Mount St. Mary’s is ready to take another step forward behind second-year head coach Dan Engelstad. They are statistically not intimidating so far this season, but they have played a tough schedule thus far. They also average more than 20 three point attempts per game, which is always dangerous.
Will the Wildcats come to play on Friday and give fans a peaceful viewing experience? Or will they give the national media even more reason to doubt that this team is capable of making a run in March?
Tonight’s game will be the second of four consecutive games the Wildcats will play as a part of the BBN Showcase, a multi-team event that will see all four participants face each other.
In addition to Friday’s matchup, UK will play Lamar on Sunday and UAB on Nov. 29 as part of the event. The Wildcats already defeated Utah Valley on Monday in the first game.