Green Bay in the Big Dance: Scouting Kentucky
AMES, Iowa (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After dispatching Iowa State on Saturday night at Hilton Coliseum, No. 10/10 Green Bay (31-1) moves on to play against No. 12/11 Kentucky in the second round on Monday night at 8:45 p.m. CT. The Phoenix is the seventh seed in the Kingston Region while Kentucky, the SEC regular season champions, is the second seed.
For more on the game and to access the Green Bay game notes, click here.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Expect a fast-paced, up-tempo game on Monday night, with both teams using pressure defenses. Green Bay averages 74.7 points per game while Kentucky is averaging 74.4 points per contest.
Despite being led by All-American candidate A'dia Mathies, UK's major strength is its depth. In Saturday's 68-62 win over McNeese State, 12 players played for head coach Matthew Mitchell and eight players scored at least six points. For the season, 11 Wildcats play at least 10 minutes per game.
Kentucky forces 27.7 turnovers per game on the season and leads the nation in turnover margin (+10.3). The Wildcats were able to defeat McNeese State despite scoring just nine points off 13 Cowgirl turnovers.
Another major strength of Kentucky is its rebounding. The Wildcats outrebound their opponents by nearly three boards, doing the majority of its damage on the offensive glass. UK has tallied 600 offensive rebounds this season, almost 200 more than its opponents. Mathies leads the team with 82 boards on the offensive end. Kentucky held a 58-40 rebounding edge over McNeese State and grabbed 22 offensive rebounds.
When opposing teams do get shots off against the
Wildcats, they especially struggle to shoot from the outside. Kentucky's
three-point shooting defense is just 28.8 percent, with teams making just three
long-range shots per game. McNeese State shot just 30 percent from the field on
Saturday and hit 2-of-9 three-pointers.
KENTUCKY PROBABLE STARTERS
PG: #24 Amber Haven, Sr., 5-6 (4.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.7 apg)
G: #1 A'dia Mathies, Jr., 5-9 (15.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 48-129 3FGs)
G: #13 Bria Goss, Fr., 5-10 (11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 87-120 FTs)
G: #32 Kristine Evans, Soph., 5-8 (6.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 25-72 3FGs)
F: #31 Samantha Drake, Jr., 6-3 (5.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 49-92 FGs)
A'dia Mathies, the SEC Player of the Year, leads the Wildcats in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Foul trouble limited Mathies to just 18 minutes on Saturday and the junior guard went 2-of-10 from the field and finished with six points. Mathies also leads the team in steals and is a member of the SEC All-Defensive Team. She has knocked down 48 three-pointers and leads the team shooting 37.2 percent from long range (48-129).
Two more under the radar players could have major impacts in Monday night's game and both led their teams in scoring on Saturday. UK senior Keyla Snowden was named the Co-6th Woman of the Year in the SEC. The sharpshooter scored 11 points off the Wildcat bench on Saturday and leads the team with 53 three-pointers made. In her career, Snowden ranks third on the program's all-time list with 169 made three-pointers despite playing just three seasons at UK. For Green Bay, sharpshooter Lydia Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.) broke out of a shooting slump on Saturday and led the team with 16 points. Bauer drained 4-of-7 three-pointers, including three in the opening half. The junior southpaw has also made 53 triples this season and is averaging 11.2 points per game.
Kentucky starts four players that are listed at 5-foot-10 or under, but the Wildcats certainly have some size that the Phoenix will have to deal with. Samantha Drake, who had eight points, six rebounds and four blocked shots on Saturday, stands at 6-foot-3 and starts as the lone forward on the squad. Off the bench, Mitchell brings in 6-foot-3 Azia Bishop and 6-foot-1 Samarie Walker. The duo combined for 18 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots in 37 minutes on Saturday, with Bishop scoring 10 points and Walker grabbing a team-best 13 rebounds.
For ticketing information, please visit Cyclones.com. Single-session tickets are being sold for $18 for adults and #13 for youth (high school or younger).
To follow all of the action throughout Green Bay's trip to the NCAA Tournament, check out Tournament Central presented by Taco Bell.
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