1. Today’s game is almost 10 years to the day of the last time that VMI traveled to Rupp Arena. Almost all of us remember that game as one of the defining moments of the Billy G era at Kentucky. For those who don’t remember, let me refresh your memory. A UK team that had five NBA players, Jodie Meeks, Patrick Patterson, Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins, and Josh Harrellson, lost at home to the Keydets by the score of 111-103. Meeks scored 39 points, which was a career high at the time, but his effort was not enough as the Cats dropped an embarrassing one at home.
2. VMI travels to Lexington in what will be the ninth all-time match up between the Keydets and the Wildcats. We all know that VMI has won the most recent game, but they also won the first two games of the series in 1914 and 1922. If you want to know how much basketball has developed over the years, the final score of the first match up in 1914 was 32-18, while the most recent match up was 111-103. Kentucky looks to start a new winning streak against VMI today.
3. The Keydets are an incredibly young team. You saw it earlier today in Adam Luckett’s scouting report, but VMI starts three sophomores and two juniors this year. While this would be an experienced team by Kentucky’s standards, a lineup like this for a mid-major squad is usually not a recipe for success. Virginia Military Institute has just one senior on the roster and he has not checked in to any of the first four games of the season.
4. Starting sophomore guard Bubba Parham is the best player for the Keydets and was named to the Preseason All-SOCON team this year. The reigning conference freshman of the year is a very solid scorer from anywhere on the floor, but does get trigger happy at times. He averaged nearly 15 points a game as a freshman, and is scoring 18 points per contest through the first four games this season. Parham stands at just 5’11” and 155 pounds, so his shiftiness with the ball may be difficult for UK’s bigs to stick with in ball screen situations.
5. VMI currently sits at 3-1 on the season blowout wins over D-II Goucher and Washington College in Maryland, as well as a six point victory over South Carolina Upstate this past Wednesday. Their lone loss came at Pittsburgh by the score of 94-55. The Keydets do play ranked Virginia Tech later in the year, but without a doubt, Kentucky will be the best team that they go up against all season.
Go Cats. Beat Keydets.