It’s Kentucky vs. Indiana. That’s really all that needs to be said. It’s two schools awash in tradition and national titles, each passionately followed by a fanatical fan base eager for wins and bragging rights. Like last week’s blueblood showdown between the Cats and Heels, this game represents a true clash of the titans. Border titans, at that.
Kentucky (8-0) enters the contest the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, but IU, although unranked, sits at 8-0 also, primed to make its mark, grab its so-called signature win over its long-time rival, which also happens to sit atop the polls (talk about killing two birds with one stone). Assembly Hall should be loud, lively and raucous, a true test, as Kentucky’s fresh-faced squad experiences its first true road game of the season.
But before strapping in for the slugfest, take in my by-the-numbers look at the rivalry, and the Cats.
UK vs. IU rivalry history
UK leads the series 31-23 … The Cats have won three in a row and 16 of 20 since 1991 … The last time the two teams met in Bloomington, Ind., No. 4 UK won a hard-fought 90-73 contest … Indiana last beat UK in Bloomington in December of 2007, by a score of 70-51 … IU won the first six games of the series dating from 1924 to 1942 … UK and IU have battled every year since 1969, with the Cats enjoying a 28-17 advantage in that time … The Hoosiers and Cats have hooked up four times when UK was ranked No. 1, with Kentucky winning three of the four contests (the lone IU win was in December of ’93) … UK is 2-1 versus IU in the NCAA Tournament, with the two teams last meeting in the Big Dance in 1983, a 64-59 Wildcat win .. UK is 4-10 in Bloomington.
Wildcat stats and trends
Darius Miller — Since making 4-of-5 3s vs. Portland, Miller has made only 1-of-7 trey tries in the last two games (14.3percent) … Miller has only three turnovers in his last four games … Through the first three games of the year, Miller averaged 4.3 points per game; in the last five games he’s putting up 11.8 ppg … Miller’s for-the-season numbers: 9.0 points (45.8 percent field-goal shooting) and 3.4 rebounds per game, while going 6 of 23 from long-range (26.1 percent) and 12 of 15 from the line (80.0 percent) … In UK’s 81-62 win over IU in Rupp Arena last year, Miller scored nine points.
Terrence Jones — Jones has eight steals in the last three games (2.7 pg), after having three steals through the first five games (.6 pg) … Over the last four games, Jones is averaging 19.0 points per contest … In UK’s first three games, Jones had four blocks (1.3 pg); in the last five games he’s blocked 16 shots (3.2 pg) … Jones has pulled down eight offensive rebounds in the last two games (4.0 pg) after totaling nine offensive boards the first six games (1.5 pg) … After making 7-of-11 3s the first seven games of the year (63.6percent), he made only 1 of 5 from beyond the arc vs. Carolina … Jones’ for-the-season numbers: 15.0 points (49.4 percent) and 7.5 rebounds per game (2.1 offensive); he’s made 8 of 16 from long-range (50.0 percent) and 28 of 39 from the charity stripe (71.8 percent) … Jones had 10 points against IU last season.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — MKG recorded his first career collegiate double-double against North Carolina on Saturday, posting 17 points and 11 rebounds … Kidd-Gilchrist has shot over 50 percent from the field in four of UK’s eight games … Over his last two games, MKG has made 7-of-9 free throws (77.8 percent) … Kidd-Gilchrist has nine offensive rebounds in the last three games (3.0 pg) … His for-the-year numbers: 12.1 points (47.8 percent) and 7.1 rebounds per contest (2.1 offensive), while also making 5-of-14 3-pointers (35.7 percent) and 26 of 35 from the free-throw line (74.3 percent).
Doron Lamb — Over the last two games, Lamb is 4 of 6 from long-range (66.7 percent) … Since making only one of six shots against Portland, Lamb has made 12 of his last 23 shot attempts (52.2 percent) … Over his last three games, he has nine assists and five turnovers … His four turnovers against UNC represented the total number of TOs he had through the first seven games of the year … Lamb averaged 4.0 free-throw attempts per game through his first seven games, but took zero FTs against Carolina … Lamb’s for-the-year numbers: 14.4 ppg (47.4 percent), 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, while scorching the nets with 16-of-32 shooting from beyond the arc (50.0 percent) and 25-of-28 accuracy from the line (89.3 percent) … Versus Indiana last year, Lamb scored nine points.
