Kentucky was able to beat No. 11 Florida at home Saturday without the services of De’Aaron Fox.
The star freshman point guard missed the game due to a bruised knee suffered in Tuesday’s win over Missouri. Even though the Cats were able to upend the Gators, it was clear they missed Fox early and often.
Kentucky committed 16 turnovers against the Gators, 12 of which coming in the first half when the Cats scored just 28 points. Thankfully, Malik Monk erupted for 30 points in the second half as Kentucky committed just four turnovers, but that’s not a formula that will win many games in March.
After the game, John Calipari was unable to give a definitive update on Fox and his status for next Tuesday’s clash with a surging Vanderbilt team.
“I have no idea,” Cal said of Fox’s availability vs the Tigers, adding, “I’m saying this, because if he had played, he would have been 70 percent. So what I’m saying is, I knew that. I really wanted us to play the game without him. For us and for him.”
Calipari didn’t seem too worried about Fox’s status, instead pointing out how he hopes the level of fight he has is like what the other Cats showed vs Florida.
“I like the fact that we fought,” Cal stated. “And I said for De’Aaron Fox, ‘hey man, when you come back, you better be to the level of these guys fighting. ‘That’s where you need to be.’”
I was able to watch Fox warm up for about an hour prior to Saturday’s win, and while he was able to stretch and shoot jumpers, he did so with a little hesitation, though he did not favor the injured knee, nor did he have a limp.
My guess is he plays Tuesday but is on a minutes restriction. The problem with a bruised knee is that it’s going to be weaker in general, so it will be easier to suffer a more significant injury, something Kentucky cannot afford.