The No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats (8-1) return to the friendly confines of Rupp Arena Saturday night hoping to bounce back from the season’s first loss as they take on the Chattanooga Mocs (3-7) out of the Southern Conference. UK will look to extend its home-court winning streak to 40 games, with Coach Cal striving to stretch his personal Rupp Arena winning streak to 39 games.
Mississippi State transfer (and Ballard High School alum) Twany Beckham is eligible for competition beginning today. The 6-foot-5 guard sat out the last year due to NCAA transfer rules.
Now, on to Cat stats and trends.
Darius Miller — Miller has made only 1-of-10 3-point shots over the last three games after making 4 of 5 against Portland … Through the first seven games of the year, Miller averaged 3.7 rebounds per game; in the last two games he’s grabbed only three rebounds … The Mason County native has committed only three turnovers the last two games … Miller averaged 6.5 points in UK’s first five games; in the last four games he’s averaging 12.0 … Over the last three games, Miller has made 12-of-26 field-goal tries (46.2 percent) … Miller is averaging 1.7 free throws per game.
Terrence Jones — After attempting 16 free throws against Portland, Jones has taken only five from the line in the last two games … Jones snagged a combined eight offensive rebounds against St. John’s and North Carolina but zero versus Indiana … Through Kentucky’s first six games, Jones averaged 2.2 blocks per game; in the last three games he’s averaging 3.0 bpg … In his first five games of the year Jones recorded three steals (.6 pg); in the last four games he’s pilfered the ball nine times (2.3 steals per game).
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — On the year, MKG is averaging 12.8 points per game … Against UNC and Indiana he led the Cats by averaging 17.5 ppg … Kidd-Gilchrist has made 15 of his last 22 field-goal attempts his last two games (68.2 percent) after making only 1-of-7 shots against St. John’s … MKG has grabbed eight offensive rebounds over the last two games, raising his per game average to 2.3 … In 38 minutes of action against IU, MKG attempted zero free throws … The freshman has scored in double figures in seven of UK’s nine contests … On the year, MKG averaged 7.3 rebounds per game, but he’s snagged 20 boards the last two games (10.0 pg).
Doron Lamb — The Queens native took 21 3-point shots through UK’s first four games (5.3 pg), connecting on 11 shots (52.3 percent); in the last five games Lamb took only 14 3s (2.8 pg), making seven (50.0 percent) … He had a season-low one rebound against IU … Lamb committed three turnovers (.5 pg) through UK’s first six games; in the last three games he’s had six miscues (2.0 pg) … The Indiana contest represented Lamb’s first two-steal game of the year … In his previous six games, Lamb made 19-of-20 free throws (95.0 percent) before making only 7-of-11 charity stripe tries versus Indiana (63.6 percent) … Since making only 1-of-6 field goals tries versus Portland (16.7 percent), Lamb has made 17-of-37 shots over the last three games (45.9 percent).
Anthony Davis — Davis has committed four-plus fouls in three of nine games this season … The big fella recorded a season-low one block against the Hoosiers in 24 minutes of play … In UK’s first five games, Davis averaged 7.4 rebounds per game; in the last four games he’s averaging 11.3 rpg … From inside the arc Davis is shooting 71.1 percent on the year (42-59) … In UK’s last four games, Davis has nine steals (2.3 pg) and only three turnovers (.8 pg).
Marquis Teague — Through UK’s first three games, Teague made 4-of-5 3-point shots (80.0 percent); in the last six games he’s made 3 of 15 (20.0 percent) … Against Portland and Indiana combined, Teague made 8-of-9 free throws (88.9 percent); he’s 6 of 15 against everyone else (40.0 percent) … Over the last five games, Teague has handed out 27 assists to only eight turnovers, and exceptional 3.4-1 ratio … Teague committed eight turnovers in UK’s first two games (4.0 pg), but he’s averaging only 1.9 miscues over the last seven games.
Kyle Wiltjer — In his last 24 minutes of action, covering three games, Wiltjer has made 2-of-6 shots from the field, scored four-points, grabbed three rebounds, and recorded one assist, one turnover and one block.
Eloy Vargas — In Vargas’ last 21 minutes of action, covering three games, he has made 2-of-7 field-goal tries, scored five points, snagged eight rebounds (five offensive), blocked three shots, had one steal and zero turnovers.
Coach Cal on the Cats
On practice being different this week…
“I think the one thing I learned after the game at Indiana is that we need to have more rough-house practices, a little tougher and we need to do more conditioning. So we did that this week so they might have thought it was tougher. It was what I saw from my team. Also, we needed to go over situational stuff; you can’t blame them if you haven’t covered a lot of stuff. One thing I’ll say though about doing situations, at the end of the day you can’t predict what is going to happen. You have a player make a play like Anthony (Davis) made (vs. North Carolina). Somebody has to just go make a play, and that’s part of what we have on this team, but they just haven’t been in many of those deals.”
On contributions Twany Beckham can make:
“He can help defensively. He’s not going to play any point guard so he’ll probably play one of those other positions. He’s got to go out there and defend and make easy plays so that he can stay on the floor.”
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET with the following television coverage — Insight: channel 505 throughout Kentucky with digital cable or mini-box; Dish Network: HD channel 429, non-HD channel 420: DirecTV: HD channel 631 (YES HD): AT&T U-verse: YES (channel 702 in most Kentucky market.
Stay tuned to CoachCal.com as Eric Lindsey and UK assistant John Robic will be along with a comprehensive scouting report on Chattanooga.
Beckham ‘ready to go’ in long-awaited debut