Cats respect Bulldog team

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Georgia Bulldogs are one of six SEC teams to have a current winning streak against the Kentucky Wildcats, a streak the Cats hope to snap Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Rupp Arena when the two teams meet. The Bulldogs served notice that they're for real with an upset victory over # 17 Ga. Tech in their last game.

"I watched the tape of Georgia and Mark (Fox) is doing a great job," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "They beat Illinois, they beat Georgia Tech, and Georgia Tech is ranked 17th in the country. They had a chance to beat them pretty good too, but Georgia Tech hung around. But, reality from start to finish is it was Georgia. They are physical, big, they have an athletic small forward, and their guards can shoot. They are a good team."

Georgia is being led this season by talented sophomore Trey Thompkins, leading the team in scoring and rebounding. In the last matchup with the Cats, the then-freshman Thompkins posted a double-double against the Cats with 19 points and 11 boads in a 90-85 win in Rupp Arena last season that effectively destroyed Kentucky's chances to head to the NCAA. Calipari is well aware of Thompkins.

"The kid inside, (Trey) Thompkins, is good," Calipari explained. He is physical, he has strength and he's not afraid. Like I said, they know how good they are and I think they are ready to play a ball game."

With the Wildcats 15-0 in preconference play, they seem ready to tackle the Southeastern Conference schedule. Are the Wildcats the team to beat this year in the league? Almost everyone would say so. Senior reserve forward Perry Stevenson stops just short of that, though. ""I don't want to say that and set ourself up for failure, but we do like to keep a silent confidence in ourselves heading forward," he said.

Stevenson and the Cats won't overlook anyone, he says. "They (Georgia) are good. I knew that they were good (before beating # 17 Ga. Tech.) They have good big men and good guards as well. They can beat anybody. They have veterans back and some new guys that are really good."

Wildcats begin Southeastern Conference play at 4 p.m. in Rupp Arena. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

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