If Fox can’t play, expect another big day out of Kasey Hill, who dropped a career-high tying 21 points on Kentucky in that 88-66 drubbing back on February 4th.
De'Aaron Fox (knee) will be a game-time decision, Calipari said. Fox did not practice Thursday.— Fletcher Page (@FletcherPage) February 24, 2017
Perhaps a Florida win would lead to Mike White’s men finally getting the respect they deserve. The Gators are ranked 4th in America according to KenPom, are coming off a 15-point win over South Carolina on Tuesday, and have reeled off nine straight victories. Yet they’re the runaway favorite for this year’s highest NCAA Tournament seed that you’ll know the least about, which will ensue in many office pool participants impulsively taking that 13-seed or 14-seed to upset Florida. Many wrote the Gators off after center John Egbunu went down with a torn ACL. In two games without their 6-foot-11 rim protector, Florida has allowed just 118 points in 140 possessions, holding Mississippi State and South Carolina to a combined 5-of-37 on threes. Stat to Know: Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo had his best game as a collegian on Tuesday, going for 22 points and 15 boards in a too-close-for-comfort 10-point win at Missouri. The Wildcats will need Bam plenty on Saturday against the likes of Devin Robinson, Kevarrius Hayes, and Justin Leon up front. No. 5 UCLA at No. 4 Arizona—Saturday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN ESPN’s College Gameday heads to Tucson, where Arizona almost never loses, for a highly-anticipated Top-5 Pac-12 showdown.
Well tonight was fun! Check out the highlights from the 88-66 win! pic.twitter.com/eeJ1U6pNsy— Gators M-Basketball (@GatorsMBK) February 5, 2017
The Wildcats, sitting at 15-1 in conference action, can win the Pac-12 regular season title outright with victories this Saturday and next, when they visit Arizona State. UCLA, meantime, is looking to wrap up the program’s first undefeated month of February since the 1994-95 campaign, which culminated in a national title for the Bruins. Lonzo Ball tweaked his right ankle in Thursday’s win at Arizona State, but the stud freshman being in a walking boot appears to be merely a precautionary measure.
https://t.co/CYy9mHFRg3 has UA-UCLA tickets from $118 to $800. Surely the highest ticket price asked in McKale Center history— Greg Hansen (@ghansen711) February 24, 2017
With Ball at less than 100 percent against ASU, T.J. Leaf took over, pouring in 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting. Leaf, who originally committed to Sean Miller and Arizona, is averaging 19.8 points and 9.2 rebounds on 65 percent shooting over his last six contests. Leaf and fellow probable one-and-done Lauri Markkanen will be a fascinating matchup to monitor. Markannen got the better of the head-to-head battle back on January 21st in Pauley Pavilion in a 96-85 Wildcats’ win. Then again, seemingly every Arizona player got the best of its UCLA adversary in the first meeting between these two teams. Four days later, it was USC that hardly broke a sweat offensively against the Bruins. In those two games, UCLA allowed 180 points in 148 possessions (1.22 points per possession), a stretch that prompted some to dismiss Steve Alford and company as a legitimate national title contender. In six games since, the Bruins have stepped it up defensively, as Washington State, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, and Arizona State managed a combined 0.98 points per possession. While that number won’t draw jealousy from defensive mavens like Rick Pitino and Tony Bennett, it’s a major step in the right direction for UCLA. The Bruins’ defensive surge is largely a product of two things: forcing more turnovers (opponents are turning the ball over on 16.1 percent of their possessions over the last six games, compared to just 10.8 percent of the time in that two-game Arizona/USC sample) and keeping opponents off the charity stripe (UCLA’s last six foes’ free throws attempted/field goals attempted ratio is 24 percent, significantly down from the 30.9 percent mark that Arizona/UCLA totaled). Stat to Know: Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton, and others better pay close attention to Allonzo Trier and Parker Jackson-Cartwright out on the perimeter. Trier has hit 8-of-11 triples in his last two games, whereas PJC has knocked down 10-of-14 looks from behind the arc over his last three contests. Follow Mike on Twitter Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter And like ZAGS on Facebook
Lonzo Ball's walking boot is apparently just protective. He wasn't limping and is considered ready to play against Arizona on Saturday.— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) February 24, 2017