Alabama Basketball: Kentucky Wildcats Game Preview And Info


Alabama basketball picked up their first conference loss against South Carolina on Tuesday, 68-66.

No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats (16-0, 3-0) at Alabama Crimson Tide (12-4, 2-1)

  • Date: Saturday, January 17, 2015
  • Start Time: 3 p.m. CT
  • Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Arena: Coleman Coliseum
  • TV Info: ESPN
  • Live Stream: WatchESPN
  • Odds ( Kentucky (-10)

The Tide will have their work cut out for them on Saturday when the number one ranked Kentucky Wildcats come to town. Alabama will have to play nearly flawless basketball if they want to pick up the win. The Tide is no stranger to upsetting number one in Coleman Coliseum. This will be the fourth meeting they have faced the top ranked team in the country and the Tide holds a 2-1 edge in those games. It’s the 10th time they have faced the AP number one team in history and they hold a 4-5 record there.

The Kentucky Wildcats hold the edge in the series history by a large margin with a record of 103-37.

The Wildcats bring arguably one of the most talented teams in college basketball. Sophomore guard Aaron Harrison leads the scoring for the Wildcats averaging 11.8 points-per-game. Shooting guard Devin Booker comes in just behind him averaging 10.5 per contest. Booker has also been money behind the three-point line, making 77.3 percent of shots taken in the last six contests. Junior forward Willie Cauley-Stine does his part in keeping shots out of the basket and creating turnovers with 31 blocks and 27 steals so far this season and adds an average of 9.7 points with 6.8 rebounds per game.

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The Wildcats top seven leading scorers are averaging between 7.8-11.8 points a game. The two platoon system that Coach Calipari runs always makes this Kentucky team deep and an even bigger challenge.  Available players are averaging between 12.9 and 25.0 minutes per game and the Cats have seen eight different players lead the team in scoring and six lead in assists.

Alabama will look to lean on Tide leading scorers senior Levi Randolph and junior Ricky Tarrant. Randolph, through the first 16 games, leads the Tide in scoring (15.2 points-per-game), assists (2.9 assists-per-game), steals (1.6) and minutes (33.8 minutes-per-game). Tarrant comes in just behind Randolph with 13.3 points-per-game. He also leads the team in three pointers with 23. Senior guard Rodney Cooper has also been adding 10 points-per-contest.

Sophomore Jimmie Taylor has started to come on as of late, especially in the past two games. In those contests, Taylor is averaging 9.5 points-per-game, 4.5 rebounds-per-game with 2 blocks. Over the last six games, Michael Kessens has two double-doubles and Tarrant has reached double figures in five of the last six.

Next up for the Crimson Tide will be a match-up with number 19 Arkansas in Fayetteville. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT on January 22.