Kentucky is on the road for only the fourth time this season for a “true road game” tonight at LSU.
The No. 11 Wildcats (15-4, 5-1 SEC) have gone 1-2 in its previous road games, winning at Vanderbilt while losing at North Carolina and Arkansas. The trip to Baton Rouge will be the first of two tough challenges on away from home this week as the Cats will head to Missouri on Saturday.
Many college basketball analysts believe this week will go a long way toward determining UK’s potential NCAA seeding, although 10 league games and the SEC Tournament will remain.
LSU (12-6, 3-3 SEC) has been up and down this season, having lost its league opener to Tennessee 68-50 at home, but notching wins over Vanderbilt and Missouri recently before dropping an 82-80 overtime decision at Alabama.
Kentucky coach John Calipari says the Cats must be prepared for a tough challenge from LSU big men Jordan Mickey and Johnny O’Bryant.
“He and Johnny are both two of the better big guys in our league,” the UK boss said. “What (LSU head coach Johnny Jones) is doing for Johnny (O’Bryant III) is he is giving him space to play different ways, he is putting him in short corners, squaring up shooting jumpers, he is putting him in the high post. Mickey is just kind of roaming around down there. Every time they need a basket, it is like a shot goes up, and he is tipping it in or doing something good.”
Calipari compared the Tiger tandem favorably to Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon, who combined for 32 points and 20 rebounds in UK’s 74-66 win on Jan. 18.
LSU also features former Bluegrass State standout Anthony Hickey, who starred at Christian County High School in Hopkinsville.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
LSU (12-6, 3-3 SEC)
G Anthony Hickey (5-11, 182, Jr.) – 8.5 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.2 spg
G Malik Morgan (6-4, 199, So.) – 4.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.3 apg
F Shavon Coleman (6-5, 195, Sr.) – 8.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.3 spg
F Jordan Mickey (6-8, 220, Fr.) – 13.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.6 bpg
F Johnny O’Bryant (6-9, 256, Jr.) – 14.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 51.3% FGs
No. 11 Kentucky (15-4, 5-1 SEC)
G Andrew Harrison (6-6, 215, Fr.) - 11.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.6 apg
G Aaron Harrison (6-6, 218, Fr.) - 13.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.2 apg
G James Young (6-6, 215, Fr.) - 14.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 apg
F Julius Randle (6-9, 250, Fr.) - 16.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 73.4% FTs
F Willie Cauley-Stein (7-0, 244, So.) - 8.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.4 bpg
DISCUSS THE CATS VS. TIGERS