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  • Wildcats open season with eight healthy scholarship players

    By LARRY VAUGHT

    Kentucky freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt is out of the walking boot he's had on his foot since injuring it earlier in practice but coach John Calipari said Thursday he's still not sure about his status.

    Vanderbilt got out of the walking boot Tuesday. 'Calipari had said at SEC Media Days earlier this month that he feared the injury could be worse than originally thought after saying earlier he thought the early prediction that Vanderbilt would be back in January might be off and he could be back sooner.

    "Now it will be a process to see where exactly is he. Is he going to be able to play or are we going to have to wait? I guess they did the MRI and all that stuff and everything looked good, so we’ll see," Calipari said.

    Freshman guard Jemarl Baker has been out with a knee injury and apparently will have surgery again Friday.

    “It looks like he will have another scope on Friday. That’s what appears to be the case. The operation he did back in California before he got here for some reason, it didn’t heal or whatever the way it should have," the UK coach said. "They’re gonna probably take another look in there to see what it is.”

    Baker indicated at UK's Media Day Oct. 12th he was fine and would be back soon. But that was two weeks ago and he's still not back.

    Kentucky hosts Thomas More Friday night in its first exhibition game. Calipari is down to eight healthy scholarship players.

    "Seven of those guys may play a little bit more, maybe not. Probably six will play a little bit more than the other two. But, we’re just a ways away from being a good basketball team. We’re learning and they’re not fighting me; they just don’t know," he said. "I want to know from you in here that like me – so that’s a few of you – if you’ve watched me coach, this year, I have got to be doubly hard in practice. Like, even tougher.

    'Not mean and nasty, cuss, but I just raised the bar and the expectation I have of what they’re able to do, and if they don’t do it we run. We’re conditioning like crazy right now. Like, it’s nuts. But when we get in these games, I’m going to have to back up a little bit because this is not the swaggy, ‘we got this’ group. They’re still trying to figure out who they are, which means I’ve gotta back up and accept some of the stuff I see – which normally I don’t accept."

    There has been one benefit to injuries to Vanderbilt and Baker that Calipari is proud of even if he is a bit biased.

    "Brad’s (Calipari) on the court 24/7. He’s scrimmaging every scrimmage, he’s on the court and he’s getting better. Now, is he like the guys I saw last night in Charlotte? Is he Malik Monk? Jamal (Murray)? Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist)? Trey (Lyles)? No. But, he personally is becoming his best version, and as a father, I’m ecstatic about that," the Kentucky coach said.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. kybobcat's Avatar
      kybobcat -
      Take a seat Mr. Nick Richards and Mr. Sacha Killeya-Jones.

      We'll call you if we need you.
    1. KeithKSR's Avatar
      KeithKSR -
      Quote Originally Posted by kybobcat View Post
      Take a seat Mr. Nick Richards and Mr. Sacha Killeya-Jones.

      We'll call you if we need you.
      Wynyard is likely in the end of the bench group.
    1. Hoss's Avatar
      Hoss -
      This team is going to take awhile to get it going...they all have to find out (including the coaches), how all these "positionless" players are going to play together.
    1. Rock Hard Ten's Avatar
      Rock Hard Ten -
      Lots of early minutes will accelerate their progress.....we will be just fine
    1. kybobcat's Avatar
      kybobcat -
      Quote Originally Posted by KeithKSR View Post
      Wynyard is likely in the end of the bench group.
      Thought Tai was included in the "injured" group.

      It's the only way the math works, AFAIK.
    1. Hoss's Avatar
      Hoss -
      Quote Originally Posted by kybobcat View Post
      Thought Tai was included in the "injured" group.

      It's the only way the math works, AFAIK.
      IIRC...he has been battling some back issues.
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