Indiana-Kentucky: A position-by-position breakdown

With the Indiana-Kentucky rematch only two days away, here’s a look at the position-by-position matchups. These are the matchups I believe the Hoosiers should use and are not necessarily the ones they used the first time or will use on Friday.

Marquis Teague (PG) 9.4 ppg, 4.8 apg    VS.    Victor Oladipo (SG) 10.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Teague, a freshman and former Pike standout, dominated the Hoosiers in the second-half of the first meeting. He used his quickness to get past Jordan Hulls with regularity, and finished the game with 15 points — most of them coming on layups.

Oladipo is quicker than Hulls and taller than Teague, and he should be able to stick with the Wildcats’ point guard. The Hoosiers could use Oladipo on a variety of players, but they can’t afford to let Teague beat them with easy baskets. They are going to have to settle for other guys making outside jump shots.

ADVANTAGE: INDIANA

Doron Lamb (SG) 13.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg    VS.    Jordan Hulls (PG) 11.5 ppg, 3.2 apg

The Hoosiers are going to need a much more productive game out of Hulls than they got against VCU. Lamb is a good shooter, so Hulls may have trouble staying with him off screens. But it’s a better matchup for the Hoosiers than having Hulls guard Teague.

Lamb scored 19 points on 5-of-14 the first time around, and Hulls had 11 points.

ADVANTAGE: KENTUCKY

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF) 11.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg    VS.    Will Sheehey (SF) 8.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Kidd-Gilchrist kept Kentucky close in December by going for 18 points and nine rebounds. Sheehey had 10 points, including two huge 3-pointers.

Kidd-Gilchrist has about 30 pounds on Sheehey, so I like him in this matchup. Then again, Sheehey has routinely guarded guys significantly heavier than him over the course of the season, and he’s generally fared well. I wouldn’t expect Kidd-Gilchrist to explode for 18 and nine again.

ADVANTAGE: KENTUCKY

Terrence Jones (PF) 12.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg    VS.    Christian Watford (PF) 12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg

This was one of the most talked about matchups heading into the first meeting, and it wound up being no contest. Jones didn’t show up. He had only four points and one rebound, and sat on the bench down the stretch. Watford, on the other hand, had one of his biggest games of the year. He scored 20 points, pulled down five rebounds, and hit the game-winner over Darius Miller as time expired.

It’s hard to believe Jones will play that bad again. I would expect him to play much better. But Watford won’t make it easy for him. He’s been playing well of late, and he’ll undoubtedly come out with a lot of confidence because of how he played against the Wildcats the last time.

ADVANTAGE: PUSH

Anthony Davis (C) 14.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg    VS.    Cody Zeller (C) 15.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg

Zeller got the better of Davis in the first matchup by getting the big man in foul trouble. Zeller had 11 points and seven boards, and Davis had six points and nine rebounds.

Davis has added a lot to his game since the first meeting in December. He’s a much more polished offensive player, and has even started stepping out and knocking down 3-pointers. Zeller’s experience guarding guys who can play on the perimeter should benefit him in this matchup.

ADVANTAGE: PUSH

Key bench players: Darius Miller (9.6 ppg), Kyle Wiltjer (5.4 ppg)    VS.    Remy Abell (2.8 ppg), Matt Roth (4.6 ppg), Derek Elston (4.5 ppg)

Miller would start for most teams in the country and he’s one of Kentucky’s best mid-range shooters. The Wildcats often go to Miller when they’re in need of a big shot, and he usually delivers. Wiltjer can shoot it, but it’s to the Hoosiers’ benefit when he’s in the game.

Abell has played well in the few games since Verdell Jones’ season-ending injury, and Roth is one of the best 3-point shooters in the country. Elston didn’t play in the first meeting, so it will be interesting to see how he is utilized on Friday. Elston’s main impact may come on the defensive end where he’ll be able to give Watford a break on Jones or spell Sheehey on Kidd-Gilchrist. Whatever Elston gives the Hoosiers on the offensive end is a bonus. Tom Crean barely used his bench in the first matchup, but may have to rely on them a bit more this time around.

