Kentucky Basketball vs. Texas A&M Aggies
- Time: 8:30 pm ET on January 19th, 2022.
- TV Channel: The SEC Network will have tonight’s TV broadcast.
- Location: Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.
- Announcers: Mike Morgan and Jon Sundvold will call the action.
- Online Stream: SEC Network, WatchESPN, the ESPN App, or use a free trial of fuboTV.
- Replay: SEC Network (check local listings) or WatchESPN.
- Listen: UK Sports Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt on the call.
- Satellite Radio: Sirius 158 | XM 191 | SXM App 962
- Rosters: UK I A&M
- Stats To Know: UK I A&M
- Team Sheets: UK I A&M
- Odds: DraftKings has Kentucky favored by 7.5 points on the road. ESPN’s matchup predictor has Kentucky’s chance of winning at 72.41%, while KenPom gives the Cats a 74% chance of winning. Barttorvik projects Kentucky to be a 5.5-point favorite.
- Predictions: KenPom projects a 77-70 win for the Cats, while Barrtovik is going with a 77-71 win for the road team. TeamRankings projects a 75-68 victory, Kentucky!
The Kentucky Wildcats are gearing up for a trip to College Station, where they will take on Texas A&M, one of the biggest surprises in the SEC this season.
But first, we have to talk about the Cats.
Coming off arguably the most impressive offensive game in the Calipari era, Kentucky absolutely steamrolled the second-ranked defense, according to KenPom, in the Tennessee Volunteers.
What makes it more impressive is they were dominant from all three phases of the floor on offense. It was said plenty on Saturday, but if a semblance of that team shows up night-in and night-out, they can beat any team in the country.
The question now becomes how realistic is an outing like that again? It may be more realistic than many think.
Now, don’t get me wrong, shooting over 70% from the field is not attainable every night, but the shot selection is, especially with a mixture of TyTy Washington and Sahvir Wheeler running the show.
Wheeler’s return on Saturday afternoon was electric. The pace and tenacity he plays the guard spot with is unmatched, and with the weapons he has all around him, he is easily one of the most dangerous point guards in the country with the vision he possesses.
Then we have to talk about the rise to superstardom for TyTy. He might not be the player who is dunking on someone’s head each time down the court, but his IQ for the game makes him one of the most dangerous players in the country as the season progresses.
Ever since taking over more lead-guard duties, the freshman guard has grown into the secondary playmaker that this team needs. He’s shown great poise with the ball in his hands, and when he gets to the SEC logo on the floor you might as well add two points to the scoreboard.
Alongside Oscar, John Calipari now has three stars on this roster. With them all hitting their stride at the right time, the next month and a half of conference play is going to get even more fun.
And we can’t forget about the recent surge of senior guard Davion Mintz, who struggled on the offensive end for the first two months but has now hit 13 of his last 23 triples, good for a scorching 56.5%. That added threat is spacing the floor more and allowing Kentucky to get easier offense within the three-point line.
The next stop for the surging Cats is Reed Arena in College Station.
Buzz Williams has his Texas A&M squad sitting at 15-2 (4-0) on the season, with their losses coming to the hands of Wisconsin and TCU, both on neutral floors, so the Aggies have yet to fall at home this season.
After losing most of his roster to the transfer portal this past offseason, Williams has the Aggies clicking on all cylinders on both ends of the floor.
A&M is led by senior guard Quenton Jackson, who is currently averaging 12.9 points on 47% shooting from the field and 39% from three. He also adds 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
Jackson will also get help on offense from 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Henry Coleman III (11.0 ppg and 5.3 rpg) and 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Marcus Williams (10.2 ppg and 4.1 apg).
The Aggies’ top shooter is 6-foot-2 junior guard Andre Gordon, who leads the team in three-point makes (25) and three-point shooting percentage (49%) while averaging 8.3 points per game.
As a team, the Aggies average 76.0 ppg on 47% shooting and 37% from three. They’re also solid on the defensive end, as they have held opponents to 41% from the field while also grabbing 10.8 steals per game.
A&M is currently riding an eight-game winning streak, with seven of those wins coming against Quad 3 opponents or worse. Despite that, if Kentucky comes out slow, and Reed Arena gets rocking, it could be a tough night for a confident Wildcat squad.
Since the ND loss, UK's 3 pt shooting has improved due to 2 factors:— Sean Vinsel (@HoopsInsight) January 18, 2022
1. Davion Mintz started hitting
2. Everyone not named Grady, Mintz, or Washington stopped shooting threes
UK is hitting 46% from 3 in their last 8 games vs 31% previously. pic.twitter.com/w06qVF97Vk
Even with all of that said, it appears this team has turned a corner. The Cats are the better team in this matchup. Even though it might be close for a half, the talent gap should eventually show itself in a big way if the Cats come ready to play.