February 1, 2008

Scouting Report: Kentucky at Georgia

What: Kentucky (9-9, 3-2) at Georgia (11-7, 2-3)
Where: Stegeman Coliseum
When: Saturday
Time/TV: 1:06/CBS
Series Record: Kentucky leads 107-22

Coaches: In his first year at Kentucky, Billy Gillispie has led< the Wildcats to a 9-9 mark, 3-2 in the SEC. In just three seasons at Texas A&M, the three-time Big 12 Coach of the Year engineered one of the most amazing turnarounds in college basketball history, leading ESPN's Steve Lavin, among others, to christen him a "miracle worker." In the 2006-07 season, Gillispie, who was a finalist for the 2007 Naismith National Coach of the Year and Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year led the Aggies to a school record 27-7 record which included a school best No. 3 seed in the NCAA's, in which they advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1980.

Last Season: Georgia and Kentucky split a pair of games last year. The Bulldogs won a 78-69 overtime game in Athens while the Wildcats won in Lexington, 72-60

Last Five Games:
Lost to Mississippi State 60-49
Defeated Alabama 61-54
Defeated Arkansas 82-69
Lost to Tennessee 85-69
Lost to South Carolina 62-56

Defeated Vanderbilt 79-73 in double OT
Lost to Mississippi State 69-64
Lost to Florida 81-70 in OT
Beat Tennessee 82-76
Beat South Carolina 78-70

Did you know?
• The Bulldogs are currently riding the longest home winning streak of the Dennis Felton era at 11 games. Last season's team won its home finale, an NIT opener against Fresno State, and the current Dogs have strung together 10 wins here at Stegeman. This 11-game streak is two wins shy of the longest home win streak posted during the Jim Harrick era.

• Despite just a 3-4 record in the past seven games, Georgia has made a sizable climb up the daily RPI charts. Yet for the first time of this decade, perhaps, the strength of Georgia's non-SEC schedule is a detriment to its national standing. As the SEC slate began, the Bulldogs ranked 277th out of 341 Division I schools in their strength of schedule.

• Georgia has derived just over 66 per¬cent of its offense from the starting five this season, slightly more than 33 percent from its bench. Twice (vs. Jax State, ETSU) the bench has outscored the starters. Bulldog opponents have gotten almost 71 percent of their offense from the starting five, 29 percent from the bench.

All Eyes On
Freshman forward Patrick Patterson (6-8, 232) leads Kentucky both in scoring and rebounding with 17.1 points and 8.1 rebounds, respectively

Scouting the Bulldogs
F - 50 Jeremy Price 6-8 270 Fr. Decatur, Ga. 8.7 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game.
C - 44 Dave Bliss 6-10 255 Sr. Wausau, Wis. 7.4 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game
G - 2 Sundiata Gaines 6-1 205 Sr. Jamaica, N.Y. 12.9 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game
G - 30 Terrance Woodbury 6-7 220 Jr. Virginia Beach, Va. 9.1 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game
G - 31 Billy Humphrey 6-2 190 Jr. Dacula, Ga. 13.6 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game

Bench Report
F - 23 Corey Butler 6-3 190 Jr. Decatur, Ga. 3.9 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game
G - 5 Zac Swansey 6-1 175 Fr. Dunwoody, Ga. 4.2 points per game, 1.0 assists per game

Scouting the Wildcats
F - 21 Patrick Patterson 6-8 232 Fr. Huntington, W.Va., 17. 1 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game.
F - 42 Mark Coury 6-8 238 So. West Bloomfield, Mich. 2.9 points per game 2.6 rebounds per game.
G - Joe Crawford 6-5 207 Sr. Detroit, Mich. 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game.
G - Ramel Bradley 6-2 191 Sr. New York, N.Y. 16.7 points per game, 3.3 assists per game.
G - Jodie Meeks 6-4 207 Soph. Norcross, Ga. 10.1 points per game 2.9 rebounds per game.

Bench Report
G - 5 Derrick Jasper 6-6 209 So. Paso Robles, Calif. 3.9 points per game 6.7 rebounds per game
F - 21 Perry Stevenson 6-9 201 So. Lafayette, La. 4.9 points per game 3.9 rebounds per game

Analysis and Prediction
This is a crucial game for the Bulldogs after Wednesday's disappointing loss to South Carolina and another loss could really send the team spiraling. There is some good news. Georgia is 10-0 at home this season, having obviously played considerable better than it has on the road. Kentucky isn't the world beater than they have been in past years, but roll into Stegeman Coliseum with four players averaging in double-figures, led by outstanding freshman Patrick Patterson, who will prove a handful for the Bulldogs to try and contain.

Prediction: Kentucky 76, Georgia 65.

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