Kentucky basketball looking to get back on stride tonight against Samford.

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Kentucky basketball has had better weeks. After losing decisively at Notre Dame Thursday, and suffering their first home loss under John Calipari to a Baylor team coming off a home loss to College of Charleston, the final ignominy came Monday after UK went from #8 to unranked in the Associated Press poll. That’s good for the single largest one week drop since the poll expanded to 25 teams in 1990. Calipari responded with two workouts Sunday that Willie Cauley Stein called “by far the hardest day of practices that we’ve had so far this year”. Fans were also quick to let the players know how they felt, with several players reportedly deleting their Twitter accounts in response to some of the reaction.

UK gets a much needed schedule reprieve this week as they have home games against two small conference foes, the Samford Bulldogs from the Southern Conference and the Portland Pilots from the West Coast Conference.

Samford (2-7), coming off their second win of the year last Saturday at home against Georgia Southern, will come into Rupp Tuesday at 7:00. One of their previous losses came to UofL 80-54 on November 15th. They are also a young team, with freshman forward Tim Williams leading the team in scoring (15.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg) and sophomores Raijon Kelly and Connor Miller joining freshman Russell Wilson as the major contributors in the backcourt.

Portland (3-4) comes into Rupp Saturday not having lost two games in a row all year. This week will put that streak to the test as they fell at Washington State last Saturday, and host #21 UNLV before traveling to Lexington for their noon game Saturday. They are lead by junior forward Ryan Nicholas in points (13.4 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg).

 

Photo: Flickr/Triple Tri

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