Ready for college hoops?

Dec 29, 2009 5:02 PM

Game of the week

Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

Louisville (9-3) at No. 3 Kentucky (13-0)

Just as college football winds down, we get a college hoops treat with Louisville taking on Kentucky in a rivalry that needs no prodding. It’s hard to ignore this matchup, just because of the coaches involved who have had a cloud of controversy shrouding their names coming into the season.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino has had his extramarital affairs splashed all over the sports world but has managed to keep his team focused and strong, along with keeping the recruiting trail as rich as ever. Last week Pitino signed top high school prospect Wayne Blackshear to Louisville beating out, of all teams, Kentucky, for the rights to him who is surely to be a one-year and off to the NBA player.

Louisville lost to UNLV in Las Vegas earlier this season, but don’t expect the Kentucky faithful to be as nice as the UNLV student body who chanted "Over-Rated" as the clock was winding down. Look for the Kentucky students to be a bit more clever with the chant of "Where’s your Baby."

Kentucky comes in undefeated and first year coach John Calipari has them looking every bit as good as he said they would be upon being hired. He’s won at a high level as coach of Massachusetts and Memphis, but only time will tell how long it takes for him to put Kentucky in the NCAA’s dog house like he did at the other two before bailing.

The two embattled coaches take center stage this week in what is a platform for future state dominance and an edge in the never ending recruiting war.

Players to watch: Kentucky: John Wall 17.9 ppg, 6.8 apg, Patrick Patterson 17.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg, DeMarcus Cousins 14.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg.

Louisville: Samardo Samuels 16.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, Edgar Sosa 13.5 ppg, 4.3 apg

Notes: This will be Louisville’s second road game of the season. The only other road game was a loss at UNLV. Kentucky has been a giant killer early on beating North Carolina and Connecticut in close games by a combined margin of five points.

Averages: Louisville: 82.8 points scored per game allowing 67.7 points per game.

Kentucky: 82.1 points scored per game allowing 64.7 points per game.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Micah Roberts