Sidelines with John Clay

Big Blue Links: Auburn player says Tigers have the better guards

Auburn guard Kareem Canty (1) reacts after Auburn scored against South Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Auburn, Ala. South Carolina won 81-69.
Auburn guard Kareem Canty (1) reacts after Auburn scored against South Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Auburn, Ala. South Carolina won 81-69. The Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Saturday:

Auburn’s Cinmeon Bowers says Tigers’ guards are better than UK, reports Matthew Stevens of the Montgomery Advertiser. “I believe our guards are better than their guards,” Bowers said. “With Kareem Canty, Bryce Brown, TJ Lang, New Williams, even Jordon Granger being a senior, tougher and taller, I think we're going to have a good chance. We're going to make it a good game.”

Bruce Pearl tells team to enjoy the opportunity, reports Auburn Athletics. “Auburn has been reinventing itself most of the season, anyway. Auburn newcomers account for 72.7 percent of the scoring. Canty, a newcomer, is one of the SEC's top scorers at 18.5 points per game. Tyler Harris, a transfer, is averaging 14.9 points per game. Kentucky has a different kind of roster as well after having six players drafted off last year's team.”

Guards play big roles for Kentucky and Auburn, writes Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “Kentucky managed to beat Mississippi State on Tuesday despite getting almost no offense from its front line. Then again, Mississippi State had the worst Ratings Percentage Index among the 14 teams in the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs are the only winless team in league play.”

Derek Willis must shed his bad defensive habits, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “You can’t just turn sideways and let him drive,” Calipari said. “You have to give ground and lunge to get in front of him so he has to go through your chest. It’s like we’re teaching a different language to him.”

Will Kentucky’s big men accept the latest challenge? asks Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal. “Calipari said Lee and Poythress have put up some “gazillion” stat lines recently, meaning beside their name in the box score is a number of minutes played followed by a long string of zeroes. While that might’ve flown in past seasons, when both were bit players, Kentucky counts on them too much now for that to keep happening.”

Kentucky football picks up a junior college defensive lineman, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. “Junior-college defensive tackle Naquez Pringle has committed to Kentucky and plans to enroll for the spring semester. The commitment was first reported by Scout.com on Friday night. Pringle — a 6-foot-3, 340-pound prospect — will come to UK from Itawamba Community College in Mississippi. UK defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh was his primary recruiter.”

UK football commit Landon Young picks up a fifth star, reports Chris Fisher of the Cats Pause. “Young (6-7, 270), who was named the top offensive line prospect in attendance and 247Sports Director of Scouting, Barton Simmons, called the 'complete package' for an offensive tackle prospect, jumped 90 spots from No. 102 overall to 12th nationally.”

Kentucky at Auburn

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Auburn Arena

TV: ESPN with Mark Jones and Kara Lawson

Radio: UK Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt

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