Kentucky Basketball: Buckle up, lace ’em up as UK and Bama battle for SEC top spot

Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 5
Kentucky basketball
Brandon Boston Jr of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

All hands on deck

This time of year Calipari starts narrowing the players and playing time for his bench. That can’t happen tonight. They will need every available player – including possibly Cam’Ron Fletcher. If he could give them a few beneficial minutes that Alabama hasn’t planned for it could sway the fouls and scoring. Whether Calipari plays him is another story.

This is the breakout game that Brandon Boston could just erupt in.

It will be his pace, his style, and free flow that he likes to play in. He has been erratic but he can make the Wildcat engine hum tonight. Drive the lane and score, hand out assists, and limit turnovers which ultimately results in good things happening all around.

Boston is averaging 12.8 ppg but has been horrific from behind the arc so let Allen launch them (13-of-25). Sarr (16ppg in the last three games) must have a double-double performance,  Jackson blocking shots and rebounding, and Devin Askew controlling the ball without many miscues. The others need to play their game and contribute.

The experienced Sarr also noted the game’s significance.

"“It’s a great battle test. We’ve been good so far in the league and their team too. I think it’s going to be a battle. It’s going to be a war. It’s going to be a great test for us.”"

Kentucky has gotten good scoring off its bench and will need it. Alabama gets effective minutes and scoring across the board.

Six players average at least 20 minutes per game, with three others seeing at least 14 minutes per game. Jaden ShackelfordJahvon QuinerlyHerbert Jones, and John Petty Jr. are all contributing double-digit points. Quinerly has been hurt and is doubtful for tonight, but Keon Ellis has been averaging 12 points the last two filling in.

Petty has hit 22 threes on the year so they must contain him.