February 02, 2013
Kentucky got its signature win at Ole Miss. Now it's time to keep building at Texas A&M.
1) A&M's offense. The Aggies posted its third-best offensive game against the Wildcats in their win at Rupp Arena, scoring 1.35 points per possession (their two better games came against Troy and Prairie View A&M). Since then? Not only have has A&M regressed to the mean, they've plummeted past their average. They've posted points-per-possession marks of 0.82 (Florida), 0.86 (Alabama), 0.84 (LSU), 0.91 (Georgia) and 0.86 (Mississippi State).
The Wildcats have a good enough defense to continue that trend.
2) All attention will be on Elston Turner. He of the 40 points will be the primary focus for Kentucky -- and, judging by players' comments, they're ready to ensure he doesn't have a magical night again. (He likely wouldn't have anyway; that 40-point performance was 14 more than his previous career high, and he's scored four, 13, five, 19 and 11 in the five games since UK).
But could that mean somebody else steps up? Fabyon Harris has come on strong, scoring 19, 13 and 17 points in his last three games and recording offensive efficiency ratings above 100 in all but one SEC game. He doesn't seem to have the potential to take over a game, but if too much attention is diverted toward Turner, Harris could have a big night.
3) Offensive rebounds. This can always be a key stat, but this matchup sets up for it to be a swing factor. In SEC play, A&M is the best offensive rebounding team in the conference, grabbing 40 percent of all available offensive boards. The Wildcats rank 10th in defensive rebounding (34 percent) in that same span.
In the teams' first matchup, the Aggies had a tremendous advantage, grabbing 48.4 percent of their possible offensive rebounds. If Kentucky continues to be porous on collecting opponents' misses, A&M will take advantage.