ADVANTAGE: KENTUCKY

  • Outoftheloop

     Good analysis. Is there any worse position for a good HS basketball player to be in than to be entering your junior or senior year of college at Ky and never have been in the top 7 rotation that Coach Cal likes? Your career is dead and no one ever saw your talents. Someday the Poole’s and Hood’s will figure this out. I think that Willis will find this as his fate, he is just not a spectacular enough athletic talent to start as a freshman, and each successive year 5 more “greats” come in and move you further to the back of the bench. And Ky has NO # Bench Mob mentality!

  • jpniles

    The most crucial match-up in this whole game is Davis/Zeller. If we can get Davis in foul trouble, KY is a completely different team, and the Hoosiers life is made exponentially easier. I know Kidd-Gilchrist has not been playing well as of late, but the kid is a beast… not to mention pissed at the world. He worries me.  

    It is ok for a couple of their players to go off for 18-20 pts. However, we cannot let 4 of their players score double-digits which could happen very easily. Don’t believe me? Ask Iowa St. Lamb, Davis, Teague, and Miller had 15+ points and shot 9-17 from the three point line. We cannot survive a performance like that. 

  • Oldwood88

     it’s the old boxing analogy, you’ve got to come out and punch them in the mouth, bloody their nose…IU’s biggest advantage is between the ears…UK is young and has not, I repeat, has not faced situations which test the ole ‘intestinal fortitude’…if IU can stiff arm them early and get the young-ins’ second guessing, it’s the Hoosiers game to win…this is a rivalry, its emotional and the maturity of IU (even that of Zeller) is what they have to rely on…this game is about continuing the stifling defense from the VCU game, rotating the deep bench to create a physical matchup and dictating the pace….not to get religious, but this reminds me of the scene from Hoosiers..”and David took out a stone”…Go IU!!!

  • Tim

    Wait a minute…are we talking about the same Vargas who played a whopping 1 minute against Western Kentucky and ZERO minutes again Iowa St?? If he is considered valuable than I consider myself a valuable part of the Indiana bench as well.

  • MikeinNC

     Always loved the old adage:  we don’t have to be a better team than them, we just have to score more points than them tonight.  Can we catch lightening in a bottle a second time this year?  All I want for Christmas this year is to defeat the evil empire of UK hoops a second time.  I don’t think we have to play a perfect game to beat them, but a lot of things have to go right for us.

  • jwcasey

    Execution

    ADVANTAGE: TBD

  • Jeff Frye1983

    Like the article said Davis tries to block everything, that will get him in alot of trouble with Zeller. Zeller is smart enough and good enough to get both Jones and Davis in foul trouble. If anyone doubts how good Davis is your a fool but he is way too aggressive when trying to block shots. Makes for easy fouls.

  • Jeff Frye1983

    Like the article said Davis tries to block everything, that will get him in alot of trouble with Zeller. Zeller is smart enough and good enough to get both Jones and Davis in foul trouble. If anyone doubts how good Davis is your a fool but he is way too aggressive when trying to block shots. Makes for easy fouls.

  • cooper

    Teague won’t be guarding VO so that matchup really isn’t a push. UK has the advantage at every position with Zeller/Davis being closest

    I hope for a victory but too many things went right the first game and would have to go right again. Davis has to be in foul trouble, one of their better players has to lay a complete egg, Teague has to play like he did in the 1 st half against Hulls and not the 2nd half and IU has to be on fire from 3pt land. Finally, no VJ and whether they say it or not they are out for payback

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Young/660587434 Dylan Young

    How much does Calipari money factor in?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Young/660587434 Dylan Young

    I totally agree.  The pressure is on them.  We have nothing to lose. We’ve done it before. We know we can do it again.

