Kentucky Basketball were able to get back to winning form in their first game of the new year, moving to 2-6 on the season. The victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs was the Wildcats' first win since their season opener.
Fixture: Vanderbilt Commodore vs Kentucky Wildcats - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 5th, 2021, 7 PM ET
Venue: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Kentucky Wildcats Preview
The Kentucky Wildcats earned their second win of the season on Saturday afternoon against the Mississippi State Bulldogs (78-73) to put them 1-0 in the SEC.
Despite the disappointing non-conference record, the Wildcats' victory over the Bulldogs should come as no surprise.
Kentucky Basketball is 68-19 all-time in SEC openers.
In the double-overtime win, the Wildcats were proficient from behind the arc. Kentucky shot 47.8% from three, which was a huge improvement to the 25% they were averaging prior to Saturday's game.
If Kentucky can continue to shoot a high clip from three, they will defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores and go to 2-0 in the SEC.
Key Player - Davion Mintz
Davion Mintz is the key player for the Kentucky Wildcats. With Terrence Clark still questionable for the Wildcats, Mintz will remain in the starting line-up.
If the senior guard can have a big offensive game against the Vanderbilt Commodores, who just gave up over 90 points in their previous game, the Kentucky Wildcats will start the new year off with back-to-back wins.
Kentucky Wildcats Predicted Lineup
F Olivier Sarr, F Isaiah Jackson, G Davion Mintz, G Devin Askew, G Brandon Boston Jr.
Vanderbilt Commodores Preview
The Vanderbilt Commodores are coming off a loss to the Florida Gators and are looking to bounce back in their first game of 2021.
The Commodores' defense has been up and down this season. In their losses, they have allowed teams to shoot 58.83% compared to the 36% they are holding opponents to in their wins.
Despite the lack of discipline on defense, Vanderbilts head coach is confident about their matchup with the 8-time SEC tournament champions:
"We can play with anybody when we do the right things."
If the Vanderbilt Commodores can do the right things against the streaky Kentucky WIldcats, they will be able to bounce back from their loss to the Florida Gators and go to 1-1 in the SEC.
Key Player - Scotty Pippen Jr.
Scotty Pippen Jr. is the key player for the Vanderbilt Commodores. The son of the Hall of Famer Scotty Pippen is leading his team with 22.6 points a game. The sophomore guard also accumulates 4.6 assist a game.
If Pippen Jr. can be the best player on the floor on Tuesday night and control the offense, the Commodores will have no problem with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Vanderbilt Commodores Predicted Lineup
F Maxwell Evans, F Quentin Milora, G Dylan Disu, G Scotty Pippen Jr., G Tyrin Lawrence
Vanderbilt vs Kentucky Prediction
The Kentucky Wildcats will likely win and take down the Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats will continue to shoot at a high clip and play aggressive defense to convince their fans it's a 'new year, new team'.
Where to watch Vanderbilt vs Kentucky
The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network.
Published 05 Jan 2021, 09:02 IST