Five takeaways from media interviews previewing Kentucky’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday night:
1. Assistant coach Joel Justus, who substituted for John Calipari, called Reid Travis “the ultimate professional” in the approach to rehabilitating the right knee he sprained at Missouri a week ago. But no one spoke of Travis playing against Arkansas.
2. Much talk centered on a new unofficial statistic: rebound attempts. Justus acknowledged that there is subjectivity involved in determining a rebound attempt. Video must be watched and re-watched to make a determination at times.
3. Arkansas comes to Rupp Arena on a five-game losing streak. This will not affect UK’s preparation, Justus said. The losses are a reflection of how good SEC basketball is this season, and not a reflection of Arkansas being a struggling team, he said.
4. Coaches have not used the fact that Louisville is an NCAA Tournament regional site as a motivational tool, Justus said. He added that the players probably did not even know how many teams play in the NCAA Tournament. When asked that question, EJ Montgomery answered correctly: 68.
5. Justus admitted that he spends time on Twitter. He said Twitter and tennis shoes were “my two vices.” He said it was a big day when Calipari began following his Twitter account.
Arkansas at No. 4 Kentucky
When: 9 p.m.
TV: SEC Network
Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1
Records: Arkansas 14-13 (5-9 SEC), Kentucky 23-4 (12-2)
Series: Kentucky leads 31-11
Last meeting: Kentucky won 87-72 on Feb. 20, 2018, in Rupp Arena.