"I heard he was good, but he is just going to have to come in and show us he is the top point guard in the country if that is what people are saying," said Bledsoe.
Downey averages 21.9 points per game and shooting 42.9 percent overall from the field and 34.8 percent from 3-point range. He also leads the Gamecocks with 3.6 assists per game and 60 steals.
However, Bledsoe and fellow freshman John Wall give Kentucky what many consider the nation's top backcourt and Wall is already a consensus pick to be the first choice in the upcoming NBA draft.
"We are just going to take it as a challenge to play against him. He will have to show us what he can do. We are not going to give him anything," Bledsoe, who helped slow down Arkansas' Rotnie Clark in Saturday's 31-point win, said.
Kentucky (19-0, 4-0 SEC) moved into the No. 1 spot in the national rankings today off its impressive win over Arkansas after last week's No. 1 team, Texas, lost at Kansas State and Connecticut last week.
"I think we would have beat any team (Saturday). Everybody came to play. Our bench stepped in and gave 100 percent. This is the best we have played all year and when we play like that, nobody can beat us," Bledsoe said. "We played defense and it carried over to our offense."
Facing Downey is the kind of challenge Bledsoe has embraced this year and he's hoping to draw the starting defensive assignment on the South Carolina star.
"I like guarding the best player on the opposite team. I don't care who it is. If you can play, you are still going to have to show me you can beat me," Bledsoe said. "We didn't let Clark do much against us. That's what we will hopefully do against Downey."