  • Oldguyy

    Besides the lack of original thinkers among media types, there is the tendency among them to overemphasize raw talent, or in this case, a certain difference in raw talent, as a determinant of results in college basketball.  If raw talent were all that mattered, Illinois might well have finished second, rather than tenth, in the Big Ten.  Indiana certainly has the advantage over Kentucky in experience and intelligence, and probably in unit cohesion.  Then there is the significant amount of randomness in the results of any one game.  Not saying IU should be favored, but to act as if the result is a foregone conclusion is just foolish.  

  • SCHoosier

    Interesting from the first IU-UK game:
     
    > K-Gilchrist guarded Hulls all game and at 6’7 kept him form getting many open looks
    >UK attacked Hulls with the drive mid-waysecond half with both Lamb and Teague. Expect that to be in their gameplan this time.
    > IU was ineffective getting the ball to Zeller..with Vitale screaming on the broadcast to do it. Cody didn’t touch ball final five minutes. Davis on the other hand played only 27 min due to foul trouble.
    >UK pressed IU 3 times coming out of a made FT..getting two turnovers.
    > Neither VO nor Will could handle Kidd-Gilchrist offensively underneath
    > Both Jones/UK and Wat were no shows offensively first half. Wat warmed up… 2nd half…Jones was benched.
     
    Keys to the Game for IU:
     
    Defense..must guard everyone everwhere every time. UK has too many weapons.
    Runs- prevent UK from one of their 12 pts in 90 second runs using steals and transition threes. UK has been deadly with these runs.
     
    Having Zeller play and rebound aggressively without foul trouble. UK can afford to lose Davis for short periods..IU must have Zeller involved as long as possible.
     
    Miller will be the key player for UK..can do it all. Abell will have to have big mintues for IU given Hulls trouble defending UK drives to the hole.
     
    If IU playes its game and UK doesn’t light it up with the 3..Hoosiers have a great shot. Go do it gang!

  • SCHoosier

    Vargas is a reluctant 8th option..if he’s in..something bad has happened for uK.

  • SCHoosier

    Vargas is a reluctant 8th option..if he’s in..something bad has happened for uK.

  • SCHoosier

    Admire your enthusiasm..but if you think VO is gonna get to the basket often against Davis…without getting stuffed or TO’ing it..I will be surprised. Transition maybe. Do you relaize that in the last 4 games..Crean started the offense with that VO to the basket play..he turned it over  3 orf the 4 times. I’m just saying..we need to attack Davis..but he is a very special defender. Gonna needs some refs calls.

  • SCHoosier

    Sorry forgotone other thing about the first game. Old ESPN’s Gottlieb was at it even then. Altho IU lead at half time..it was Gottlieb’s half time analysis that UK had won the first half because they cut a 9 point lead to two. I assume at the end of the game he came up with some excuse for the win. Jerk.

  • SCHoosier

    With respect to TP..if he gets a lot of minutes it means Zeller or Wat is in foul trouble. When Pritch is in there it means UK can sluff off one player and really apply a TO defense to the other four IU players..with TP not being a threat to score. Alters IU entire half court game plan.

  • SCHoosier

    Don’t disagree..but who runs an effective offense then? Key word..effective.

  • DarkSouth

    Oladipo usually tries to dunk when he finishes.  He could draw fouls with Davis in a best case situation.  A hard finisher is better than a guy who lays it in or shoots floaters against a shot blocker like Davis. 

    I remember Ewing something along the lines of “When I finish, I try to dunk so hard a guy can’t possibly block my shot…or break his hand (on the rim) if he tries.”  That’s the attitude he should have regardless who we’re playing.

  • DarkSouth

    posted a similar comment before seeing this.  Agree that Oladipo has got to be aggressive and finish hard above the rim, which we know he can do. 

  • DarkSouth

    posted a similar comment before seeing this.  Agree that Oladipo has got to be aggressive and finish hard above the rim, which we know he can do. 

