Coming off a “W” Tuesday in Freedom Hall against University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Cats return to Rupp to face South Carolina for the first of two meetings this season and the opening of SEC play. South Carolina and Kentucky have a sorted history as Kentucky leads the series 44-10 and fans in both states look forward to the meeting on the hardwood.
Coach Cal’s thoughts following the win over UALR centered on the tough nature of the SEC and how his team, “would need to be physical and get knocked around a bit to get comfortable in the conference.” Kidd-Gilchrist and Davis will be watched closely as Michael is coming off a minor injury sustained in the Louisville victory. Coach Cal commented, “He’s fine. He practiced yesterday.” Anthony needs to stay out of foul trouble and carefully select his position when rebounding and blocking. Terrance Jones is said to be at 100% and with him, the Cats could easily win today’s game.
South Carolina (8-6) brings an unranked team to Lexington, yet the guys will have their game faces on for the tough game this afternoon. The Gamecocks will rely on Malik Cooke to post points while the return of sophomore guard Bruce Ellington will increase the Gamecocks chances of a win today. “Ellington is now playing, they struggled early but have won six of seven and that’s with Ellington back so they are a team that could come in here and beat us if we aren’t playing the way we need to be.”, Coach Calipari commented.
Coach Cal offered his assessment of today’s game in a pre-game new conference Friday, “The game Saturday will be a war, (South Carolina) plays an aggressive zone and press, as a matter of fact, they play a lot like how Louisville plays. They scramble in the press and come at you in different ways.” Tip-off is set for 4 pm (EST) with coverage on television (ESPN3) and radio.