Lexington, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - The 14th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats will try
to remain perfect at Rupp Arena on Saturday afternoon, as they play host to
the Georgia Bulldogs in an SEC clash.
Georgia has been a pleasant surprise this season at 10-7 overall and has
played especially well in the SEC, where it has won four of five. The Bulldogs
most recently made easy work of South Carolina on Wednesday night, 97-76, but
while they are a strong 9-1 at home, they have not fared as well on the road
While Kentucky may not be living up to its preseason hype, as it came into the
campaign ranked No. 1, it is still playing like one of the nation's top teams
at 14-4. The Wildcats downed Texas A&M on Tuesday night, 68-51, to improve to
4-1 in the league and have now won all 12 of their home games.
The Wildcats have dominated the all-time series with Georgia, 115-26, although
the Bulldogs won the most recent meeting, earning a 72-62 triumph last season
The Bulldogs had no problem running past South Carolina earlier in the week in
their 21-point victory, shooting a lofty 55.1 percent from the field, and
while they made good on just 66 percent from the foul line, they attempted a
staggering 50 free throws on the night. Nemanja Djurisic paced the winning
effort coming off the bench, shooting 6-of-6 from the field with three 3-
pointers on his way to 22 points. Kenny Gaines (14 points), Brandon Morris (13
points, five assists), Marcus Thornton (12 points), Charles Mann (10 points)
and Donte' Williams (nine points, 10 rebounds) all chipped in to the well-
rounded effort as well.
On the season, Georgia outshoots its opponents from the field, 45.5 percent to
40.3 percent, for a +2.6 scoring margin. It also outrebounds its adversaries
by 5.4 boards per contest, but its poor turnover margin (-2.2), 3-point
percentage (.338) and free-throw percentage (.658) have held it back as times.
Mann (13.1 ppg), Gaines (12.0 ppg) and Djurisic (10.5 ppg) are the top scoring
threats, with Djurisic doing his damage on 52.2 percent from the field and
53.7 percent from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats have enjoyed much more prolific scoring performances this season
than they had on Tuesday, as they shot a modest 44 percent from the field en
route to just 68 points, but they were still able to cruise to a 17-point
victory by holding Texas A&M to only 37.3 percent from the field while also
dominating the rebounding battle, 42-24. Alex Poythress made his mark in
reserve minutes with 16 points on 4-of-7 from the field and 8-of-9 from the
foul line. James Young posted 15 points and Julius Randle notched a double-
double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Kentucky has established itself as the SEC's most well-rounded team, boasting
a conference-best +13.5 scoring margin by scoring 79.7 ppg, while allowing
just 66.2 ppg, outshooting its opponents from the floor in the process, 47.2
percent to 38.9 percent. It's also aided by having one of the nation's best
rebounding margins (+11.7). Julius Randle is in the midst of an outstanding
freshman campaign, scoring 16.7 ppg (on 54.5 percent field goal shooting)
while ripping down 10.6 rpg. Fellow first-year players Young (14.3 ppg, 4.5
rpg), Aaron Harrison (13.7 ppg) and Andrew Harrison (11.3 ppg, 3.5 apg) have
also played well, while Willie Cauley-Stein (8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) swats away 3.2
shots per contest.
The Sports Network