They lowdown, they dirty, they some snitches and today they will be rolling into Rupp in just 45 minutes for a game that seems to be flying under the radar. Despite being a rivalry game, this year’s meeting between the Cats and Vols seems to be a bit unheralded. Part of it seems to be an underwhelming UT team you would think has no shot on the road. However that is not the case as Kentucky has a lot of work to do if they’re going to cover the 9.5 point spread. To do that they need to stop these Tennessee players:
JMR always seems to have a monster game against the Cats. Just look at his statlines last season as a junior when he went for 15 and 6, 23 and 4 in two games against UK. This year the shooting guard has been player of the week in the SEC twice and could get it a third time with a big win in Lexington. To keep that from happening UK will need Aaron Harrison or Dominique Hawkins to step up and neutralize the Volunteers on the perimeter. The outside battle could decide the game as the two teams are pretty close down on the block.
It seems like yesterday UK didn’t have a scholarship to offer Stokes mid-season and the talented freshman made his debut for the Vols. The talent was very obvious despite being clearly raw and in need of some fine tuning. Now as a junior Stokes is the second leading scorer for the Vols along with being the top rebounder. Stokes is a big physical dude capable of giving Julius Randle fits. Look back at the players that have neutralized Kentucky down low like Payne from Michigan State and Cory Jefferson of Baylor and I think Stokes fits that mold. Randle will need to bring his A-game against the big men of UT.
Speaking of UT big man we have Jerrone Maymon who has been at Tennessee for about 16 years now. After missing last season with a knee injury Maymon is back to work on the baseline as another physical force for the Vols. In two games against the national champs of 2012 Maymon averaged 14 points and 7 rebounds against some future NBA guys. Expect an all out war today between the two teams down on the block as it’s the two teams’ strengths.
Let’s hear how well you think Kentucky can contain these Vols today in Rupp.