3 things to watch: UK at Georgia



Three things to watch when UK plays at Georgia (9 p.m., ESPN):

1. Georgia should struggle to put points on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs are last in the SEC in points per game (61.9) and shooting percentage (39.9 percent). UK is second in the SEC in scoring defense (59.7 points per game) and first in shooting percentage defense (36.3 percent).

UK, with its lockdown interior defense, should especially be able to control an extremely thin Georgia frontcourt. So how could Georgia possibly pull off an upset? By getting uncontrollably hot, which could happen in two ways.

Either the Bulldogs will knock down 3-pointers (they make 31.9 percent, ninth in the league).

Or one/both of the combination of Gerald Robinson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will play out of their minds. Each takes slightly over 29 percent of their team’s shots. While they aren’t the most efficient players — both shoot in the low 40 percent range — if they play better than usual and keep dominating the ball on offense, Georgia could put up enough points to hang with UK.

“One of the best young players in the country,” John Calipari said of Caldwell-Pope. “He’s a game changer for t

hat program.”

2. The biggest mismatch in a game full of them is on the glass. The Cats lead the SEC in rebounding margin (plus-8.8 rpg) and the Bulldogs rank last (minus-2.4 rpg). UK needs to take full advantage of the frontcourt mismatch (Georgia head coach Mark Fox said Darius Miller is “bigger than my power forward,” and he’s not exaggerating all that much), especially when Georgia is on offense. The Bulldogs rank last in the SEC (sense a trend?) in offensive rebounding percentage (30.7 percent). The Cats can’t allow an excessive and unusual amount of second-chance points.

3. I’m interested in seeing how Anthony Davis plays, especially considering the mismatch he should have. Davis had 11 points and nine r

ebounds against Alabama, and afterward, he said that teams playing him physical was a new “challenge. I like challenges.”

Calipari said the key for Davis is to start playing before the ball gets to him — that is, don’t wait until he is receiving the entry pass to fight for position.

So, should we expect to see Davis bounce back from his (still solid) game against Alabama? Doron Lamb thinks so.

“I think at Georgia he’s going to have a big game,” Lamb said Saturday. “I think he’s upset today. He’ll get in the gym and get ready for that game on Tuesday.”

Tuesday’s here. Let’s see what Davis, and UK, has in store.

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