Miss. State Limps Into Rupp
Ben Howland’s Bulldogs from Starkville, Mississippi started the season well. Then they got to SEC play. After a 13-1 start, State has lost four of their last five.
Mississippi State is led by the Weatherspoon brothers, Quinndary and Nick. The guards combine for 25 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. The greatest threat to Kentucky’s interior is a Kentucky native, Owensboro High School product Aric Holman. The 6’10” Miss. State forward averages 12.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.
TV, Radio, Vegas
TV — A late 9:00 tip-off on ESPN with Joe Tessitore, Sean Farnham and Laura Rutledge on the call.
Radio — KSR Pregame Show on 630 WLAP at 6:30. Hear Leach and Pratt on the UK Sports Network, Sirius-137 and XM-190.
Vegas — Kentucky -8.5
One Reassuring Stat
Worried Kentucky can’t bounce back? History says you should not. John Calipari has never lost three games in a row as Kentucky’s head coach. Coach Cal’s Cats are 8-0 after enduring consecutive losses.
Cats are out of the Top 25
For the first time since the final week of the 2013-14 regular season, Kentucky is out of the AP Poll. That is one of many reasons why people are comparing this year to Aaron Harrison’s great story. John Calipari does not like the comparison.
“Julius [Randle], physically gave you something that maybe this team doesn’t have. He could just bulldoze you. But PJ [Washington], at times, does the same, gives you some of that. The [Harrison] twins had come in and didn’t get it until late February; when they got it, they were pretty good. We’ll see how this plays out. James Young and Dakari [Johnson] and Willie [Cauley-Stein], but we had some veteran guys too. Alex [Poythress]. They’re all different.”
Kentucky has lost consecutive games, which means it’s time for Calipari to unleash a tweak to calm the masses. He slipped in the tweak terminology during last night’s call-in show. Using context clues (that exercise you did in fifth grade English class), it sounds like the tweak is “make more shots and don’t turn the ball over.” It’s a strategy so crazy, it just might work.
. @UKCoachCalipari believes the three point shots will start to fall eventually. “We are tweaking things offensively..because we look a little out of sync.”
— UK Sports Network (@UKSportsNetwork) January 22, 2018
Will The Streak Survive?
Calipari has often pointed out how this team is one of his best three-point shooting teams, they just don’t shoot enough threes. That was not the case in Kentucky’s last two losses. The Cats were just 5-of-28 (17.8 percent) from behind the three-point line against South Carolina and Florida.
For streak-watchers, the last two games have provided plenty of anxiety. The Cats didn’t hit a three until there were eight minutes left on the clock vs. Florida. There were only seven minutes remaining when UK hit their first three at South Carolina. If the Cats don’t start shooting more threes soon, the streak of 1,032 games that dates back to 1988 is in jeopardy.
Boogie Messed Around and got a Triple-Double
New Orleans erased a 17-point deficit with less than five minutes to play to defeat the Chicago Bulls in double OT thanks to DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie’s stat line was stupid: 44 points, 24 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals and a block.
There have only been ten 40/20/10 games ever recorded, the last by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1972. Boogie is now in an exclusive club with Kareem, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Oscar Robertson.
This is not a typo..
Boogie messed around and had 44 points, 24 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals, & 1 block…? pic.twitter.com/VSxJ0SFTc1
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 23, 2018