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Media members sound off on who will be the best player on the court Saturday for UK vs UofL

uk-ul-logo1By LARRY VAUGHT

With Louisville and Kentucky renewing their rivalry Saturday in Louisville, oddsmakers agree that this is the year Rick Pitino’s Cardinals finally beat John Calipari. Since arriving at UK, Calipari is 4-0 against Louisville, including a win in the Final Four last year when the Cats won the national championship. However, this year No. 4 Louisville is a solid favorite over unranked Kentucky, which has already lost to Duke, Baylor and Notre Dame. Three previous times in this series when Louisville was ranked this highly and UK was unranked, the Cardinals won each time.

Various media members who cover Kentucky basketball regularly shared their thoughts and insights on the game.

Question: Who will be the best player on the court for the UK-Louisville game?

Keith Taylor, Winchester Sun: “The best player on the court will be Louisville guard Russ Smith. Ten games into the season, Smith was averaging 20.2 points per game. Containing Smith will be a key for Kentucky to have a chance to beat the Cardinals at the KFC Yum!Center.”

Mary Jo Perino, WLEX-TV: “Peyton Siva will be the best player on the court, but I believe Nerlens Noel has the best potential.”

Tom Leach, Leach Report and UK Radio Network: “Often, in this game, the star player is someone we would not have forseen — think Josh Harrellson two years ago.  If Kentucky wins, I’m thinking it will be Alex Poythress.  If Louisville does indeed lack its primary shot blocker, Poythress could be hard to handle in the lane, if he brings his ‘A’ game.”

Mark Buerger, WLAP Sunday Morning Sports: “I don’t think there’s ever been a harder year to answer this question. Logic says Siva, but he’s always prone to one of those two-assist, six-turnover games he has occasionally. Last time we saw Alex Poythress against a big-name opponent, he was probably the best player on the court. Will that Alex come back? So I’ll go with Russ Smith.”

Ryan Lemond, Kentucky Sports Radio: “ I think the best player on the floor will be Nerlens Noel, especially if Giorgi Dieng doesn’t play for U of L. I think Noel just keeps getting better and better each time out.  He’s already played pretty well against some other big guys this year — Plumley at Duke, Cooley at Notre Dame and Maryland’s big guy. Just as the U of L game was Josh Harrellson’s coming out party two years ago at the YUM Center, it’s going to be Noel’s turn this year to show the world why he’s considered one of the top two picks in the NBA draft this year.”

Jennifer Palumbo, WKDY-TV: “Archie Goodwin.”

Larry Glover, Larry Glover Live: “I’m not sure if he’ll be the best player on the floor but I think Ryan Harrow will be the most important player on the floor.  Kentucky simply cannot turn the ball over.  If UK takes care of the basketball, it will create scoring opportunities for the Cats and that will limit easy opportunities for the Cardinals, who struggle to put the ball in the basket.”

Ashley Scoby, vaughtsviews.com: “Nerlens Noel might be the most natural talent on the court, but Russ Smith has also been playing great lately and is sure to provide some matchup issues for Kentucky.”

Coming next: Which team has the most pressure on it Saturday?

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/media-members-sound-off-on-who-will-be-the-best-player-on-the-court-saturday/


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  1. Jim Boyers

    My head keeps telling me that Alex will eventually be the best player on this team. He could definitely be the best in this game, but which Alex will show up? I just wish he would start realizing what he can be and play accordingly for a full 40.

    I will stick with Alex, if UK wins.

    If Loserville wins, the UL player of the game will definitley be “WHO GIVES A CRAP”.

  2. hawaiibillT

    I’m thinking Willie Cauley-Stein is the difference maker in the game.

  3. Karen Sprinkle

    When I read the headline for the story, I was thinking exactly what Tom Leach did. It’s often some unexpected player for the Cats (like Jorts two years ago). Orbzut always played great against the Cards for some reason. And then there’s Cedric Jenkins (as the H-L reminds us in a great story today).
    For some reason, I am cautiously optimistic about this game. I think the Cats will do a lot better than the experts are saying. My pick is Archie Goodwin, but he’s going to have to play under control.


    I only care that UK wins…

  5. cathouse

    Goodwin if he playes smart and Keeps his head up .

  6. Larry T Clemons

    WCS…surprises the College Basketball World…!

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