There are hot takes, and then there are takes so hot they’re just plain stupid; the one I’m about to share is the latter. Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis released his predictions for this weekend’s game, and not only picked Kentucky to lose to South Carolina, but predicted the Cats will only score 61 points. Yes, the same Cats that are currently averaging 93.3 points a game. Obligatory, HUH?!
“It is nearly impossible to go into Rupp Arena and slow down the Wildcats’ ridiculously speedy attack, but if any team can do it, it’s Frank Martin’s Gamecocks,” Davis wrote. “They lead the nation in defensive efficiency, they are ranked 200th nationally in tempo, and they have not lost a game with senior guard Sindarius Thornwell in the lineup. South Carolina is especially proficient at locking up opposing guards. It’s much easier to take a team that wants to run and force it to play slow than the other way around. Yes, it won’t be easy for an offensively challenged team to put enough points on the board to pull this off, but that’s why they’re called upsets. South Carolina 62, Kentucky 61.”
While I agree with Davis that Frank Martin’s team has one of the best defensive teams in the country, I just can’t see this Kentucky team scoring 61 points or less in any game. While South Carolina is only allowing 59.4 points per game this season, it’s worth pointing out that they allowed 68 to Texas A&M, a team Kentucky beat by 42 and held to 58. The fewest number of points Kentucky’s scored this season are 69 vs. Michigan State and 70 in the loss to Louisville. Not only is tomorrow’s game in Rupp, the Cats are coming off a tough road game in which two of the top scorers underperformed.
Kentucky won’t score 100 tomorrow and heck, they might even lose, but they’re definitely going to score more than 61 points.