Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Commodores

Kentucky Wildcats Preview

The Kentucky Wildcats have four starters averaging at least 12 points per game but can always use help from the blue-chippers off the bench. Kentucky got that from freshman guard Johnny Juzang (career-high 13 points) and freshman forward Keion Brooks Jr. (four points, team-high nine rebounds) in a 77-64 win at Tennessee on Saturday.

The Wildcats, who average 75.3 points per game, don’t rely on the 3-pointer, taking the fifth-fewest attempts in the country (333). However, they don’t give up much, either, as they entered the week ranked 14th nationally in 3-point defense (28.8 percent). The Wildcats have won six of their past seven games.

Vanderbilt Commodores Preview

The Vanderbilt Commodores are last in the Southeastern Conference with a 1-9 record but can’t sneak up on anyone after shocking then-No. 18 LSU 99-90 last Wednesday, ending a 26-game regular-season conference losing streak.

Vanderbilt has been without star Aaron Nesmith (23 points per game) because of a foot fracture, but guard Saben Lee is averaging 16.9 points, and he poured in 33 vs. the Tigers. Maxwell Evans scored 31 in that game. The win over LSU should boost confidence, as should a respectable performance at Kentucky on Jan. 29, when the Commodores led by 10 in the second half before losing 71-62.