UK Men's Basketball

Five takeaways from John Calipari’s comments previewing Louisville game

John Calipari sees Louisville as another hard game

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks to the media on Friday as UK prepares to play in-state rival Louisville on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville. The Wildcats are 9-2 on the season. U of L is 9-3.
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Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks to the media on Friday as UK prepares to play in-state rival Louisville on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville. The Wildcats are 9-2 on the season. U of L is 9-3.

Five takeaways from Kentucky’s interview session on Friday heading into Saturday’s game at Louisville:

1. John Calipari dismissed the idea of being concerned about Kentucky having to play two “rivalry games” in a row. If UK had to play North Carolina and Louisville in a four-day period, there might be concern, he said. But a week between games eases that concern.

2. Louisville is good. Calipari pointed out that the last ranked team to play Louisville in the Yum Center was No. 9 Michigan State. U of L won that game 82-78 in overtime.

3. Reid Travis offered advice to his less experienced teammates about playing the first “true” road game of the season. Enjoy it, he said. Enjoy the big crowd and the emotional energy in the air.

4. Calipari said he’s still trying to figure out how to use EJ Montgomery. With Nick Richards playing well against UNC, Montgomery became the odd man out among UK’s four “bigs.” He played only two minutes against the Tar Heels. And Calipari said he did not feel comfortable playing Montgomery at the “three” spot against UNC.

5. Travis is playing more above the rim in recent games. Both Calipari and Travis cited the player’s diligence in workouts.

Saturday

No. 16 Kentucky at Louisville

When: 2 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1

Records: Kentucky 9-2, Louisville 9-3

Series: Kentucky leads 35-16

Last meeting: Kentucky won 90-61 on Dec. 29, 2017, in Lexington.

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