Cats want conference revenge

1. Time for UK to get even — The Cats’ first loss of the conference season came on the road at Georgia, in which head coach John Calipari was upset at UK getting outmuscled, outrebounded and outplayed (Georgia shot more than twice as many free throws as UK). Now, Georgia comes to Rupp Arena, where Calipari is 27-0 in his UK career. The game is also important for SEC East position, as a loss would place UK two games behind Florida.

2. The frontcourt matchup — Terrence Jones has a picture of Georgia’s Trey Thompkins, the preseason SEC Player of the Year, hanging in his locker, according to the Courier-Journal’s Brett Dawson. It serves as motivation for Jones. However, the picture didn’t go up recently; it’s been there since before UK’s loss to Georgia on Jan. 8.

In that game, Jones and Thompkins posted similar numbers. Jones had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Thompkins had 25 points and seven rebounds. But Jones had a slow, passive start, something he corrected late (although too late) in the game – and will look to start with Saturday.

“Terrence, when you went at Thompkins he struggled (defending) you,” Calipari said after the Georgia game. “Why didn’t you start the game that way? Why aren’t you ready to go?”

That matchup will be key — Thompkins takes one-third of Georgia’s shots, and Jones takes 30 percent of UK’s shots — but also pay attention to Josh Harrellson. The senior center has made 3 of his last 14 shots, although he grabbed 28 rebounds over that same three-game stretch.

What the statistics say:

UK has a 92 percent chance to win, according to Ken Pomeroy’s website.

What Georgia does well: Offensive rebound (They grab 37.5 percent of available offensive rebounds, 25th in the nation), shooting defense (opponents shoot 43.4 percent on two-point attempts, 38th in the nation), and block shots (they block 14.5 of opponent’s shots, 16th in the nation).

What Georgia does not do well: shoot three-pointers (they make 34.6 percent, although that’s actually about normal — the Division I average is 34.3) and shoot free-throws (67.6 percent). That means Georgia gets the vast majority of their points from two-point makes (60 percent of their points, 12th in the nation).