Tomorrow, the Cats will take on fellow blue blood UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic →
By Drew Franklin on ©December 20th, 2014 @ 6:11pm
Michael Wilbon had a front row seat for today’s beatdown in his hometown and he dished out some high praise for the Cats. The PTI host said he doesn’t remember seeing anything like what he saw in Kentucky today in the United Center. The tweet came early in the first half, so it got even worse from there.
Kentucky…My God….35 yrs of being Courtside at college basketball games and don't recall seeing anything quite like this…
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) December 20, 2014
Meanwhile, Doug Gottlieb still believes UK is a good matchup for UCLA and it will be a tight game.
By Drew Franklin on ©December 20th, 2014 @ 5:59pm
Steve Alford has seen plenty of good basketball in his day but he can’t remember coming across a team as good as Kentucky. In his postgame press conference, one he handled surprisingly well given the circumstance, Alford said, “In my 24 years of coaching, this is the best team I’ve coached against. This team is really, really good.”
When asked if he’d like another stab at the Cats, Alford laughed and said, “Not right now.”
In related news, when you do a Google image search for ‘Steve Alford’, this comes up:
By Drew Franklin on ©December 20th, 2014 @ 5:30pm
By BrandonRamsey on ©December 20th, 2014 @ 2:00pm
Kentucky Basketball Scouting Report
Opponent: UCLA Date: 12/20/14
- Balanced scoring attack; all 5 starters average double-figures.
- Talented guards who can score and really shoot it from beyond the arc.
- Like to play pretty fast, will look to go in transition.
#20 G Bryce Alford: 6’3’’ 180 SO.
Bryce is a very aggressive, scoring point guard who can really shoot. He is pretty quick with the ball and does a good job of getting himself, and others, good shots. He is a very good 3-point shooter, shooting 37.5% on year from beyond the arc. Bryce leads the Bruins in scoring with 18 points per game. Outstanding free throw shooter.
#4 G Norman Powell: 6’4’’ 215 SR.
Powell is a strong, athletic guard with good size on the perimeter. He is shooting 46.7% from 3-point range but is also a great finisher inside as well. He is a versatile scorer and is good in transition. Averaging 17.4 points per game.
#10 G Isaac Hamilton: 6’4’’ 185 SO.
Hamilton is a great athlete and shoots it well from 3-point range. He is a very good offensive rebound so we have to box him out. Really likes the pull-up jumper when he doesn’t have a rhythm 3. Averaging 11.6 points per game.
#5 F Kevon Looney: 6’9’’ 220 FR.
Looney has had a great start to his freshman season for the Bruins. He is a big, strong forward with a lot of skill. He is averaging a double-double through their first 11 games with 13.9 points and 10.9 rebounds. Looney is one of the leading offensive rebounders in the country too, pulling down nearly 5 per game.
#23 F/C Tony Parker: 6’9’’ 260 JR.
He is a really good finisher around the hoop and uses his strength well down low. Parker is averaging 10.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He gets a lot of points off of either dump off passes or offensive rebounds, but he does have some back to the basket skill.
#22 G/F Noah Allen: 6’6’’ 215 SO.
Allen is an athletic, bigger guard who can swing between the guard and forward spots on the perimeter. He isn’t a very aggressive offensive player, but 14 of the 25 shots he has taken have come from beyond the arc. Versatile player on both ends of the court.
#40 C Thomas Welsh: 7’0’’ 245 FR.
Welsh is a skilled big man who has played a solid role off the bench for the Bruins so far. He obviously provides some added size and also gives a little scoring punch. We need to be physical with him in the post.
Keys to the Game
- Win the Battle of the Boards. UCLA has some strength and size down low, featuring one of the best freshman in the country in Kevon Looney. They are a good rebounding team, especially on the offensive glass, so we will need to ramp up our rebounding effort to keep them from getting second chances.
- Keep their guards off the 3-point line. All 3 of the starting Bruin guards are very good 3-point shooters capable of getting hot. They are an aggressive offensive team so it will be important to guard the ball well so we don’t create help situations that lead to open, rhythm 3’s.
