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Men's Basketball

Kentucky vs. Georgia: TV/Streaming Info, Keys to the Game



UK Athletics

The ship is back afloat as the Kentucky Wildcats picked up an impressive, resume-building, win against a very good Tennessee team in Knoxville. The next task at hand is an overperforming Georgia team at Rupp Arena on Tuesday.

Coming into the season, the media picked Georgia to finish second to last in the SEC. Four games into conference play and the Bulldogs are 3-1 with impressive victories over Auburn and Mississippi State.

Now led by former Florida head coach, Mike White, Georgia will come to Lexington trying to grit out another win. Let’s look at the keys to the game.


Repeat Defensive Performance

Entering Saturday’s contest, Kentucky’s biggest weakness on the season had been their defense. After holding Tennessee to their lowest points total of the season (56), they showed they can be a good defensive team.

After the game, John Calipari noted that the Wildcats forced Tennessee to win on inside shots inside, rather than on threes. This game plan would likely work against a Georgia team that shoots just 46.8% on twos, ranked 290th in the country.

To show that this Kentucky team truly has turned a corner, they will need a repeat performance on the defensive end.

Offense Needs to Continue to Show Improvement

While not a great offensive team, Georgia is a top-50 defensive team, giving up just 64 points per contest. However, in their four losses, the Bulldogs have given up at least 79 points.


With that said, a slow and gritty game will play into Georgia’s favor. Fortunately for Kentucky, they are coming off one of the most physical games they will have this season and ground it out.

However, Calipari would ideally like to score more than 63 points. While Kentucky has not consistently shown the ability to score a lot of points, CJ Fredrick and Anontio Reeves look to be finding their stride, which has opened up the floor and is a promising sign for an offense that is still improving.

After shooting 88 percent from the free-throw line against Tennessee, it would be great to see the Wildcats continue to shoot well from the charity stripe.

Win the Rebounding Battle

Georgia’s best trait is their rebounding, but have lost the rebounding battle in three of their four losses. On the season, the Bulldogs (39.1 rpg) rank fourth in the SEC in average rebounds just behind the Wildcats (39.3 rpg).


After absolutely destroying Tennessee on the boards (43-23), Kentucky showed that they can outrebound any team in the country. On Tuesday, Kentucky must show that same fight, and from the start to prevent Georgia from gaining any confidence.

Kentucky Basketball (11-6) vs.  Georgia Bulldogs (13-4)

Time/Date: 9:00 pm ET on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023
Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY
TV Channel: ESPN
Online Stream: WatchESPNESPN+, SEC Network+ or ESPN app
Radio: Tom Leach and Jack Givens have the UK radio network call on the UK Sports Radio Network.
Replay: SEC Network (check local listings).
Rosters: UK | UGA
Team SheetsUK | UGA
Stats To Know: UK | UGA

Odds: DraftKings Sportsbook has yet to release the odds. This is a matchup where computer models differ greatly. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Wildcats an 85.3 percent chance to win. Bart Torvik is less confident in the Cats at just 68 percent.

PredictionsBart Torvik picks the Wildcats to win in a close one 69-65.


Also published on A Sea of Blue.

BB Recruiting

Kentucky Named a “Loser” of the Transfer Portal This Offseason, Frustration Grows



© Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal and USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

One NCAA Tournament win over the last three seasons is far from acceptable by Kentucky basketball standards. For that reason, tension and expectations are high going into what many believe is a make-or-break season for John Calipari.

While the Wildcats do have the No. 1 recruiting class coming in – which includes five freshmen – they have only returned only two players that played at least five minutes per game last season – Adou Thiero and Ugonna Onyenso – and have lost at least four to the NBA Draft or to the portal.

As the roster stands, only eight scholarships of the thirteen the NCAA allows are taken. With the draft withdrawal deadline on May 31st, that number could change as Chris Livingston, Oscar Tshiebwe, and/or Antonio must make their final decisions. However, it is highly unlikely they all decide to return.


With that said, the staff has made their bed. They didn’t express a lot of interest in the transfer portal, but lost out on the two prospects they did want, Hunter Dickinson and Keshad Johnson. Now this late in the portal, there aren’t currently many options that can replace the production or level of player that Kentucky has lost and are expected to lose.

For these reasons, 247Sports’ Travis Branham named Kentucky one of the biggest losers of the transfer portal.

