LSU-Kentucky Preview

Kentucky bounced back from a disappointing loss in its SEC

opener with a dominant win its last time out. Coach John Calipari,

though, was hardly pleased.

Calipari is seeking more consistent play from his young,

13th-ranked Wildcats, beginning with Saturday’s home game against

LSU.

Kentucky dropped a conference opener for the first time in five

years last Saturday, 77-70 at Georgia. The Wildcats shot 38.0

percent in that loss but made 50.0 percent of their attempts in

Tuesday night’s 78-54 home victory over Auburn.

Kentucky (13-3, 1-1) got a freshman-record 35 points from

leading scorer Terrence Jones in his first game coming off the

bench, but Calipari said he was disappointed in what he’s

considered some lackadaisical play from his team.

“Just play better, (have) more consistent effort,” Calipari

said. “Come out with a sense of urgency, (don’t be) content with

how they’re playing. We had a lot of guys content with how they’re

playing and that just sets you up for more failure.”

Jones and fellow freshmen Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb, who

started in place of Jones, are among six players who have seen a

bulk of the minutes. Calipari said he needed more reliable efforts

from Eloy Vargas, Jon Hood and Stacey Poole so he can take some

pressure off his regulars.

“There’s just that drop and we’ve got to close that gap between

those six (regulars) and those three other guys,” Calipari

said.

Despite LSU’s best start to SEC play in five seasons, coach

Trent Johnson isn’t pleased with his team’s shooting of late. The

Tigers (10-7, 2-0) have made 37.2 percent of their attempts in the

past seven games and shot 39.6 in Wednesday night’s 56-53 home win

over Arkansas.

LSU will likely need to shoot better with leading scorer Ralston

Turner expected to miss a third straight game with a stress

reaction in his right foot. Junior forward Storm Warren has been

limited by tendinitis in his right Achilles’.

“It is the same old story for us,” Johnson told the school’s

official website. “We need to come out with a lot of energy and,

unlike the last two conference games, we need to shoot the ball

well. We are going to have to shoot the ball well because (Kentucky

is) going to play fast and they can score.”

LSU, though, has made up for that poor shooting with some strong

defense. The Tigers are allowing 62.1 points per game and gave up

six in the first half of their SEC opener, a 62-55 win at Auburn

last Saturday.

LSU couldn’t contain Kentucky in the teams’ only meeting last

season, an 81-55 loss in Baton Rouge. The Wildcats were en route to

their 44th SEC title, while the Tigers were headed to the

conference’s worst record (2-14) one season after winning their

10th championship.

LSU clinched that title and snapped a 20-year losing streak at

Kentucky with a 73-70 win Feb. 28, 2009. The Wildcats dropped their

ensuing home game to Georgia but have since won 27 in a row at Rupp

Arena.

Kentucky leads the series 79-24 but has split the past six

matchups. The Wildcats have won 39 of 44 meetings in Lexington.