Kentucky Basketball vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
- Time: 7 pm ET on January 11th, 2022.
- TV Channel: ESPN has tonight’s TV coverage.
- Announcers: Kevin Fitzgerald and Jay Bilas are calling the action.
- Online Stream: WatchESPN, the ESPN app, or use a free trial of fuboTV.
- Location: Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Replay: SEC Network (check local listings) or WatchESPN
- Listen: UK Sports Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt.
- Satellite Radio: Sirius 81 | XM 81 | SXM App 81
- Rosters: UK I VU
- Stats To Know: UK I VU
- Team Sheets: UK I VU
- Odds: DraftKings has Kentucky favored by 8.5 points with an over/under of 146. KenPom gives the Cats a 98% chance of winning, while ESPN’s matchup predictor gives them a 97.8% chance of coming away victorious. Barttorvik projects Kentucky to be a 4-point favorite.
- Predictions: Barttorvik projects an 72-67 win for the Wildcats, while KenPom is going with an 74-67 win for the road team. TeamRankings projects a 77-68 victory, Kentucky!
Bruuuuuuuu! pic.twitter.com/qjhMp2l0L8— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 11, 2022
The Kentucky Wildcats will be back in action on Tuesday night, as they’ll head to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores.
The Cats just picked up their 12th win of the season on Saturday night by knocking off the Georgia Bulldogs, 92-77, while Vanderbilt dropped a home game to South Carolina, 72-70.
As Kentucky heads to Nashville, the main question heading into the game is the availability of Sahvir Wheeler. After injuring his neck last Tuesday against LSU, Wheeler has been listed as day-to-day and missed Saturday night's matchup against his old squad. According to John Calipari, if Wheeler practices on Monday then he will be available on Tuesday night at Memorial Gymnasium.
If Wheeler is unable to go, it is obvious TyTy Washington is ready to take the reins once again after an impressive performance against the Dawgs.
For Kentucky, this will be an opportunity to pick up what could end up being a Quad I win, as Vanderbilt currently sits at 79th in the NET rankings (road wins over top-75 teams are Quad I).
Playing in Memorial Gymnasium is an unusual experience due to the setup. This roster is loaded with experienced players, but a bunch who have never played there. With that in mind it would not be shocking to see UK get out to a slow start with the different feel.
Key pieces in this game are similar to whom they have been all season. Washington and Oscar Tshiebwe will need to have solid performances once again, while one of Davion Mintz or Kellan Grady will need to step up as an additional threat from the perimeter.
For Vanderbilt, they are not a team to overlook like they have been the last several seasons.
Jerry Stackhouse has his team sitting at 9-5 (1-1) on the season, with big wins over BYU and Arkansas in the last month. They have also had some tough losses to the hands of VCU, Loyola Chicago, and South Carolina.
On the season, the Commodores are averaging 70.3 PPG on 40% shooting from the field and 31-percent from three.
Vanderbilt will be counting on Scotty Pippen Jr., the son of NBA legend Scottie Pippen, to put up some big numbers. The younger Pippen is a point guard has had a solid season to this point, averaging 18.3 ppg on 43% shooting and 31% shooting from three. He also adds 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.
Alongside Pippen, Vanderbilt is going to look to their only other double-digit points per game scorer in junior forward Jordan Wright (12.7 PPG). Outside of those two players, the Commodores will need a big night from another player to keep pace with the Cats.
Despite the immense struggles the Cats had last season, they still managed to sweep Vanderbilt, and both games came right down to the final minute. That included Davion Mintz hitting the game-winning triple with a minute left in the January win at Rupp Arena over the Dores.
This game has been tricky over the course of the John Calipari era, and that figures to continue Tuesday against what looks like one of the better Vanderbilt teams in recent memory.