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thunderbird1100
LSU Fan
GSU Eagles fan
Member since Oct 2007
54583 posts

LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
After a huge week last week with wins over MSU and Auburn, we find ourselves at 19-4, 9-1 SEC and going to our toughest game this season @ Rupp to play a 20-3, 9-1 SEC Kentucky team. This is no doubt one of Calipari's better UK teams he's had recently combining the usual star freshmen with a few star upper classmen.

Please note the stats below are from conference play only:

Kentucky Starters
F (6'8, 238) SR. Reid Travis - 27.3 min, 7.7 pts, 7.3 reb, 14.7 PER
F (6'8, 228) SO. PJ Washington - 29.6 min, 15.5 pts, 7.1 reb, 1.2 ast, 26.2 PER
G (6'6, 211) FR. Keldon Johnson - 27.4 min, 10.8 pts, 4.6 reb, 1.5 ast, 15.2 PER
G (6'5, 195) FR. Tyler Herro - 33.0 min, 14.1 pts, 4.3 reb, 1.9 ast, 17.9 PER
G (6'3, 192) FR. Ashton Hagans - 32.4 min, 10.2 pts, 3.7 reb, 5.8 ast, 2.5 stl, 20.2 PER

Kentucky Bench
G (6'3, 185) FR. Immanuel Quickley - 15.7 min, 5.8 pts, 1.4 reb, 1.2 ast, 17.7 PER
F (6'11, 244) SO. Nick Richards - 11.1 min, 4.1 pts, 2.5 reb, 1.2 blk, 23.7 PER
F (6'10, 225) FR. EJ Montgomery - 12.2 min, 3.4 pts, 3.8 reb, 0.8 blk, 17.1 PER
G (6'4, 192) rFR. Jemarl Baker Jr. - 11.0 min, 2.6 pts, 0.8 ast, 7.3 PER

Kentucky goes a pretty strong 9 deep but has a very defined starting group and bench group. Their starting 5 has been the same for every conference game and nobody off the bench sees 6th man type minutes really. This isn't like one of those Kentucky teams Cal rotates 5 in and 5 out and nobody plays over 30 minutes a game, but it's still a very strong roster. On a side note, Quade Green transferred out prior to SEC play and was their backup PG for a while.

Before getting into each player, as a team Kentucky is 2nd in the SEC in FG% at 46.8%, and is 36.7% from 3 (4th in conference however takes the 14th most 3's in the conference, so they shoot it well but havent taken many at all. As with pretty much every Kentucky team, they rebound the ball well being 4th in the conference in offensive rebounds and 3rd overall in total rebounds.They are 4th in the conference in assists and 2nd in turnovers so they distribute the ball well and take care of it very well. Surprisingly unlike many Kentucky teams, they are 10th in the conference with only 38 blocks in 10 games. their rim protectors dont play a ton, both come off the bench. They average 74.2 pts a game in conference play which is 8th and only allow a ridiculous 60.3 pts a game which is 1st in the conference. As you might be able to tell, this UK team doesnt run like some previous ones have. This is a methodical make you earn every bit of your offense UK team as we've seen in a while. Their defense is not good, it's GREAT. They are 1st in the conference in 2pt % defense despite not being much of a shot blocking team - aka they force you into a lot of jump shots. They also shoot over 75% from the line which is great for a Calipari team as that's usually one of their weaker areas.

Among their starters, it's been mostly about Washington, Herro and Hagans making them go. Washington returned off last year's team and he's seen his play go up tremendously. He's a guy you have to defend the whole floor on and is a great 3 point shooter. Herro is their main 3 point shooter and shoots well over 40% in conference play from there. Hagans has been pretty good at PG but has struggled to find any 3 point shot really, but finishes very well around the rim. Johnson is a solid player who you have to at least respect the 3 from while Travis, the former PAC-12 player of the year has struggled by comparison playing in the SEC, but is still a bulldog type of "true" power forward or center really. He doesnt shoot the 3 (0 for 6 in conference play) but with Washington really does well fighting for offensive rebounds and bullying around the rim.

Among the bench players Richards and Montgomery have great size and are the shot blockers for UK. Neither is really a 3 point threat although Montgomery will take maybe 1 in the game potentially. Quickley has kind of assumed the backup PG duty but he's mostly a scoring PG and likes to take 3's and does well from there, so we have to respect that. Baker is probably their only weak link on the entire team, he's given them some minutes in conference play, but hasn't been good from the floor (36%) or from 3 (6 for 19, 31.6%).

