This isn’t the Final Four Team
Last spring the worst seven-seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament made a run to the Final Four behind the impressive play of Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier. The good news for Kentucky fans, Dozier and Thornwell ain’t walking through that door.
Frank Martin’s 2018 team is 11-6 (2-3 SEC) without any impressive wins. In the non-conference schedule they fell to their two best opponents, Virginia Tech and Clemson, by a combined 35 points. Martin still has Chris Silva, the team’s leading scorer (14.2 ppg) and rebounder (9.2 rpg), but the Gamecocks are still struggling to find other consistent contributors.
The update is there is no update. Quade Green still has not practiced and there’s no timetable for his return, although Kenny Payne shared some optimistic comments yesterday. “I think he’s any day now. I don’t even know if he’s going to practice today, but I know he’s getting close.”
As for Jarred Vanderbilt, it’s more of the same. Payne said, “We’re leaving it up to him.” That means there’s no end in sight. Whenever Vanderbilt is ready, we will know when he steps on the court for the first time.
The Last Time UK Played in Columbia
John Calipari was not on the sideline for long. After Coach Cal lost his mind in Columbia, the Cats turned on the jets and blew past the Gamecocks for an 89-62 win. Tyler Ulis had 27 points, Jamal Murray had 26 and Marcus Lee caught a lob off the backboard for one of the greatest dunks of the Calipari era.
Kentucky leads the series 51-11 with a 20-7 record in Columbia. The Cats have won the last four vs. South Carolina. Coach Cal has only lost at South Carolina twice; John Wall’s undefeated Cats fell to Devan Downey in 2010 and in 2014 Aaron Harrison told us, “it’s going to be a great story.”
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-138 and XM-191.
Vegas — Kentucky -2.5
A Poll Jump
The Cats are up to No. 16 in the Coaches’ Poll and 18 in the AP Poll. Surprisingly, the Cats aren’t the highest-ranked SEC team. According to the AP, that honor belongs to Auburn at No. 17.
Today’s Tale of the Tape
College Basketball on TV
|7:00||Wisconsin at #3 Purdue||ESPN|
|7:00||#12 Cincinnati at UCF||CBSSN|
|7:00||#20 Clemson at #15 UNC||ACC Net|
|7:00||Louisville at Notre Dame||ESPN2|
|7:00||Georgia at LSU on ESPNU||ESPNU|
|7:00||Vandy at Miss. State||SEC|
|9:00||#4 Oklahoma at K-State||ESPNU|
|9:00||Ole Miss at Texas A&M||SEC|
Stephen Johnson Joins KSR
The quarterback who led the Kentucky football team to consecutive seven-win seasons will speak publicly today for the first time since the Music City Bowl. You can’t miss his appearance with Ryan Lemond and Drew Franklin at 11:00 a.m. on Kentucky Sports Radio.