Top SEC players could cause trouble for UK in tournament


Freshman guard Ashton Hagans attempts a three point shot. UK men’s basketball team lost to LSU 73-71 with a last second shot at Rupp Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Erika Bonner

It’s March, which means it’s tournament time, which also means that any player could show up big at any moment. However, there are several players in the SEC who have given the Wildcats some problems, and may have the opportunity to do so in the conference tournament. Here’s everything you need to know about them:

Tremont Waters

The 5-foot-11 sophomore LSU guard currently averages 15.3 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game and 5.9 assists per game. Waters sits in the top 10 in the SEC in steals with 89, third in assists with 171, eighth in scoring per game with 15.3 points, and 10th in field goal percentage with 43.6. In the Wildcats’ 73-71 last-second loss to the Tigers, Waters had 15 points, five assists, three steals and one rebound. Since LSU and the Cats are on opposite sides of the bracket, the two teams could possibly see each other again in the championship.

Terence Davis

The Wildcats pulled away with a win against the Ole Miss Rebels, but it wasn’t easy. Davis gave UK fits and scored a team-high 25 points while notching 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block against the Cats. He’s currently averaging 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, ranking seventh in the SEC in scoring, fifth in steals and eighth in assists. The senior guard’s highest scoring game against an SEC opponent was Ole Miss’ second game of conference play when he dropped 27 against Auburn.

Grant Williams

As one of the front runners for SEC player of the year, the 6-foot-7, 236-pound junior forward has been a force to be reckoned with in the SEC. Averaging 19.3 points per game, he ranks first in the conference (and on his team) in scoring. In UK and UT’s two regular-season meetings, Williams scored a combined 40 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals. He ranks second in the SEC in field goal percentage (56.9 percent), 10th in blocks with 45 and fourth in rebounds with 238 (7.7 per game). The teams split the regular-season series, with Kentucky winning the first game and Tennessee the second, and the two teams could possibly see each other a third time in the tournament semi-finals.

Daniel Gafford

The 6-foot-11 sophomore guard put up 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in Rupp Arena against the Cats when the Razorbacks spotted a 15-point lead before UK made a second-half comeback. Gafford ranks first in the SEC in two categories: rebounding and field goal percentage. The sophomore has totaled 271 rebounds on the season (8.7 per game) and shoots a whopping 66 percent from the field. His best game offensively was back in early January against LSU when he scored a season-high 32 points, and also recorded a season-high field goals made with 14.