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The latest on Jemarl Baker

Kentucky is still waiting on Jemarl Baker to play against an actual opponent.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats are getting set to host IUP in the final tuneup game before Tuesday’s clash with the Duke Blue Devils.

Kentucky had some promising moments in their exhibition debut against Transylvania, but it also left a lot to be desired from a team ranked No. 2 in the preseason polls, especially on the defensive end.

Thankfully, it’s just the start of a long season, so the Wildcats don’t need to be at their best right now competed to where they hope to be in March.

On Thursday, assistant coach Joel Justus met with the media to preview Friday’s exhibition game and give the latest on this Kentucky Basketball team.

The big news was Jemarl Baker, who missed last week’s exhibition game due to swelling in his surgically-repaired knee. Initially, John Calipari said it was a precautionary move and Baker was expected to return to practice over the weekend following Kentucky’s 94-66 win over Transylvania.

However, Justus said Thursday that Baker is still uncertain for Friday.

“He just kind of day-to-day. He’s working out. I’m not really sure kind of what his status is. He’s working hard and he’s getting better. When he’s ready, he’s ready.”

One big issue Kentucky had in their first exhibition game was a lack of three-point shooting, as they hit just one of 13 attempts. Baker was recruited to be a three-point specialist for Kentucky, but his inability to stay on the court has kept him from cracking the rotation.

Baker also missed the Bahamas trip due to swelling in that surgically-repaired knee. He has been practicing and even played in the Blue-White Game, so hopefully, this setback is nothing major. He missed all of last season and hardly practiced due to a knee procedure he had in the preseason.

Be sure to read our player preview of Baker.

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