One of the interesting aspects in regards to this upcoming match is that both the Kentucky Wildcats and the Ole Miss Rebels are teams that lack consistency. This being said, many analysts are predicting a rather close game; perhaps on a few points will make the difference between a win and a loss. Still, the main consensus is that Kentucky will claim another victory over the Rebels. However, there are still some important determining factors that should be addressed and while Kentucky is favoured to win by 12.5 points, nothing is certain.
A Young Team
One of the first aspects that defines the 2014 Wildcats is that there are a number of young players that have finally emerged onto the court. Still, Kentucky undoubtedly has height and a wide variety of talented players on their side. Standing at no less than 7’1”, Karl Towns Jr. is deadly from the three-point range. Devin Booker (shooting guard) and Trey Lyles are also excellent from the mid-ranges. While Lyles is a star defencive player as well, there are few who have the experience to man a tight and formidable defencive line besides him. Obviously, much of this comes down to the simple fact that the Wildcats are a fresh team. Although predicted to win, the Rebels will nonetheless bring a host of challenges to Kentucky.
Ole Miss: The Dark Horse?
It should first be known that the Rebels are currently not ranked as a conference opponent. What is even more interesting is that looking back at the history of these two teams, Kentucky has won 100 games while Ole Miss has the dubious honour of walking away the victor a mere 13 times. Also, this game will be played on the home court of Kentucky. Although all this may seem a bit dismal for the Rebels, we should not forget that the team boasts many more veterans than do the Wildcats. Of particular interest will be the likes of Marshall Henderson. At the present, he scores on average more than 19 points each game and is a respectable second in the nation with regards to his three-point shots (more than four each match).
Still, the odds highly favour the Kentucky Wildcats. Statistics alone lean in the direction of a victory and the only aspect that may serve to slightly shake this confidence is the addition of so many new players on their roster. If we combine this with a shaky defence (with the exception of Lyles), it would onely make sense for the Rebels to press the younger players into a position where they will make defencive errors and cause a high amount of turnovers in favour of Ole Miss. The key may be in the ability of the Rebels’ coaches to motivate the players enough to overtake the younger talent of a team who has clearly dominated the majority of the matches in the past. If this does not happen, it can only be predicted that the Wildcats will add another win to their 2014 season while Ole Miss will continue to escape the NCAA conference rankings.