Georgia vs. Kentucky: Game Preview

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Georgia vs. Kentucky: Game Preview

What: Georgia (13-4, 3-1 SEC) at #8 Kentucky (13-3, 3-1 SEC)





When: Saturday, 6p.m.

Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.

TV: SEC Network





It took an all hands on deck effort for Georgia to pull off a conference road win at South Carolina Tuesday, but the Bulldogs got it done thanks to strong nights by Silas Demary Jr. and RJ Melendez as well as a late dagger by Justin Hill.

Now the Dawgs look to improve to 4-1 in SEC play for the first time in nearly 10 years to the day. That happened on January 21st, 2014.

In order to get there, they’ll need to do something no Georgia team has done in 15 years and only 4 times since record-keeping began in 1921: take down Kentucky on the road.

Kentucky has shown vulnerabilities. They were exposed most recently at Texas A&M last Saturday, where the Aggies took down the Wildcats 97-92 in overtime. UK was also upset at home by UNC Wilmington last month.

Even so, the Wildcats have flexed enough muscle to dissuade any significant doubts. Using the eye test, they certainly looked like a top team in dominant wins over Miami, #4 North Carolina and Mississippi State.

Kentucky is led by a host of highly-touted talent. Yet nobody has been more impactful than Antonio Reeves. The 6’6″ guard from Chicago is averaging 19.4 points per contest thanks to a staggering 52% from the field. Reeves is coming off a 27-point, 8-for-12 (67%) outing Wednesday against Mississippi State.

Tre Mitchell has been a nightmare for UK’s opponents lately. The lanky 6’9″ forward leads the Wildcats in both rebounds (7.8 rpg) and blocks. (1.2 bpg) Much like Reeves – and quite frankly several others – Mitchell knows how to score the basketball at a high level.

Scoring hasn’t been hard to come by for Kentucky. In fact, with an average of 90.8 ppg, the Wildcats boast the #1 scoring offense in all of college basketball. Among the 8 UK players who average at least 7 ppg, none are shooting below 44.1%. 5 of them are shooting over 50%.

Georgia, meanwhile, has defended hot-shooting teams rather well this season. The Bulldogs have held opponents to 40.13% shooting – good for 44th in CBB. The question will be whether or not the Dawgs can maximize possessions and keep pace on the offensive end.

For that to happen, Georgia will need shooters like Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Blue Cain, Melendez and Hill to be on the mark. Abdur-Rahim, Cain and Hill were all cold at South Carolina. The three combined to go 7-for-29 from the field and 1-of-8 from deep. On the other hand, Melendez is finally getting a few 3’s to drop. Before the past two games, RJ was an abysmal 8-of-52 from behind the arc. He drilled 2 against Tennessee and another 2 in Columbia.

How they stack up

Georgia’s key wins: Wake Forest, at Florida State, at South Carolina

Kentucky’s key wins: Miami, #4 North Carolina, at Florida

Most recent meeting: Feb. 11, 2023 (UGA def. UK, 75-68)

Series history: Kentucky leads 131-26





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2 responses on “Georgia vs. Kentucky: Game Preview

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