The Kentucky Wildcats are hitting the road to Athens for the first true road game of the 2019-20 season. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. on ESPN.
This isn’t your father’s Georgia basketball team. Tom Crean convinced the No. 1 player in America to play college basketball in Athens. Anthony Edwards is a 6’5″ guard that does it all for the Dawgs. Through eight games he is averaging 18.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.8 steals pregame while knocking down 43 percent of his field goals (32.6 3FG%).
When Edwards gets hot, he’s the best college basketball player in America. That’s not Rick Pitino hyperbole. Trailing by 28 to Michigan State in the Maui Invitational, Georgia rallied behind Edwards’ 33 second-half points before ultimately falling 93-85.
Like all Tom Crean teams, these Georgia Bulldogs are going to try to make it a shootout. Winners of four straight, most recently taking down a top-ten Memphis team on the road, Georgia has momentum. Can Kentucky weather the storm inside a rowdy Stegeman Coliseum? Much of it will depend on the health of the Cats’ point guard.
Will Ashton Hagans Play?
Yesterday Joel Justus did not have much to say about the UK point guard’s sprained ankle.
“I think it’s day-to-day. You know, we had a very cerebral day yesterday after the game that we played Saturday. We came back yesterday, watched film like we always do and had some more of a scripting walkthrough day. We’ll see where he is today, but I think for us, it’s day-to-day. At this time of the season everybody is starting to get a little bit banged up, so that’s not any different than any of the other 13 guys on our roster.”
The talking session with the media occurred before UK’s practice. If Hagans did not participate, it’s unlikely that he will play in Athens. Those who don’t practice for John Calipari, don’t play. After practice late last night we received some good news from an unlikely source. Hopefully Seth Davis did not report this in Sharpie.
From what I'm hearing I do expect Kentucky PG Ashton Hagans, who injured his ankle in Saturday's win vs Missouri, to play tomorrow night at Georgia. Hagans grew up about 100 miles from Athens in Cartersville, Ga.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) January 7, 2020
Since Jarred Vanderbilt was on campus, skepticism has reigned supreme following every Kentucky basketball injury. It’s refreshing to have some optimism in the atmosphere as we wait to hear if Hagans will in fact play tonight against Georgia.
Hagans’ Last Trip Home
Obviously, the greatest concern of a potential Hagans absence is defending Anthony Edwards. Ideally you would like to have the SEC’s reigning Co-Defensive Player of the Year available to defend a future top five NBA Draft pick. Hagans’ defense isn’t the only thing Kentucky needs tonight.
The last UK road trip to Athens was Hagans’ best game as a Wildcat. A one-time Georgia commit, he scored a career-high 23 points against his home state school, a total he has only surpassed one other time, in a 69-49 victory.
Vegas, TV, Radio
We are still waiting for Vegas to release a line for tonight’s game. The uncertainty around Hagans’ injury is most likely why there is a delay.
ESPN is bringing their A-team to Athens. Karl Ravech and Jay Bilas are on the call, while Marty Smith works sidelines. The KSR Pregame Show is later than normal, beginning at 6:30 p.m. If you can’t watch the game, there are multiple ways to listen to The Voice of the Wildcats.
- AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
- FM: 98.1 WBUL
- Satellite: XM-81 and Sirius-81
- Online: iHeart Radio
No More Bowl Games
In six days LSU and Clemson will end the college football season in the National Championship. It’s sad to see bowl season go. There have been great games over the last month filled with absurdity, just like Monday night’s LendingTree Bowl. Miami (Oh.) needed a foot to cut the Louisiana lead to three with a few minutes to play. Instead, they did this.
— Someone's An Idiot (@SomeonesAnIdiot) January 7, 2020
Bowl season’s beautiful absurdity will be missed. Time to flip the switch to basketball and the Cats aren’t the only big game on tonight.
College Basketball on TV
- 7:00: #11 Ohio State at #12 Maryland on ESPN
- 7:00: Miami at #13 Louisville on ESPN2
- 7:00: #18 Virginia at Boston College on ACCN
- 7:00: Florida at South Carolina on ESPNU
- 7:00: Tennessee at Missouri on SECN
- 7:00: Providence at Marquette on FS1
- 9:00: #4 Baylor at #22 Texas Tech on ESPN2
- 9:00: #16 Villanova at Creighton on FS1
The Bachelor is Back
Your timeline was probably flooded with reminders last night. There’s really only one that’s relevant to the BBN, but is that actually Marcus Lee?
Former Wildcat, Marcus Lee, was just quickly seen on the first episode of The Bachelor.
— Big Blue Nation (@BigBlue9ation) January 7, 2020
In related Bachelor news that’s much more entertaining, one former contestant on the show just won $1 million playing in a DraftKings daily fantasy contest. Now Jade Roper-Tolbert and her husband, Tanner Tolbert, are being investigated for collusion after each person played the maximum amount of entries per person. The details in this ESPN story raise eyebrows.
Jeopardy’s Greatest of All-Time
The game show’s finest hour is upon us. Tonight three of the best contestants to ever click a buzzer will share the same stage with Alex Trebek. Ken Jennings, “Jeopardy” James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter will begin their best-of-seven showdown for $1 million tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC, the perfect pregame for what will surely be an exciting night of Kentucky basketball.