(If you're a Kentucky fan, then you no doubt remember this picture)
After what seems like a month off, the Cats are finally back in action when they take on Mississippi State in Rupp this Wednesday.
Kentucky seemed as if they took a huge step forward when they beat Louisville way back in December. The most impressive part, they done it without their best player, Julius Randle who missed the biggest majority of the second half with leg cramps. The Harrison Twins and James Young took control of the game when there was no other choice and looked good in doing so. We finally got to see what all the hype Andrew Harrison came in with was all about as he took numerous Cardinals to the basket with ease. James Young didn't have the best of days offensively, but the way he played defense and rebounded the ball was more than something to be excited for.
The Mississippi State game comes on the heels of 'Camp Cal' and according to the reports coming out of the camp, there is a lot to be excited about going forward.
For those who want a little back story on Mississippi State, here ya go…
LOCATION: Starkville, Mississippi
No real notable alumni to speak of, so lets get right into the comparison of these two SEC rivals by the numbers…
PPG: 71 81
RPG: 35 44
APG: 12 12
SPG: 10 4
BPG: 3 7
TPG: 14 13
FG%: 46 47
FT%: 64 66
3P%: 30 31
These two are pretty evenly matched, but once again there is one stat that sticks out. The 10 steals the Bulldogs average and the 13 turnovers the Cats average is something that should be paid attention to during the course of this one. Now, I know you're going to bring up the fact that MSU averages 13 turnovers themselves, but Kentucky only averages 4 steals and so far this season hasn't been known to force turnovers.
The Cats lead the all-time series with a record of 82-18 winning the last five meetings with the last one coming in a 85-55 route by the Cats.
Both teams come in with a 10-3 record, the difference is in the loses they have suffered…
MSU has lost to Utah State 87-68, TCU 71-61 and UNLV 82-66
Cats have lost to #2 Michigan State 78-74, #20 Baylor 67-62 and #18 UNC 82-77
So it's safe to say that thus far, the Cats have faced far more quality opponents than the Bulldogs, lets just hope that pays off.
This is the beginning of SEC play and starting off with a win will do wonders for the confidence of this very young, yet very talented team. However, a loss could do major damage to a team who is still trying to find their identity. It will be interesting to see who this one turns out Wednesday night...