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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Jan 12, 2024 11:21 am

No. 6 Kentucky takes aggressive approach into game vs. Texas A&M

No. 6 Kentucky will look to record its seventh straight victory when it visits Texas A&M in a Southeastern Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon in College Station, Texas.

The Wildcats (12-2, 2-0 SEC) are coming off a 90-77 victory at home against Missouri on Tuesday night. Four of their past six wins have come by double digits.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he was pleased with his players’ shot selection versus the Tigers. It is something he wants to continue to see as the season progresses.

“(Before our last game), I told them, ‘Guys, we want to attack the rim,'” Calipari said. “I like 3s, but I love dunks and layups. So, attack the rim and you will get fouled. You will make it.”

Meanwhile, Texas A&M (9-6, 0-2) is looking to snap a two-game slide after losing against LSU at home last Saturday and No. 16 Auburn on the road Tuesday.

Aggies coach Buzz Williams said he was encouraged by his players’ attitude against Auburn after what he described as a much more disappointing loss earlier in the week against LSU.

“I thought we played real hard. I thought we cared a lot,” Williams said. “I thought we tried. I thought we were together. The communication level was what we wanted it to be.

“We were disappointed in the result, but we feel much better about the competitive character (of this team).”

Williams and his team now must focus on slowing down Kentucky, which is led by Antonio Reeves with 18.6 points per game on 51.1 percent shooting from the field. Reeves is shooting 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Rob Dillingham also is a versatile shooting threat for the Wildcats. He is averaging 14.4 points on 48.0 percent shooting overall and 44.4 percent from 3-point range.

Third on the scoring list is Tre Mitchell, who is averaging 13.2 points. He is coming off a stellar game in which he finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Mitchell’s production impressed Calipari.

“It’s not his confidence, it’s his motor,” Calipari said. “When his motor runs, he is a double-double. These guys rely on him. … He can play four and five, and he can shoot the three and he can put it on the floor. What he proved (against Missouri) is he can rebound in traffic when there are all kinds of guys whacking at the ball, and he did it and then he made free throws.”

Texas A&M is led in scoring by Wade Taylor IV, who is averaging 17.3 points to go along with a team-high four assists. Henry Coleman III (12.5 points per game) and Tyrece Radford (12.2) also are scoring in double digits, and Andersson Garcia leads the team with 8.7 rebounds per game.

Williams said his players remained confident in one another despite recent setbacks. He praised his players for being vocal from the bench and encouraging their teammates on the court.

“We’ll continue to find ways to do more,” Williams said. “But if this can be the baseline from which we operate, then that will be fine.”

–Field Level Media

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