A huge focal point during this season’s struggles came to fruition when Elston Turner dropped 40pts. on the ‘Cats in Rupp. The defense was porous, lacking communication, and helpless. Alex Poythress was given the job to guard Turner, and Calipari has already hinted he will not make that same mistake twice.
Archie Goodwin is coming off his best game since November. Goodwin’s 24 points against Ole Miss would have been a national story if Nerlens Noel didn’t block 12 shots. Goodwin was very upfront about being embarrassed last time out vs. A&M. Goodwin seems to want the bulldog defender role, but whether Calipari puts him on Turner is questionable.
The Aggies are 1-4 since the win vs. UK, and have lost 2 straight home games against Florida and Georgia. This will be the ‘Cats first trip to College Station, and the first time the Aggies will host a defending national champion. A&M made 52.5% of their field goals against UK, but the last four Kentucky opponents have failed to reach 40%. Since scoring 83 points vs. Kentucky, the Aggies have failed to score more than 54 points in regulation.
Kentucky will look to lock down Elston Turner, but cannot forget about the Aggie point guard Fabyon Harris. Harris was Robin to Turner’s Batman in the last matchup, quietly burning the ‘Cats for 14 points in the 2nd half. Harris is shooting just under 50% from three in his last four games, and has scored in double figures in 8 of his last 11 outings.
Willie Cauley-Stein has practiced, and should be dressed to play against A&M. Calipari said he may play WCS and see how he does. If Calipari doesn’t like the way he looks, Cauley-Stein will sit. After making news he would attend the game, former Texas A&M/Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie will not attend the game due to “tying up loose ends” on the sale of his house in Lubbock.