UKmadness

Kentucky at South Carolina Preview

Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 26, 2010

The Wildcats will travel east to face the always-dangerous South Carolina Gamecocks tonight on the road (9 P.M. ET, ESPN).

The ‘Cocks are led by senior guard Devan Downey, who comes into the game averaging 21.9 points, inculding 31.6 ppg in conference play.

USCjr’s second-leading scorer, Dominique Archey, is out with an injury he suffered in the first month of the season and Carolina only has one other double-digit scorer, Brandis Raley-Ross.

Projected Starters

G — John Wall vs. Devan Downey

This is sure to be Wall’s toughest individual matchup so far this season. He has not played against a guard with the speed, quickness, or scorers mentality that Downey has. Wall does have a large height advantage over the Cincinnati transfer—5-foot9 vs. 6-foot-4—which would allow him to see over the head of Downey and would limit his great ability to steal the ball—nearly 3.0 spg.

Advantage: Wall, UK

G — Eric Bledsoe vs. Brandis Raley-Ross

This is a matchup between Robins to Wall and Downey’s Batman. Both Bledsoe and Raley-Ross get severely overshadowed by their all-league backcourt mates, and for valid reasons.

Neither Bledsoe nor Raley-Ross have the scoring ability that their partner-in-crime has but they are both very important to the success of their team. I give Bledsoe the advantage simply because he is better in just about every single statistical category and seems to be on the same page as Wall at this point in the season.

Advantage: Bledsoe, UK

F — Darius Miller vs. Lakeem Jackson

This matchup is a no-brainer any way you look at it. Miller is superior shooting the ball, defensively, athletically, and is a much better passer than people realize. Not to mention that his confidence should be sky-high after a career day against Arkansas. Easy.

Advantage: Miller, UK

F – Patrick Patterson vs. Evaldas Baniulis

‘Mr. Consistency’, as I call him, should handle Baniulus pretty easily down in the post. In three career games against South Carolina Patterson has posted 22-9, 28-7, and 28-12 but only has a 1-2 record in those games.

Patterson has dominated other big men for the GameCOCKS and is going against a dreadful defender in Baniulis.

Advantage: Patterson, UK

F — DeMarcus Cousins vs. Sam Muldrow

Ok, this is BY FAR the easiest pick of the five matchups. Cousins has a full two inches on Muldrow and outweighs him by FIFTY-FIVE POUNDS! YIKES! Cousins has been dominating players that are AT LEAST his height and now he should have another double-double and could have his first career 20-20 game IF he stays out of foul trouble (a BIG if).

Advantage: Cousins, UK

Prediction

The Cats SHOULD come out with a lot of energy as they play their first game ranked as #1 since the 2002-2003 season. I think DeMarcus Cousins will come out and simply dominate from the get-go. Cousins should be able to stay out of foul trouble because South Carolina is predominately a perimeter scoring team and does not attack 6’11” guys too frequently.

81-69 Cats

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