  • Knuckledrager

    If you see Scott, don’t mention the broke arm. I think he took that loss personally and is a little sensitive about it. Instead mention his pro career and his play overseas. He did well there also. He was/is a great player and deserves credit for it. He is so much more than “two perfect seasons”, nearly. Whether or not this team “goes all the way”, what a wonderful season. In the words of Mel Brooks: “It’s good to be the king.” Time for my meds. Wheeeeeee. Hoo Hoo Hooooooooosiers.   

  • IU

    Really, Zeller v. Davis push.  You do realize Davis will be the 1 over all pick in the NBA draft.  i really really like cody but your crimson glasses have you blinded.

  • Knuckledrager

    Remy shut down Teague in the In vs. Ky state all stars game didn’t he? IU has found as many ways to win as we have wins. Trust Coach and “The Team”. I’ve been a fan(atic) since 1960, and this might be the most exciting season of all. Enjoy it for what it is. Peace on you all. Hoo Hoo Hoooooosiers.

  • Kenneth234

    That is not necessarily true.  If they plan to utilize Pritchard for the things that he does, it means that we can for stretches of the game have a better shot at getting rebounds and using him to set high screens and picks.  I am not trying to say that they should play him 20 minutes, but I wouldn’t just use him with either Watford or Zeller out of the game for whatever reason.  I would think about getting all three on the floor in the first ten minutes just to see how the matchups change for both us and UK.  

  • FWHoosier

    Didn’t he guard him in the Indiana/Kentucky all-star game last year and lock him down?

  • http://twitter.com/Jake_Lort Jake Lorton

    Look at the last time Zeller matched up against Davis. Who had the better game? Zeller.

  • http://twitter.com/Jake_Lort Jake Lorton

    Look at the last time Zeller matched up against Davis. Who had the better game? Zeller.

  • TD

    Hulls vs. Lamb, Advantage: Indiana? I’m sorry, but no. If Hulls is quiet offensively, he’s a massive liability. Lamb is consistent defensively, and is a true outside threat. I think “Push” would is the only fair assessment. 

  • CharlotteHoosier

    Would there be any thought to Zeller guarding Jones and Watford matching up with Davis to take away any thought of an outside game from him?

  • FloridaGirl

    As an I.U. fan first and a Florida fan second, I agree with those that say Kentucky has not faced the same type of teams that Indiana has.  I also think they will be looking past I.U. once again.  Just look what happened in the S.E.C. final.  They got beat by Vandy.  It’s not like they haven’t lost at all.  GO HOOSIERS!

  • Jeff

    I definitely agree with IU.  Yeah Zeller won the head-to-head match up the first time, but so did Adrian Payne against Zeller in East Lansing and we know he’s not a better player than Zeller.  We all love Zeller and he could very well outplay Davis again, but Anthony Davis is the BEST player in the country and should be recognized as such in this analysis

  • Jeff

    I definitely agree with IU.  Yeah Zeller won the head-to-head match up the first time, but so did Adrian Payne against Zeller in East Lansing and we know he’s not a better player than Zeller.  We all love Zeller and he could very well outplay Davis again, but Anthony Davis is the BEST player in the country and should be recognized as such in this analysis

  • Lou’sIntern

    VCU’s style of defense and pressure is their strength! Thats why they were effective.

    But yes, I agree there are necessary times to zone and press but that should not be our game plan.

  • smartybucket

     I think it says advantage Kentucky on that one.

  • schmib

    In fairness, Steve Smith actually picked IU over VCU. At least according to the post game show. 

  • Kenny Vegas

    No offense to V. Jones, whom is a class act, but we have a better starting five with Sheehey in the lineup than we did at the first meeting.  Hopefully, we can limit turnovers and get out of the gate quickly and I think we will have a fighting chance against the appropriately rated number #1 overall seed.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IGSHQO25AMBPJWQQIXICHAXYTA Mister Bigg

    Full disclosure: I’m a UK fan.  

    As much as the December game tore my heart out, I am not among those who consider the outcome a “fluke.”  Indiana is a very good team with players that compete hard and complement each other exceedingly well.  They held a sizable lead for most of the game, and deserved to win.  Not because of a blown defensive assignment, but because they were the better team that day.  