“They do have the No. 1 recruiting class in 2023 incoming but this is a team that has been at the mercy of Oscar Tshiebwe and Antonio Reeves. There is so much riding on these two and they have not landed a single transfer as of yet. Even if one of those guys opts to go to the draft and not return, that’s an extremely big hit to the Kentucky program, especially this late into the portal,” Branham said.

“There’s not many more that we’re anticipating to go in there. Will still be a couple, but not many that can move the needle and they will be in line trying to advocate to get these kids on campus. As of today, there’s only seven scholarship players for the 2023-24 season for Kentucky and that can really be a big, big miss if Antonio Reeves and Oscar Tshiebwe opt to stay in the draft.”


Kentucky is recruiting all three players to stay, but realistically hoping for the return of Reeves and Tshiebwe. John Calipari is planning to visit Tshiebwe this weekend in Charlotte to gauge where he stands in his final decision.

At the start of the offseason, Reeves and Tshiebwe would have been two of Kentucky’s best options regardless of who was in the portal, therefore if Calipari is able to retain them, the outlook will become much more optimistic. While Livingston could have an All-SEC caliber ceiling as a sophomore, Calipari could find a capable wing player (i.e. David Jones) to fill that role.

Either way, the roster picture will become much clearer in just a matter of days, but depending on what those decisions are the panic meter will certainly rise for the Wildcats.

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Men's Basketball

Is Oscar Tshiebwe Trending Towards a Return? It’s a “Toss-Up”, Per Report



© Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

May 31st is the most important upcoming date for the Kentucky basketball team, as that is the NBA Draft withdrawal deadline. The final stay/go decisions from Chris Livingston, Antonio Reeves, and Oscar Tshiebwe will be made, but as it stands, not one of those decisions is clear. Of them, Tshiebwe’s decision may be the most dynamic.

Going into last season, most assumed that it would be Oscar Tshiebwe’s last season at Kentucky, and as the offseason began, that expectation continued. However, the effect of NIL on his decision was initially underestimated.

Last season, Tshiebwe made an estimated $2 million in NIL, which far surpasses the valuation of a late second-round NBA Draft pick, which is near the minimum salary of just over $1 million. With a return, there is optimism that he would make a similar amount.


On the other hand, Tshiebwe is 23 years old and his professional prospects would not improve with a return. Instead, he would almost certainly be taking a reduced role – which he is okay with – as is expected with the talented freshman class coming in. To add, Tshiebwe helped his stock with his NBA Draft Combine performance last week.

With that said, Tshiebwe’s decision looks to be a “toss-up” and it is according to a live stream featuring Jack Pilgrim of Kentucky Sports Radio. Those hoping for a return include John Calipari, who has been recruiting him to come back for another season, and this weekend Calipari is expected to visit Tshiebwe in Charlotte.

This time next week, there will be a much clearer picture of what Kentucky’s roster will look like and what roles will need to be filled.

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BB Recruiting

Amidst Fan Frustration, Kentucky Contacts Top Transfer David Jones



© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky has had several players leave this offseason, with more expected to depart as they make their final decisions by the May 31st NBA Draft withdrawal deadline. However, they have yet to add anyone to the roster. With only eight scholarships taken, of the thirteen the NCAA allows, there are spots to be filled.

This has been greeted by plenty of fan frustration. With Kentucky’s freshmen anticipated to arrive on campus at the beginning of June, and the Wildcats set to play in GLBL Jam in Canada in mid-July, things must pick up soon.

With that said, on Wednesday, Kentucky reached out to St. John’s transfer David Jones, who is one of the better wing options remaining in the transfer portal. Other schools that have reached out include Arkansas (obviously), Memphis, UConn, and Xavier.


Despite being the second leading scorer for the Red Storm (13.2 ppg), Jones entered the portal following the news that Rick Pitino would be taking the head coaching job. Interestingly enough, this is not the first time that Jones has entered the portal or that Kentucky has expressed interest in Jones.

Prior to his time at St. John’s, Kentucky recruited Jones out of high school as a four-star recruit, even bringing him in for an unofficial visit to Lexington back in February 2020. However, Jones ultimately committed to Depaul, where he played for two seasons and averaged 12.5 points and 7.3 rebounds his last season there.

Then last April, Jones entered the portal for the first time and Kentucky again expressed early interest before deciding it wasn’t a fit given the significant roles that Oscar Tshiebwe, Jacob Toppin, Daimion Collins, and Chris Livingston were going to have.

As Kentucky reaches out this time, they do so with roles to be filled on the roster, and the Wildcats could certainly use a 6-foot-6, 210-pound wing with a career average of 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds.


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