After Kevin Galloway seemingly came out of a witness protection program to spark Kentucky's victory over Florida last week, fans and media speculated that he might not play at all in the next game.
So is the reading of Coach Billy Gillispie's against-the-grain substitution pattern.
Sure enough, Galloway played three forgettable minutes at Arkansas.
During a news conference on Monday, Gillispie explained.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
"I do it for a reason: try to win," the UK coach said. "Our players have bought into that. That's the most important thing. They understand some day things go a little better for you individually, but that doesn't ever supercede what's important to the team."
Gillispie noted that other perimeter players like Ramon Harris, Michael Porter and Darius Miller played well at Arkansas and needed to stay on the floor.
Then he playfully mentioned one other UK player who did remarkably well at Arkansas. "Whoever does get upset (about Galloway's playing time), I don't think they want me to take Jodie (Meeks) out," Gillispie said.
Galloway volunteered to go in the Arkansas game with less than a minute remaining, a gesture that Gillispie suggested showed agreement with the team-first approach.
"Galloway was great on Tuesday night," he said. "Then other guys were a little better on Saturday.
"We'll see what happens from here on out."
Gillispie made it sound unlikely that Patterson will make a major impact at Vandy, if he plays at all.
Patterson, who sat out the game at Arkansas as he nurses a sprained right ankle, practiced a little on Monday. "A few minutes," the UK coach said. "I was expecting him to do more."
On the bright side, being sidelined has given Patterson's injured finger time to heal.
Gillispie said a trainer's report had the time off as "very, very helpful" in the healing process. Patterson will wear a bandage that is less cumbersome.
Both coaches downplayed the significance of Vandy's 93-52 victory over UK in Nashville last season. That was the most lopsided conference loss in UK history.
"I have a short-term memory on that kind of thing," Gillispie said. "What good would it do?"
When asked what he remembered about the game, Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said, "That we won. That's the thing I remember most. But that doesn't help us this year, unfortunately."
Gillispie saluted Vandy, saying, "They could have beaten anybody in the country by a large margin that night. They were unbelievable, one of the best performances I've ever seen."
Meeks masks issues
Jodie Meeks' scoring splurges can mask areas that need improvement.
"No question," Gillispie said. "I mean, you can be fooled into thinking because a guy makes as many points as he's made, that you really played well. Sometimes you have. Sometimes you haven't."
Cats will see Ogilvy this time
Because of his foot injury, Vandy played without sophomore center A.J. Ogilvy in Lexington. He's been ill in recent weeks, but seems to be rounding into form. Ogilvy has scored double-digit points in the last three games.
Ogilvy had a career-high five assists at Auburn on Jan. 31 and blocked a season-high four shots against Alabama on Feb. 5.
"His productivity is like three or four other guys on the team: It's critical to our success," Stallings said recently. "If he doesn't provide it for that position, we don't tend to get it."
Beauty and the beast
The game brings the possibility of another beauty-and-the-beast moment featuring ESPN sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards and Gillispie.
In their last two halftime exchanges (at Mississippi and against Florida), Gillispie played the contrarian rather than simply answering Edwards' questions.
Edwards, who never dropped her professional guard, said ESPN bases the decision on which coach to interview solely on what happens in the first half.
The SEC coaches are not contractually obligated to stop for the interview, but are expected to cooperate.
Gillispie tabbed the benches on the end line as a "major advantage" for Vandy. UK's relative inexperience at point guard accentuates that advantage, he said. ... Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes will call the game.