Kentucky plays host to Miami-Ohio
Lexington, KY (Sports Network) – The 22nd-ranked Kentucky Wildcats welcome the
Miami-Ohio RedHawks to Lexington for a non-conference clash. Miami opened its
season on Saturday against Wright State, and that game ended in a heart-
breaking 57-56 loss on a last-second shot. The RedHawks welcome back three
starters from last season’s team that made it to a second consecutive NIT.
As for Kentucky, it returns three starters from last year’s team that posted
a 22-13 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. While
that level of success would be welcomed by most programs, the Wildcats have
come to expect much better results under the guidance of head coach Tubby
Smith. With the quality of returning talent, Smith’s group hopes to make some
noise in the talent-packed SEC.
Kentucky owns a commanding 20-4 lead in the all-time series with Miami-Ohio,
and the last meeting occurred in 1999.
Honorable Mention All-MAC selections Nathan Peavy and Tim Pollitz are back to
lead Miami-Ohio this season. Peavy averaged 11.2 ppg and 6.9 rpg as a junior,
and Pollitz posted 12.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg as a sophomore. The RedHawks return
60.5 percent of their scoring and 66.7 percent of their rebounding from a year
ago. In the opener against Wright State, Peavy was the only Miami player to
reach double figures in the scoring department, as he tallied 20 points to go
along with seven rebounds. The RedHawks connected on only 39.1 percent of
their field goal attempts in the clash, and they surrendered 45.2 percent
shooting to Wright State. Pollitz tallied only two points on 1-of-7 shooting
from the floor, and he needs to play much better tonight if Miami hopes to
stay close to Kentucky.
Speaking of the Wildcats, they are happy to have Randolph Morris back in the
fold. One of the best big men in the SEC, Morris is a 6-11 junior who has
returned to Kentucky rather than play professional ball. He averaged 13.3 ppg
and 6.0 rpg in a shortened season last year, and Morris is eager to establish
his dominance over the course of a full campaign. While Morris is the focus,
he is certainly not alone in regard to returning talent. Joe Crawford has the
potential to be special, as he is coming off a season in which he averaged
10.2 ppg. Crawford is a special athlete who can routinely create a shot
regardless of the defense. Forward Bobby Perry figures to take a major step
forward this year.