    I expect Friday’s game to be tight, and would not be shocked to see IU emerge the winner yet again (although I obviously hope that’s not the case)!  I’ve never been a big Hoosier fan…I like and respect Coach Crean, but can’t say the same about Bobby…but I admire the program and the passion of your fan base.  

    The only part of the comments expressed here – beyond the name calling and general vitriol from the small contingent of idiots that pervade all fan bases, ours included – is the claim that UK has not been “tested” this year.  It’s true that we haven’t had many games with close final scores, but that’s at least partly a reflection of this UK team’s ability to buckle down in crunch time.  

    We’ve had plenty of games that were very close, or in which we trailed, with a few minutes to go…but we’ve been so consistently good in those situations (outside of the IU and Vandy games), that we’ve usually managed to lock down on defense and build a gap in the closing stretch.  

    So I think it’s more than fair to point out UK’s shortcomings (especially our youth and inexperience), and more than plausible to expect a repeat performance from IU, but I think this “no experience in close games” angle is erroneous and misinformed.Good luck Friday – it should be a fantastic game!

  • b_side

    Ha, he should have had that attitude against the Pacers in ’95 when he finger rolled that ball off the back iron.  Zing!

  • Kelin Blab

    Very good job Justin, should be a continued feature for big games….just sayin…

    Victor has the advantage in match up with Teague. Teague is playing a lot better but I think Victor with his increased ball handling could get Teague in foul trouble.

    I would give Watford the nod over Jones solely because Jones is too emotional and can be taken out of his game easily by a foul call or himself. Watford plays with more maturity and I think that will help him. If he plays well, we win!

    Our Bench over their bench if Kentucky has to use its bench. If they have to go 7 + deep they are in trouble and they know it, especially at the post position. It will be important for IU to get to the foul line early and often.

    Jordan is going to have to guard someone….MAYBE. IU may throw a bunch of zone at Kentucky and by some time without having Hulls being exposed man to man.

  • Ndcolts18

    Dont see the Jones vs Watford as a push. Terrence Jones
    2010 game @ Rupp-         3-11 FG, 10 pts, 3 TO
    2011 game at Assembly-  2-3 FG, 4 pts, 6 TO
    I think Wat has this kids # and is going to do what it takes to win. The rest I can see maybe, But all the experts had us out in round 1 then 2 and our guys can beat any team in the country when we play are best, and thats what they are going to get. GO HOOSIERS

  • InTheMtns

    Thanks for the respect and for sharing your perspective. Good points, but I think part of the “not tested” argument that’s folks are making here is that UK has only been tested by SEC teams, some of which, I’m sure you’ll admit, are not top-tier teams. Thanks for the wish of good luck – same to you. As you said, it should be a fantastic game!

  • InTheMtns

    Thanks for the respect and for sharing your perspective. Good points, but I think part of the “not tested” argument that’s folks are making here is that UK has only been tested by SEC teams, some of which, I’m sure you’ll admit, are not top-tier teams. Thanks for the wish of good luck – same to you. As you said, it should be a fantastic game!

  • iulineman

    Davis is being drafted on Potential. Zeller did have a better game last time around.

  • SCHoosier

    Listen to Creans news conference..if you haven’t..plenty of IU respect for the Coach and his Cats

  • catronhoosier

    I would love to see this before every game from now loved this write up. 

  • cpmichae

    For the record, Davis has had a phenomenal season and has added a lot this season. He is being drafted partially on potential(he has a lot of room to improve and that is scary) and also his body of work so far this season. Wow, did I just defend a Kentucky player? I need to wash my mouth out with soap…

  • http://twitter.com/Jake_Lort Jake Lorton

    But that was Zeller’s first Big Ten game, so mistakes were expected. Zeller has faced better competition than Davis has this year, so I expect Zeller to have the better game.

  • IUJeff

    Vic needs to do a lot of what he is doing in that picture this off-season. Once he can go both ways effectively and get a reliable mid-range jumper down, he will be unstoppable. 

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