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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickes: Georgia On My Mind Edition

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Kentucky travels to Athens tonight to face a Georgia team coming off its biggest win of the season with a gimpy Ashton Hagans and a sick Johnny Juzang.

Missouri v Kentucky Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

Tonight, Kentucky travels to Athens, Georgia to face the Bulldogs in basketball. The big worry about this game (other than the routine freakout of the Big Blue Nation before any road game) is Ashton Hagans, who tweaked his ankle against the Missouri Tigers on Saturday. He is expected to play, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll be 100 percent. Johnny Juzang, however, is expected to still be out with an illness, leaving Kentucky’s guard depth potentially very thin if Hagans can’t go.

A quick look at Georgia’s advanced stats reveals a team that is strong defensively, but somewhat offensively challenged. Georgia so far has been better than Kentucky in holding down the other team, but significantly worse at putting the ball in the basket.

Georgia is one of those teams who is not great at anything, but pretty good at everything. Their worst problems appears to be turnovers, getting to the line, and making 3-point shots. The Dawgs are shooting only 31.3% from the arc — better than Kentucky’s anemic 29%, but still unimpressive.

The Bulldogs have also struggled to shoot the ball from the line on the rare occasions they do get there, which gives UK an edge if they can draw fouls and do what they normally do. The big difficulty will be handling Georgia’s back court, where they have one of the premiere players in the nation, Anthony Edwards (not the actor), at the two, and a solid point guard in Sahvir Wheeler to distribute the ball. It’s a knotty problem, given Kentucky’s questionable guard health.

For this game, we desperately need to see better play out of three guys — EJ Montgomery, Kahlil Whitney, and Keion Brooks. These guys have been near-invisible lately, and our first SEC road game would be a great time for them to step up and contribute.

Notable victories for Georgia: A four-point win over rival Georgia Tech, an overtime win versus SMU, and a 65-62 win Saturday over then #9 Memphis in the FedEx Forum.

Notable losses: a beat-down by Dayton in Lahina, HI, a convincing loss to Michigan St. also in Maui, and a 20-point road drubbing by Arizona State.

Kenpom pick: Kentucky 72-69.

Tweet of the Morning

And:

Food for motivation for Hagans.

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