Column: Scouting Kentucky
By Avi Zaleon
What IU’s first ranked opponent of the year, “Red-Out”
When 5:15 p.m. Saturday
Where Assembly Hall
How ESPN, IU Radio Network, live audio on IUHoosiers.com
Head coach John Calipari, third season
Last season 29-9, Lost to UConn in the Final Four
Leading scorer Sophomore forward No. 3 Terrence Jones, 15.0 ppg
Leading rebounder Freshman forward No. 23 Anthony Davis, 9.1 rpg
G Jordan Hulls 11.3 ppg, G Marquis Teague 10.3 ppg , G Verdell Jones III 9.3, G Doron Lamb 14.4, G Victor Oladipo 12.3, F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 12.1, F Christian Watford 10.4, F Terrence Jones 15.0, F Cody Zeller 15.5, F Anthony Davis 12.3
This is the first time a Tom Crean-led team takes the court against the Wildcats and has a legitimate chance of winning from the outset. Once the final buzzer sounded in Kentucky’s victory against North Carolina, IU fans knew they would get their shot at beating the No. 1 team in the country at home Saturday. Anticipation and tension among the respective fan bases has mounted all week, as those in Bloomington are enamored with the possibility of an upset, while the rivals to the south scoff at the idea. The two teams’ coaches have gotten into the action, trying to control the red-blue ratio in Assembly Hall.
As tantalizing as the idea of this monumental upset might seem, don’t forget who the Hoosiers are matched up against. Kentucky is ranked as the best team in the country for a reason, chalk-full of players with NBA-quality talent, length and athleticism. The Wildcats have already proven they can beat quality opponents with victories against No. 13 Kansas and No. 4 UNC.
The biggest factors that would contribute to this monumental upset are the home-court advantage of Assembly Hall and the Hoosiers’ experience. UK is a young team and hasn’t played a true road game this season. On the court, the Hoosiers must do a better job on the glass against the fourth-best rebounding team in the nation, find a way to score against a Cats team that allows an average of just 57 points per game and find a way to stop a spectacular UK backcourt.
All that being said, the Hoosiers could win this one. It’s not a good chance, but it is a chance. IU might even get a few more votes in the polls if they lose by single digits. But at the end of the day, I think Kentucky will win by 10.
Pick to click
Bet to the campus: If IU wins, I’ll draw an Anthony Davis-esque unibrow on myself with a marker and leave it there for 24 hours.