Athens, GA – Back at the top of the national polls, the game win streak on the line this evening, as they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in SEC action at Stegeman Coliseum.
The Wildcats moved to 5-0 in SEC play with last weekend's 77-71 victory over Alabama, marking the best start in the conference under John Calipari. The victory was also the 47th straight at home for Kentucky, the longest current win streak in the country.
Mark Fox's Bulldogs are an unimpressive 10-9 on the season and have really struggled in league play, winning just one of the first five SEC affairs on the docket. After picking up its first SEC win last week in overtime against Tennessee (57-53), Georgia failed to continue its winning ways with a 66-63 loss to Ole Miss last weekend.
Kentucky has dominated the all-time series with Georgia at 113-25 and is 39-16 in Athens. The Wildcats have won three of the last four meetings at the Stegeman Coliseum.
The Wildcats have earned their number one ranking again thanks to stellar play at both ends of the floor. The team is averaging almost 80 points per game (79.5) and boasts of the nation's second-best scoring margin (+19.8) thanks to stellar play at the defensive end, allowing just 59.7 ppg, holding opponents to just .363 shooting (second nationally). Despite obvious youth on the roster, Kentucky has a plethora of options offensively, with five players currently averaging double figures. Doron Lamb leads the team in scoring at 14.0 ppg. However, freshman Anthony Davis' emergence as one of the top low post players in the nation has really made the difference. Davis is averaging a double-double with 13.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. The 6-10 youngster is converting 63 percent of his shots this year and leads the nation in blocked shots (4.7 apg). Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (13.2 ppg), Terrence Jones (11.9 ppg) and Marquis Teague (10.5 ppg) round out the top scoring threats on the team. Only seven players hit the floor for Kentucky against Alabama and six of them finished in double figures, led by Jones' 15 points. Lamb added 14 points, Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 13, Davis and Darius Miller chipped in with 11 points apiece and Teague ended up with 10.
The Bulldogs struggled in the first half against Ole Miss, hitting just 29.6 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes and trailed by 11 points at intermission. Despite a run in the second half, Georgia still fell by three points to the Rebels. The setback spoiled a huge outing from Kenneth Caldwell- Pope, who hit five three-pointers en route to a game-high 25 points. Gerald Robinson had a strong performance as well, pouring in 19 points. The remainder of the roster combined for just 19 points though in the loss. Consistency at the offensive end has been Georgia's primary problem this year. The team is shooting a meager .399 from the floor overall and putting up just 61.9 ppg. Caldwell-Pope and Robinson are the primary scorers, at 14.7 and 13.8 ppg, respectively.