Everything you need to know about Kentucky vs Texas A&M
Kentucky opened up SEC play with a loss on the road to Alabama, but tonight they return to Rupp in hopes of picking up a league win. Here is everything you need to know about tonight’s game.
Who: Kentucky 10-3 (0-1) vs Texas A&M 6-6 (0-1)
Where: Rupp Arena
Television: SEC Network
The spread in Vegas: Kentucky by 12.5 points
About the Aggies: It has not been a good season for Billy Kennedy and the Aggies so far. It may be the worst team that Kennedy has had there and it may be a team that gets him on the hot seat. Despite making the NCAA tournament last season it seems that this could be the last year for Kennedy. Maybe he will get one more year but my gut says this is the end of the road for him. As for this team, they just don’t have a lot of talent to compete in the conference. Their top scorer is TJ Starks who averages 14 points and 4 assists per game from the point guard position. He has really struggled to shoot the ball this season but has attempted the most 3-point shots on the team and he is very turnover prone. Savion Flagg is a 6’7 sophomore averaging 13 points and 8 rebounds a game. He is an energy guy but he will have his hands full against the Cats size around the basket. Christian Mekowulu is a 6’8 grad transfer from Tennessee St that averages 10 points and 6 rebounds a game. As a team they are shooting just 28% from the 3-point line this season. If they continue to shoot poorly tonight it will make life extremely difficult for them. All in all they just aren’t a good basketball team. The one plus for them is that they are coming off a good performance against Arkansas, even though the final result was a loss.
What does this game mean for Kentucky: A win against A&M will mean little in the grand scheme of things and a loss seems extremely unlikely. This game can be a “get things right” game for the Cats. They can build up some confidence with a convincing win against the Aggies. It would be very good to see Kentucky come out in attack mode and dominate a team with less talent. Obviously just winning the game is the most important thing but they way in which it happens will tell us a lot about how this team is progressing. The main things I will be watching for tonight are the following. How will Reid Travis bounce back after a tough game? Will Keldon Johnson be more of a focal point on the offense? Will EJ Montgomery and/or Nick Richards step up and contribute more? Will Ashton Hagans continue to elevate his game? Will Tyler Herro improve his season 3-point shooting for a 5th straight game? As a team will they get a lead and then step on their throats and finish them, or will they let them hang around and keep the game close?
What will happen: The Cats just have too much talent to lose to the Aggies in Rupp tonight. After the loss to Alabama they will have a chip on their shoulder and come out looking to prove something. Those things should result in a fairly easy win for Kentucky. My prediction for the final score is 82-67. A bonus prediction is that Coach Cal will sing the praises of Billy Kennedy after the game. Kennedy is a friend and Cal always looks out for his friends (after he helps drive a nail in their coffin after a loss).