- Be ready to play from the opening tip. Kentucky has started slow a number of times this season already, and this is the type of game where a good start is crucial. UCLA is a good team coming off of a tough loss so they will be very amped up and ready to get some revenge. Also, neutral site games can create a different sort of atmosphere for the players as well.
By Andrew Cassady on ©December 20th, 2014 @ 1:30pm
Got some time to kill before today’s game? How about some heartache to get your ready for a Bruin beatdown? Not many people reading this website were probably even thought of nearly 40 years ago in 1975. That season Kentucky went 26-4 to reach the national championship against a UCLA team that had scratched and clawed their way to make it. The Cats had beaten previously undefeated Bobby Knight and Indiana to advance in the tournament and appeared to be the favorite to win it all.
Unfortunately for the Cats they met John Wooden in the one place he couldn’t be beaten, the National Championship. UCLA won 92-85 and Coach Wooden retired from the game on top. Time for a blowout win to ease some of the sting from watching that trophy get taken away from an awesome Kentucky team
By Andrew Cassady on ©December 20th, 2014 @ 1:02pm
Things are getting chippy here in Bowling Green as an altercation erupted in the closing minutes of the first half. Montrezl Harrell threw a punch after being knocked down and was tossed from the game as a result. While nothing is official yet, it looks like Harrell will be sitting out Louisville’s game against Cal State Northridge on Tuesday night.
Stay classy cards.
By Andrew Cassady on ©December 20th, 2014 @ 12:45pm
The CBS Sports Classic is currently underway with UNC taking on Ohio State so that means the Cats are just a few hours from taking the floor against UCLA. The two teams teams with the most championships are meeting for the first time since a Maui showdown in 2006. UCLA won that one which earned them a place on this season’s revenge tour. Tune in to 630 WLAP in Lexington to hear the KSR pregame show with Matt live from Chicago. The show starts at 12:45 p.m. and will stream live on WLAP.com.
Feel free to comment below.
By Andrew Cassady on ©December 20th, 2014 @ 11:30am
There is a reason the Bruins received several votes in the preseason top 25 AP poll and that’s because they have some talent in their starting five. However, beyond the starting five UCLA really lacks depth and they currently have four guys averaging over 30 minutes per game. If Kentucky can handle these 3 match-ups with ease then the 16 point spread may not be enough.
Kevin Loney Vs Marcus Lee
When you’re talking UCLA players with the ability to make the leap to the next level then that conversation begins with freshman power forward Kevin Looney. Averaging a double-double with 14 and 11, Looney has the skills to give Karl Towns and Trey Lyles fits on both sides of the ball. DraftExpress describes him as a excellent rebounder and competitive defender thanks to a high motor that keeps him bringing the intensity. At just 6’9 he may not have the size to do anything with Karl-Anthony Towns but he may be able to counter Marcus Lee and Trey Lyles. Those two will need to match Kevon’s fire when they are in the game.
Bryce Alford Vs Andrew Harrison
Bryce Alford: Great court vision. High basketball IQ. Terrific Motor. Coach’s Kid. No seriously, he’s the coaches kid. It turns out all those old basketball cliches just so happen to be true for Bryce Alford. He’s averaging 18 points per game with nearly 7 assists which is among the leaders in the Pac-12. He had his worst game of the season against UNC’s Marcus Paige where he was held to just 10 points on 3-10 from the field so it will be interesting to see how he handles the bigger and stronger Andrew Harrison. Andrew should be able to impose his will in this game and then Tyler Ulis can come in to push Bryce into a faster tempo. No point guard has yet to overcome the 1-2 combo of our point guards and I don’t expect Steve’s boy to become the first.
Norman Powell Vs Aaron Harrison
Meet UCLA’s other player with a chance of making an NBA roster, Norman Powell. Powell is a holdover from a Howland days and one of the best seniors in college basketball this season. He’s averaging a collegiate high 17.4 points while shooting 46.7% from beyond the arc. Last week against UNC Aaron Harrison broke out of the sophomore shooting slump that has plagued his season. Can he keep it going against a crafty veteran this week? It’s one of the more interesting storylines to watch as the two could find themselves in a three point duel.