Anthony Davis — The big man is averaging 4.5 blocks per game … After having five steals though the first five games (1.0 pg), Davis has recorded six steals in the last three games (2.0 pg) … He attempted a season-low one free throw versus North Carolina … Davis took two 3s against the Tar Heels (making neither) after taking only one 3-pointer through the first seven games … He is making 70.9 percent of his 2-point shots (39 of 55) … Davis has committed only two turnovers in his last three games (.7 pg) … Davis’ for-the-year numbers: 12.3 points (67.2 percent) and 9.1 rebounds (2.9 offensive) per contest, while making 20 of 37 from the free-throw line (54.1percent).
Marquis Teague — The Indiana native has dished out 22 assists to only five turnovers the last four games … That equals 5.5 assists and 1.3 turnovers per game … Through the first seven games, Teague made 7-of-15 3-point shots (46.7 percent), but he was 0 of 4 from distance against Carolina … Through UK’s first five games, Teague made 23-of-40 shots from the floor (57.5 percent); in the last three contests he made 9-of-32 attempts (28.1 percent) … Teague’s for-the-year numbers: 10.3 points (44.4percent), 4.1 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game, while connecting on 7-of-19 3s (36.8 percent) and 11-of-21 free throws (52.4 percent).
Kyle Wiltjer — In his last 32 minutes of action, covering three games, Wiltjer has put up these numbers: six points on 3-of-10 shooting, five rebounds and one block … Wiltjer’s for-the-year numbers: 6.4 points (43.5percent) and 3.0 rebounds per game, while making 4-of-15 3-point tries (26.7 percent) and 7-of-9 free throws (77.8percent).
Eloy Vargas — In his last 14 minutes of action, covering three games, Vargas has posted these numbers: three points on 1-of-5 field-goal shooting, three blocks, five rebounds (three offensive) … Vargas’ for-the-year numbers: 1.9 points (46.2 percent) and 3.6 rebounds per game, while blocking six shots and committing only two turnovers in 66 total minutes.
Team — The 41.7 percent field-goal percentage UNC shot against UK on Saturday was the highest shooting percentage the Cats have allowed this year … UNC made 11-of-18 treys against UK (61.1 percent); the previous seven Wildcat opponents made a combined 27.2percent from beyond the arc … Kentucky has made 135 free throws on the year; UK’s opposition have attempted 133 free throws … UK’s nine assists against Carolina represented a season-low dish total for the Cats … The Cats have turned the ball over only 25 times the last three games (8.3 pg) … UK is averaging a nation-best 10.9 blocks per game … UK has shot less than 50 percent from the field in three consecutive games, making 84-of-194 overall shots (43.3 percent) and 16-of-50 3-points shots (32.0 percent) during that span … For the season, UK is averaging 82.4 points (49.0 percent) and 43.5 rebounds per game … UK’s opponents are averaging 57.0 points (32.6 percent) and 36.0 rebounds per contest, while connecting on 31.2 percent of their 3-point attempts and 66.2 percent of their free throws.
Coach Cal on the Hoosiers
Calipari on the characteristics of a Tom Crean-coached team …
“They are going to take good shots. They will be tough as nails. You are not going to get a second shot. They will block you out. They are going to dive on the floor. They will take charges. They are going to play with emotion. They are a grind-it-out team that will play, but they are not going to hurry themselves. He’s got his team now playing that way. The tapes I’ve seen I’ve been very, very impressed.”
Tip-off is set of 5:15 ET on ESPN. Stay tuned to CoachCal.com as Eric Lindsey and UK assistant coach John Robic will be along with a comprehensive scouting report on the Hoosiers.
Not your typical first road game for UK, Teague