UK Men's Basketball

Calipari: LSU and Tennessee give UK its toughest two-game test

John Calipari says this will be UK’s toughest stretch

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks to the media about UK’s upcoming game with LSU on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Then on Saturday, the Wildcats play host to No. 1-ranked Tennessee.
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Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks to the media about UK’s upcoming game with LSU on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Then on Saturday, the Wildcats play host to No. 1-ranked Tennessee.

Five takeaways from Kentucky’s media availability previewing Tuesday’s game against LSU:

John Calipari said this week’s games against No. 19 LSU Tuesday and No. 1 Tennessee Saturday represent the toughest two-game stretch of Kentucky’s season. Tougher than No. 18 North Carolina and No. 15 Louisville in an eight-day span in late December. And tougher than No. 12 Auburn, No. 22 Mississippi State and No. 10 Kansas in an eight-day span in late January.

Calipari downplayed the notion of an exciting point guard matchup between UK’s Ashton Hagans and LSU’s Tremont Waters. He said that Hagans might guard Waters only on a limited basis.

LSU has repeatedly rallied from double-digit deficits in recent games. Calipari said this shows that the Tigers are not afraid.

Calipari has said repeatedly that he wants players to be prepared to shoot before receiving the ball. Exceptions can be made. Tyler Herro said he had to improvise with one dribble and launch on his big three-pointer late in the Mississippi State game because he only got the ball on a deflection with the shot clock dwindling down to a few seconds.

When asked how it felt to be 60 years old (his birthday was Sunday), Calipari said he received about 50 messages telling him it was only a number. Calipari said he felt good and felt blessed.

Kentucky freshman guard Immanuel Quickley talks about the matchup with LSU point guard Tremont Waters on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at Rupp Arena. Quickley backs up UK starter Ashton Hagans. Waters leads LSU in scoring.

Kentucky takes on LSU on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. UK freshman Tyler Herro said Monday he knows Javonte Smart, Emmitt Willams and Naz Reid of the Tigers. He’s confident PJ Washington can guard Reid, a 6-foot-10 forward who can shoot.

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