KSR Gameday: Kentucky looks to bounce back at Ole Miss
The loss to Kansas was a bummer, but it’s time for the Kentucky Basketball team to move on. Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, the Cats will look to get back on track vs. a struggling and potentially shorthanded Ole Miss squad in Oxford. The Rebels are 9-12 in Kermit Davis’ fifth season, 1-7 in SEC play, their lone conference win coming against fellow cellar-dweller South Carolina.
Ole Miss has lost nine of its last ten, including five straight home games. Tonight, they could be without leading scorer Matthew Murrell (14.9 PPG), who missed the last two games with a right knee injury. According to Jon Rothstein, Murrell is a game-time decision. Sophomore point guard Daeshan Ruffin (9.5 PPG, 3.2 APG) also did not play vs. Oklahoma State due to a “coach’s decision” and reserve freshman forward Malique Ewin has been away from the team for almost three weeks due to an ongoing investigation into a fatal one-car accident. Junior forward Jaemyn Brakefield, who transferred from Duke in 2021, averages 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
The Rebels are ranked No. 100 in KenPom and No. 114 in the NET. A win tonight would be in Quad 2 on Kentucky’s team sheet. The Rebels average only 67.1 points on 42.8% shooting, well below Kentucky’s averages of 75.3 PPG and 45.9%. Oklahoma State had its way with Ole Miss inside on Saturday, outrebounding the Rebels by ten in the 82-60 win in Stillwater, so it could be another big night for Oscar Tshiebwe. Ole Miss’ leading rebounder, Myles Burnes, averages 6.1 boards compared to Oscar’s 13.7.
Coming off a tough loss, the Cats should handle business tonight, especially if Murrell and/or Ruffin are out; we’ll find out starting in 12 hours.
Second to last 9 p.m. tip!
With tipoff not scheduled until 9 p.m. ET, it’s going to be another long day. We’ve only got one more 9 p.m. start after tonight, next Tuesday vs. Arkansas, but before you celebrate too much, we’ve got two 8:30 p.m. games on the schedule as well (Saturday vs. Florida, Feb. 15 at Mississippi State). So, you might as well add another bag of coffee to your Amazon cart.
How to Watch, Listen (and meet Dane Key & Barion Brown)
Tom Hart and Dane Bradshaw will be on the call for ESPN tonight, which hopefully means we’ve got lots of KSR Easter eggs waiting for us. If you can’t watch the game, you can listen in a variety of ways.
- TV: ESPN
- Local Radio: 630 WLAP, 840 WHAS, UK Sports Network
- Online: iHeart
- Satellite Radio: Sirius 380, SXM app 970
The KSR Pregame Show will begin at 6:30 p.m. live at KSBar and Grille. Come watch it in person and stick around to meet Dane Key and Barion Brown, who will be signing autographs and hanging out with fans from 7-8:30 p.m.
Kentucky opened as a 5.5-point favorite on Draft Kings. That’s since moved to -7.5 Kentucky. The total is 135.5 points. The Cats’ four-game streak of covering the spread came to a halt vs. Kansas on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Rebels have failed to cover the spread in seven of their last eight games. So…bet the Cats? I don’t know.
KenPom predicts a 69-66 Kentucky victory, giving the Cats a 61% chance of winning. Bart Torvik thinks it’ll be closer, Kentucky winning by one, 68-67. Per usual, ESPN’s Matchup Predictor is bullish on the Cats, giving them a 68.1% chance of victory.
K.T. Turner recaps Kansas loss, previews Ole Miss
Yesterday, assistant coach K.T. Turner met with reporters to talk about what Kentucky learned in the loss to Kansas, Chris Livingston’s performance in the first half, and the team’s mindset. He didn’t say much about Ole Miss, other than to expect a physical game.
“They’re a really good team. They play hard, they’re physical, they’re athletic. It’s going to be a physical game. I think they’re a lot better than what their record shows in the SEC for sure.”
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With ten games left in the regular season, Kentucky is tied with Florida for fifth in the SEC standings. The Gators play No. 2 Tennessee tomorrow night before coming to Lexington this weekend.
College Basketball on TV today
Lots of Top 25 and conference action today, including No. 7 Kansas State vs. No. 8 Kansas. Neither Duke nor Wake Forest is ranked, but that game precedes Kentucky vs. Ole Miss on ESPN, so cheer for a clean game in Cameron Indoor Stadium so there are no delays.
|6:30 PM||Mississippi State||South Carolina||SECN|
|7:00 PM||Texas A&M||Arkansas||ESPN2|
|7:00 PM||Wake Forest||Duke||ESPN|
|7:00 PM||20 Clemson||Boston College||ACCN|
|7:00 PM||Va. Tech||23 Miami||ESPNU|
|8:00 PM||24 UConn||DePaul||FS1|
|8:00 PM||7 Kansas St.||8 Kansas||BIG12/ESPN+|
|8:30 PM||Vanderbilt||4 Alabama||SECN|
|9:00 PM||Kentucky||Ole Miss||ESPN|
|9:00 PM||21 Indiana||Maryland||ESPN2|
|9:00 PM||West Virginia||15 TCU||ESPNU|
|11:00 PM||22 San Diego State||Nevada||CBSSN|
ICYMI, “Southern Hoops: A History of SEC Basketball” premiered last night
The SEC Network is counting down to March with a seven-part documentary chronicling the origin and progression of college basketball in the SEC. Last night, episode one of “Southern Hoops: A History of SEC Basketball” premiered. Entitled “From Naismith to Rupp,” it shared the story of how Adolph Rupp got his start at Kansas and moved to Kentucky to build a dynasty. If you missed it, Jack Pilgrim has a great breakdown. A new episode will air each Monday night through March 13. You can also catch the replays on demand in the ESPN app.