Basketball staff picks: UK vs. Penn State

The Kernel sports staff members shares their insight on UK’s upcoming showdown against Penn State.

UK 92  Penn State 61

Kentucky is good — really good. Unfortunately for Penn State, the experienced squad from last season led by Talor Battle and Jeff Brooks is no longer around to help cause upsets as it had done against Michigan State, Wisconsin and Illinois. In a game against Hartford, the Nittany Lions’ leading rebounder was a 6-foot-5 guard off the bench. That won’t work against the long and athletic Cats, and it is the main reason UK should roll in this one.

UK 94  Penn State 58

The Nittany Lions will try to slow the game up and play a physical, Big Ten-style of basketball, which will let them hang around for a few minutes. The Cats’ skill and athletic advantage will prevail, however, as they win this game big.

UK 81  Penn State 55

The Nittany Lions run into a huge physical mismatch Saturday at Rupp. They will likely play a slow, half-court game to try to neutralize the athletic difference, typical of a Big Ten squad. It may work for 10 minutes or so before the Cats get comfortable and begin to dominate. The game could be within 15 at half, but UK’s suffocating defense will take over in the second half, leading to a runaway victory.

UK 84  Penn State 56

An undersized and overmatched Penn State team will likely try to implement a slow, methodical Big Ten brand of basketball when taking on UK. Unfortunately for Penn State, the Cats’ athleticism should overwhelm up and down the floor, leaving the Nittany Lions in their wake.

UK 86  Penn State 63

UK has significantly more talent than Penn State. The Nittany Lions are without their two leading scorers from last season.  The lone bright spot for Penn State could be guard Tim Frazier, but he won’t be enough to pull the upset.