Kentucky Wildcats (2-6) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (4-3)
- Game Time: 7:00 pm EST
- Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
- TV Channel: Today’s game can be seen on the SEC Network.
- Announcers: Tom Hart and Jon Sundvold will call the action.
- Online Stream: WatchESPN and fuboTV.
- Radio: With 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.
- Satellite Radio: XM: 190 | Internet: 961
- Replay: WatchESPN and the SEC Network (check local listings).
- Rosters: UK | VANDY
- Last Game Box Scores: UK | VANDY
- Odds: Kentucky opened as a 12.5-point favorite, and the line is now 11.5. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Cats a 73.0% chance at winning. KenPom gives them an 85% chance of victory.
- Prediction: KenPom projects a 74-62 Cats win. TeamRankings projects a 74-62 win for the home team, while numberFire is going with a 76-65 victory for Kentucky.
After battling through two overtimes, the Kentucky Wildcats picked up their first win in 38 days. Although their record is currently 2-6, they are perfect through one game of conference play. The Wildcats look to continue that trend Tuesday against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Vanderbilt enters the game with a record of 4-3, although they have not quite played the caliber of schedule that Kentucky has. The only common opponent between the teams has been the Richmond Spiders, took care of business in both outings. The Commodores have also lost to Davidson and, most recently, the Florida Gators. Their most notable wins have come against Radford and Valparaiso.
For the most part, Vanderbilt is a two-headed monster. Scotty Pippen Jr. is looking a lot like his father this season, averaging 22.6 points per game and shooting nearly 40% from behind the three-point line.
The sophomore guard will be a tough matchup for the committee of Kentucky guards assigned to stop him, but at 6-1 there are several players that can give it a shot.
The Pippen to Pippen’s Jordan - yeah, that sounds right - is sophomore big man Dylan Disu. Disu is putting up 11.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. He plays big for his 6-9 frame and will be a fun matchup to watch against either Olivier Sarr or Isaiah Jackson.
As he assumes the center role, Kentucky will have a size advantage at every position throughout the game. They will need to take advantage of that height and length on the glass and in rotating guards into the paint to post up.
The only other Commodore averaging double figures is freshman forward Myles Stute at 10 points per game. He’s only appeared in three games but has shot 8/14 from deep (57.1%), so he might be the candidate to be this game’s ‘random dude who lights up Rupp Arena.’
There is a lot up in the air for Kentucky going into Tuesday’s game. After missing Saturday’s win, will Terrence Clarke is not expected to play.
How will Cam’Ron Fletcher be worked into the rotation? Whose minutes will be given to
Reggie Miller Dontaie Allen, because he has to play a ton more, right?
Perhaps the biggest question is what should be done with BJ Boston. Boston finished Saturday’s win with a team-worst minus-7 in +/-. He played sparingly in regulation after John Calipari was ejected, and did not see a single minute in overtime.
He very well may be the most talented player on Kentucky’s roster, but the team seems to play better offensively without Boston on the floor. Will something changed about how he is used? Will he be giving up minutes until he figures it out?
I am glad I am not John Calipari having to make these decisions right now.
To beat Vanderbilt, Kentucky will need to play big on both ends of the court and focus on efficiency. Limit turnovers, guard the perimeter, and take high-percentage shots. If the Wildcats are able to do those things, they should be able to end Tuesday night with a 2-0 record in 2021.