UK-Florida notes

UK notes: Knight, Boynton downplay 'reunion'

Former AAU pals Knight, Boynton agree: It's no big deal

jtipton@herald-leader.comFebruary 5, 2011 

Kentucky's game at Florida reunites former AAU teammates Brandon Knight and Kenny Boynton.

If this makes for a special occasion, neither would admit it this week.

"It won't be weird at all," Knight said Friday when asked about competing against his friend and former teammate. "I don't know why you guys are making it a big deal."

Boynton agreed. "Pretty much, we're just trying to focus on the win and get another SEC win at home."

By Boynton's count, the two played against each other five times on the high school level. Neither termed the familiarity with each other's game as an advantage.

"He's always been a smart player," Boynton said of Knight. "When he's on the court, he makes the right plays."

Added Knight, "I just plan to go out and play."

Knight, who is from Fort Lauderdale, made a recruiting visit to Florida. He saw the Gators play Stetson during the trip. Boynton, who is a sophomore, tried to persuade Knight to sign with Florida.

"He liked it," Boynton said of Knight's visit. "But Kentucky, he felt that was a better situation."

Although family and friends will attend the game, Knight played down the notion of such an atmosphere affecting his play.

"Shouldn't affect me at all," he said.

UK Coach John Calipari welcomed the thought.

"I hope he's accurate with that statement," the UK coach said. "I think what they'll try to do is mess with him a little bit, get up in him and do some stuff. He needs to have poise down there because the place will go nuts."

Miller apologizes

Darius Miller tweeted an apology after UK lost at Ole Miss on Tuesday.

"I wanna apologize to my teammates and the (Big Blue Nation) for losing that game," he tweeted.

When asked Friday why he tweeted an apology, Miller said, "Because I felt I had a really bad game. I felt I was one of the main reasons we lost."

Calipari shrugged when asked for a reaction to Miller's tweet. The UK coach said he was unaware of the tweet.

Miller said he could not say why he passed rather than take an open shot in the final minute with UK ahead by one. A resulting 35-second shot clock violation enabled Ole Miss to gain possession and ultimately hit the game-winning shot.

"I honestly can't tell you," Miller said of not shooting. "If I knew, I'd tell you, but I don't know."

He speculated that his subpar play earlier in the game led to his reluctance to shoot.

Little big man

Florida lists leading scorer Erving Walker as 5-foot-8. He plays much taller than that.

Coach Billy Donovan noted Walker's competitiveness and how the little big man stuck with his commitment to Florida even after the Gators later recruited two other point guards, Nick Calathes and Jai Lucas.

"He's never been one to shy away from competition," Donovan said. "I really like coaching him. I like being around him. You don't see a lot of guys that size do the things he can do and be an effective player."

GameDay on scene

Even as the visiting team, Kentucky will be part of the show when ESPN's College GameDay originates from Florida. Calipari will join Donovan on the GameDay set.

The GameDay crew at the game will be Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and Hubert Davis.

In-game interviews

When asked how he felt about being interviewed during a game, Calipari said, "Well, it doesn't matter what they ask me. I know what I'm saying, so I'm not even thinking of them.

" 'How's the weather?' 'Well, we're really trying to defend better.' ... It has no affect on me whatsoever."

Donovan likened the in-game interviews to colleges trying to mimic the pros.

"I even think there's been strong pushes to get in locker rooms before games, during halftime and after games," Donovan said.

Etc.

It will be the 26th straight UK-Florida game on national TV. ... Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale will call the game for ESPN.

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