Kentucky Coach John Calipari all but predicted that Terrence Jones would bounce back from a seemingly indifferent performance the previous weekend.
Calipari also aimed for more roughhouse play from UK in its game against Chattanooga on Saturday night.
Although Kentucky rolled to an 87-62 victory, Calipari made it sound like he went O-for-2 as a prophet.
As at Indiana, Jones got little done. He again took only three shots and grabbed only one rebound. This time, he missed on all three shots, perhaps because he dislocated a finger on his shooting hand early in the game.
Calipari declined a request to judge Jones play.
I couldnt tell, he said. But he tried to play. I have to give him credit. He tried to come back and fight.
Calipari said Jones is day-to-day and did not know whether the sophomore would be able to play Tuesday night against Samford.
Freshman Anthony Davis, the other half of Kentuckys double threat on the front line, more than compensated. He scored 14 points, grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and again threatened to become only the second UK player to record a triple-double. He blocked five shots.
We cant go where he goes, Chattanooga Coach John Shulman said of Davis. We had a great first possession and then they throw it 13 feet high (for a Davis dunk). We dont get to see a lot of that in the Southern Conference, thank God.
Each of UKs freshmen set a career high.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist handed out a career-high six assists to go along with 17 points and eight rebounds. Kyle Wiltjer, who had four three-pointers all season, made three from beyond the arc. Marquis Teague equaled a career high of eight assists and committed only one turnover in 30 minutes.
Despite the gaudy numbers, Calipari griped about how he saw Chattanooga push UK around, a tactic he predicted many other opponents will use.
We had some guys who ran for the hills, the UK coach said. You have to want it to be rough.
Shulman, a friend since facing Caliparis Memphis team in Puerto Rico in 2008-09, suggested that the UK coachs laments were a ploy to keep a talented team striving.
Hes a liar, a smiling Shulman said of Calipari. Hes trying to find something he can kill his guys for. . . . Hes got to keep those guys going. Hes going to find something to blast them about.
Good defense and some semblance of roughhouse play propelled Kentucky to a 39-23 halftime lead.
Despite giving up 5 inches and 45 pounds, Teague ripped a ball out of Chattanooga forward Jared Bryants hands.
Later in the half, Darius Miller became only the third UK player to draw a charge. He followed Jones (three) and Doron Lamb (one).
Davis twice tried to draw a charge. But the referees called blocking both times.
Still, Calipari found UK lacking the necessary toughness to excel this season. When asked if roughhouse play can be instilled, the UK coach said, If they want to win, theyll figure it out.
Kentucky scored the games first 13 points, didnt allow Chattanooga to hit the rim in the first 90 seconds, and never trailed. Chattanooga didnt score until the 16:11 mark and made only eight of 32 first-half shots. By making only a third of their shots, the Mocs became the eighth UK opponent in 10 games to shoot no better than 38 percent.
Jones had little to do with the fun. Until the 2:40 mark of the first half, he had only one rebound and one shot (a miss), plus a finger injury to show for himself. He finished the half with three misses (one an air ball), one rebound and two turnovers in eight minutes.
His turnovers came on back-to-back possessions: stripped as he started a drive and then having his pass out of the post intercepted. On the second, Calipari sent Kidd-Gilchrist to the scorers table to replace Jones with 7:53 left in the first half.
Oddly, UK shot only two free throws in the half: Kidd-Gilchrist made one and missed one with 42.3 seconds left.
As the second half began, Kentucky extended is lead to as much as 21 points.
Jones began the half on the bench, entering the game at the 16:28 mark. Seventeen seconds later, Lamb hit a floater to put UK ahead 53-32.
Less than a minute later, Chattanoogas Drazen Zlovaric outjumped Jones for the rebound of a Teague three-point miss.
Jones left the game holding his left hand with 14:20 left.
His replacement, Wiljter, had not made a three-pointer since the Radford game on Nov. 23. But his second and third of the game extended Kentuckys lead to 64-37. That inspired a standing ovation when Chattanooga called timeout with 12:54 left.
Im glad I ain't him for the next week, the Chattanooga coach said of Jones. He needs to hurry up and play.
Shulman suggested fans shouldnt worry about Jones.
Id suggest everybody love on him a little bit, the Chattanooga coach said. Hell be fine.