Previewing Vanderbilt

Following a midweek break in its schedule, Kentucky returns to SEC action Saturday with a date against Vanderbilt in Nashville. Tipoff is 3:00 p.m. ET and the game will be televised by JP Sports

No. 6/4 Kentucky Wildcats (16-2, 7-0 SEC)
Vanderbilt Commodores (13-8, 4-4 SEC)
Sat., Feb. 5 - 3:00 p.m. ET
Memorial Gym - Nashville, Tenn.
TV: JP Sports

Following a midweek break in its schedule, Kentucky returns to SEC action Saturday with a date against Vanderbilt in Nashville. The Wildcats have won 16- straight games against SEC competition, including seven-consecutive league road wins, and 16-2 are off to their best start since the 1998 NCAA championship Cats began 19-2.

Despite outshooting Arkansas last weekend in Fayetteville, 57 percent to 36 percent, Kentucky had to hold on for a one-point victory, 68-67. The Cats tied their season high for turnovers with 19, which Arkansas converted into 16 points, while being outrebounded (37-30) for just the fourth time this year. Kelenna Azubuike had 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Rajon Rondo added 12 points in the road victory.

After the trip to the Music City, the Wildcats return to Rupp Arena for the first time in 17 days to host back-to-back home contests. Eastern Division rival Florida visits on Tuesday evening before UK welcomes back the 1975 NCAA runner-up squad for the Georgia game Saturday.

Scouting the Commodores
Vanderbilt continues to play well at Memorial Gym this season, posting a 12-1 record in home contests, while standing at 13-8 overall and 4-4 in league play. The Commodores earned a five-point win over Tennessee, 67-62, in Nashville Wednesday after a 30-point performance from freshman Alex Gordon.

The Vandy starting lineup has gone through a makeover since the ‘Dores visited Lexington less than a month ago. Gordon has replaced leading scorer Mario Moore (12.7 ppg) while Dawid Przybyszewski also comes off the bench.

Kevin Stallings is in his sixth season at Vanderbilt, holding a 98-77 record.

Series History

This marks the 166th meeting between the two programs. Kentucky leads the series, 128-37, and has won five of the last six and 23 of its last 25 matchups against Vanderbilt. The Wildcats own a 50-22 record against the Dores in Nashville, including a 32-19 mark at Memorial Gym. The Cats are 7-2 at Memorial Gym when not playing Vandy, including three wins while claiming the 1984 SEC Tournament. UK won the first game in the series on Feb. 22, 1912 (28-17).

Tubby Smith is 16-4 against VU in his coaching career, including a 14-2 mark while at Kentucky. Kevin Stallings is 2-10 all-time against UK, including a 66-60 win over the Cats in Nashville last year. Stallings also was 0-1 against UK while playing at Purdue.

Probable Starters

Pos. # Name              Ht. Wt. Cl.  PPG  RPG Notes
F   44 Chuck Hayes       6-6 242 Sr. 10.7  8.7 4 pts, 2 rebs at Arkansas
F   24 Kelenna Azubuike  6-5 208 Jr. 14.3  4.8 19-of-34 FGs (.558) in last three
C   33 Randolph Morris  6-10 266 Fr.  8.4  3.8 11 FGs in last seven games
G    4 Rajon Rondo       6-1 171 Fr.  8.2 *2.7 Shooting 54.1% FGs
G   22 Patrick Sparks    6-0 180 Jr. 11.5 *4.9 Needs 10 pts for 1,000 in career

Pos. # Name              Ht. Wt. Cl.  PPG  RPG Notes
F   44 Corey Smith       6-6 242 Sr. 11.6  4.2 19 pts, 6 rebs vs. Tennessee
F   32 Shan Foster       6-6 198 Fr.  7.5  2.5 Shoots 45.5% from 3-point range
C   54 Ted Skuchas      6-11 252 So.  2.1  2.2 Has started four games this year
G    2 Alex Gordon      5-11 165 Fr.  7.6  1.1 30 pts (8-11 FGs) vs. Tennessee
G    3 Jason Holwerda    6-6 214 Sr.  7.3 *2.8 Shooting 65.7% from floor
*assists per game

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