UK basketball's next opponents: Georgia, LSU

January 22, 2012 

UK's opponents this week

Georgia Bulldogs

Tuesday

Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.

(9 p.m., ESPN)

About the opponent

Enrollment: 34,885

School colors: Red and Black

Conference: Southeastern

Coach: Mark Fox

2011-12 record: 10-9 overall, 1-4 SEC

2010-11 record: 21-12 overall, 9-7 SEC (Tied for third place in Eastern Division). Lost to Washington 68-65 in NCAA Tournament round of 64.

All-time vs. UK: 25-113

Last meeting: Kentucky won 66-60 on Jan. 29, 2011, in Rupp Arena.

Outlook: The Bulldogs lost leading scorers and rebounders Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie to the pros but boast a strong perimeter game with seniors Dustin Ware (7.7 ppg, 2.2 apg) and Gerald Robinson (13.8 ppg, 3.5 apg), along with freshman McDonald's All-America swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg). The Bulldogs' frontcourt is a work in progress, meaning the team is struggling to find easy buckets and to keep opponents out of the paint. Georgia entered the weekend last in the SEC in scoring (61.9 points per game) and field-goal percentage (.401) and had blocked the fewest shots of any league team (69). The recent return of injured forward Marcus Thornton could provide a boost.

LSU Tigers

Saturday

Maravich Center in Baton Rouge, La.(4 p.m., WKYT-27)

About the opponent

Enrollment: 27,992

School colors: Purple and Gold

Conference: Southeastern

Coach: Trent Johnson

2011-12 record: 12-7 overall, 2-3 SEC

2010-11 record: 11-21 overall, 3-13 SEC (Sixth place in Western Division)

All time vs. UK: 24-80

Last meeting: Kentucky won 82-44 on Jan. 15, 2011, in Rupp Arena.

Outlook: The Tigers have already won more games this season than they did all last season. Junior center Justin Hamilton, a 6-foot-11 transfer from Iowa State, has been a major factor in the turnaround, averaging 13.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey, a freshman guard from Christian County, has also helped change the culture, kicking in 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. The Tigers have been winning with defense, limiting opponents to 60.7 points and 39.2 percent shooting entering the weekend.

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