Reid vs. Washington will be an epic battle to watch. KBW will try to handle Travis and it's a matchup he CAN win but needs to be physical, dont let Travis bully you around. We have the size advantage inside with Montgomery and Richards on the bench and Reid/KBW on the floor. We cant shy away from continuing to pound inside and get forced into a jump shooting contest which is exactly what UK wants to put us into. Waters needs to be huge this game, Mays needs to finally step up from 3 and give us something there, we will have to hit some shots this game, no doubt in my mind. I think Quade Green is the guy you'd really want to stick to Waters if he was still there because I think Waters might be showing Hagans a thing or two with his quickness, Hagans is a good defender, but Waters definitely can blow past him. Hagans is a good pick pocket guy too just like Waters though. I expect Waters to do his best to get him off his game.

All in all, will be a very very tough game to win. We started to come around a little from 3 against Auburn finally (9 for 27, 33%) and personally I think we're going to need to break into double digits from 3 to really pull off the upset in Rupp. Waters and once again Reid will be the driving force if this is a win or loss to me, with Mays being the X factor.
This post was edited on 2/11 at 8:50 am


jimbeam
USA Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
51378 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN


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21
Who_Dat_Tiger
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2015
3287 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN


Bring it on!



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70
Wes225
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2017
461 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
Would love to see us pound the ball inside the paint early as it looks like our starting 5 has a nice size advantage.


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40
HC87
LSU Fan
Swansboro NC
Member since Dec 2014
1721 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
Stay out of foul trouble, control the boards, and shoot high percentage shots. Don't fall behind 'big' in this game as it could be too much to overcome at Rupp.
Looking for E. Williams and M. Taylor to have big games, and be emotional spark plugs with their style of play.



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Pnels08
Houston Astros Fan
Member since Jul 2014
5810 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
Tremont vs Hagans is gonna be a tough matchup. Hagans is a good on ball defender are very quick. If Tremont can continue to get in the lane and create Kentucky's defense will have trouble.


otowntiger
LSU Fan
O-Town
Member since Jan 2004
12551 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
Im looking forward to this game, we have nothing to lose. I think all the pressure is on UK, but getting a win there will be very very tough. I think we make a game of it but in the end lose in what will look like a bigger blowout than it actually was, I'm thinking 12-15 point range. If we are competitive for most of the game and make them earn it, I'll not be too disappointed.


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basiletiger
LSU Fan
lafayette, la.
Member since Aug 2007
1541 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
#wadebregade

Let's Run Them Blue Bloods out the M'F'N gym!!!!!!!!!


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LSURandomNumbers
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2018
239 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
frick John Calipari.



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50
TheBigHurt
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Feb 2010
1212 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
It's time for our breakout game. No messing around. STRICTLY BUSINESS!


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10
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USA
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tzimme4
Chicago Cubs Fan
Metairie
Member since Jan 2008
19446 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
LSU is in a great spot tomorrow.

Kentucky has their biggest game of the season on Saturday vs Tennessee and could possibly be looking ahead a bit. Wildcats are a below average 3 point shooting team so defending the 3 pointer won't kill LSU. Plus LSU hasn't won in Rupp in almost 10 years so you know Will Wade wants a statement win here.

You could say this is the game LSU circles at the start of the season. Kentucky certainly isn't doing the same. So motivation could be a factor
This post was edited on 2/11 at 12:01 pm


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21
Incisorbite
Member since Nov 2017
611 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
Don’t shoot stupid shots. I.e. missed 3 pointers. Win the game or the Tennessee game; a good showing in the NCAA tournament. Then maybe a contract extension and pay raise for Wade.


lsutiger2
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2008
2738 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
anybody know who is calling the game on ESPN?


Vanilla1406Tiger
Member since Jan 2019
18 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
Would be surprised if it isn’t Dick Vitale.


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10
Who_Dat_Tiger
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2015
3287 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN

Gameday Bump


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20
otowntiger
LSU Fan
O-Town
Member since Jan 2004
12551 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
THanks for this!


SouthOfSouth
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jun 2008
43006 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
I'm so ready for tonight. Gonna be such a wonderful opportunity for the Tigers to win on the biggest of stages.


TheTexasTiger7
LSU Fan
Dallas, Texas
Member since Jun 2018
3819 posts
 Online 

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
Key to tonight: frick P.J. Washington’s shite.


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Who_Dat_Tiger
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2015
3287 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
quote:

I'm so ready for tonight. Gonna be such a wonderful opportunity for the Tigers to win on the biggest of stages.



Yep being on ESPN tonight playing a top 5 team is going to draw a lot of casual LSU fans to watch tonight. This could be the type of win that gets our basketball fanbase back to where it needs to be for the remainder of our home games left this season. Hands down the biggest game of the season so far tonight. I need to come up with an excuse to go home at lunch and start drinking cuz I cant concentrate at work anyway


alessic7
Franklin, TN
Member since Aug 2018
774 posts

re: LSU @ UK preview; Tuesday 2/12, 6 CST; ESPN
All they have to do is do what they've done on the road all season.. keep it within single digits at the 5 minute mark and make their move. In a close game down the stretch Waters is a difference maker.


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