The 12th ranked Cats will be traveling down to Alabama to take on the 2nd ranked
Auburn Tigers in a battle to see if the Wildcats are back to being legit title contenders. This is one of
the biggest games that Kentucky has had in the past few years. Auburn is a
stacked team led by top prospect Jabari Smith Jr., who is a projected top 5 pick in the
NBA draft. A win over the Tigers should put the Cats back into the top 10.
Kentucky has had a great year following the atrocious 2020-2021 Covid season. This
team is complete with young talent and veterans who know when to turn it, especially in crunch
time. Of course, the big talk has been the dominance of Oscar Tshiebwe, who is
averaging 16.1 points and 14.8 rebounds with a 61.6% shooting percentage. He has helped the
Cats dominate on the boards this season as they average 42.4 rebounds a game with a 13-
rebound differential from their opponents. This puts Kentucky as the #1 rebounding team in the
nation. His play and leadership have helped this team come together well.
We must also bring attention to TyTy Washington Jr. for how well he has been this year.
TyTy is averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. The star freshman has been
phenomenal recently as he has hit some big shots and even tied John Wall’s assist record of 17
in a game against Georgia this year. Is it too much to say that Washington is the best point
guard the Cats have had since maybe De’Aaron Fox? Hell, Washington may be the best since
Wall. He is a special talent and plays like an older point guard. He will be crucial for the Cats this
weekend if they want to come out a winner.
Jabari Smith will be a tough matchup for anyone on the Cats. Cal will have to find a way
to slow him down for the cats to have a chances to a win. Being 6’10 with the
skills of a guard, our guards will not be able to guard him, leaving someone like Kellan Grady or
Jacob Toppin with this tall assignment. Bruce Pearl seems to always have a great gameplan for
Kentucky, but this may be the year Kentucky returns to its prominence. I think this game will be
a war of two giants, but in the end, I will take the Cats taking out the Tigers 72-68. The star will
be Washington, but watch for Grady to come back and have a monster game after
a rough outing this week against Texas A&M. Let me know what you think in the comments below.As always, GO CATS!
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Devin Hall is a columnist for MESPORTS digital. A University Louisville graduate who loves good music, good games and good times. He can be reached at DHall@maineventsports101.com. Follow him on Twitter @Mista_Hall25