The Cats face Bellarmine at home on Tuesday night. The Knights have had a tough schedule to begin their season, facing UCLA, Duke, and Kentucky before even reaching conference play. Before the season, Bellarmine’s strength of schedule ranked in the two hundreds, but now it sits near 70. At this moment, Bellarmine sits at 2-5, with a early upset over their neighbor Louisville being one of their two wins.
Interestingly enough, against higher quality targets Bellarmine has covered the spread. Against Duke and UCLA, the spread was +24 and +23 respectively, a spread that they covered, along with covering against Louisville and Clemson. Oddly, they did not cover against Morehead State and Loyola Marymount, getting beat worse than expected by both.
This team likes to move the ball and have quality possessions, it is part of their scheme and identity. They do not dribble the ball much, instead relying on off the ball movement and passing to get open shots. This team ranks 361st out of 363 teams in possessions per game, compared to Kentucky who ranks 13th. Bellarmine also attempts to slow down the opponent, ranking 22nd in opponents field goal attempts per game.
It will be interesting to see if the Cats can move the ball efficiently, as Kentucky has had lackluster performance in the half court this season. The battle against a defense that likes to slow things down, and an offense that likes to run. As of right now, the Cats are a 25 point favorite.