It looks like Derek Willis is indeed close to making his much-anticipated return.
John Calipari revealed Monday that the junior forward was back practicing and looking to return this week, though Willis isn't expected to play Tuesday night vs the Florida Gators.
Then again, watching Willis during shootaround today does offer a small glimmer of hope that he'll be able to suit up tonight and play if needed.
Bigs getting physical on one end, the guards working on their touch. Just another game-day shootaround on the road. pic.twitter.com/yszQeDXozJ— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 1, 2016
There was also a Periscope video that showed more of Willis in action if the video is still up.
This one particular part where Willis runs, catches a pass and goes up with contact is really encouraging to see:
Given, it's not quite game-like intensity, but is good to see none the less and does bode well for his chances of playing in the home finale against the LSU Tigers. Just seeing him out of the walking boot is a great development.
One other note that may have no relation to Willis playing tonight: The latest odds for tonight's game have Kentucky as a 4-point favorite, which is a bit surprising to meet given UK's road struggles without Willis. Now if Willis were playing tonight, that 4-point line makes perfect sense to me...