Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
Tonight, Kentucky heads down to the bayous of Baton Rouge Louisiana to take on the LSU Tigers in a game that will either put Kentucky back in a tie for first, or keep them leading the SEC. Technically, it would drop them to third since they would’ve lost to the other two teams at the top.
LSU is favored to win this game, and should be. The two teams are statistically very similar, both doing most of their damage inside and shooting poorly overall from the perimeter.
The big stat to watch in this game is offensive rebounding. LSU is the best offensive rebounding team in the SEC and #13 in the country, while Kentucky is uncharacteristically only average. If that holds up, the extra shots LSU is likely to get will be the difference, even though Kentucky is a much better defensive team.
Also, in an unusual twist, LSU is an even better free throw shooting team than Kentucky in SEC play, which suggests that they are not going to beat themselves from the charity stripe.
To win, Kentucky’s guards must draw a lot of fouls and the UK front court must hold their own on the glass while avoiding foul trouble, particularly Nick Richards. Seeing as this game is on the road, that’s going to be a tall order.
Ashton Hagans really needs to bring his best decision-making tonight for UK to win. Kentucky has been the better road team this season, but LSU has held the Maravich Center inviolate every game but one this season — a pre-conference head-scratcher to Tennessee State.
Recent history: Kentucky is 11-3 vs. LSU in the Calipari Era, but Will Wade’s team beat UK last year in Rupp Arena for the first time since 2009.
Hold on to your butts, this is going to be a tough one.
Tweet of the Morning
From 1978-1992, LSU was 17-16 against Kentucky in basketball. A bit young to remember any of those games, anyone who was around and older have memories of the series? One of the most competitive stretches for any SEC team against UK.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) February 18, 2020
I remember it well. Kenny Higgs, Durand Macklin, DeWayne Scales, Howard Carter and more were serious pains for Kentucky.
Those guys were good, and Dale Brown was a heck of a coach.
A more recent comparison would be Kentucky-Florida between 2011 and 2014, or UK-Arkansas 1992-1996.
- Will Wade has survived scandal to thrive at LSU.
- Ah, memories!
- Vegas likes LSU in tonight’s game, and understandably so. KenPom also by a bucket.
- Kentucky shooting 3’s much better on the road than at home. Bizarre.
- Cats Illustrated UK stock report.
- Forbes predicts five SEC players (only Tyrese Maxey from UK) projected to go in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft.
Other Kentucky sports
- Randy Smith of the Chattanoogan talks about Kentucky Hoops player Rhyne Howard. She’s fantastic.
- Kentucky struggles in its first baseball series. Nice to see Kentucky not in the bottom two.
- There are middle-schoolers who have never seen this before: UConn Huskies women’s team falls out of the top five for the first time since 2007.
North Carolina has lost games in every absurd way imaginable this season— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 18, 2020
I like & respect Hall of Famer Roy Williams but after watching these post-game press conferences, I say, “Welcome to the club.” Everyone who’s coached has endured a year like this. 99% of us. Kansas & UNC can spoil you. Now it’s time to roll up sleeves, coach, teach, motivate.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) February 18, 2020
2013 Kentucky comes to mind.
- This seems to be a genuine thing: ACC joins Big Ten in supporting one-time transfer rule without a year in residence.
- 5-star 2020 recruit Makur Maker eligible for the NBA Draft.
- Penn State has tied its highest ranking in the AP poll ever. Congrats!
- What lies ahead for Billy Donovan?
- Of all the rule change proposals I have seen, the so-called “Elam Ending” is the worst. Mike DeCourcy deservedly pans it.
- Will John Beilein be coaching a college team near you soon?
- Question asked (probably a lot): What’s up with Louisville’s recent struggles?