Kahlil Whitney is the definition of toughness.
The freshman forward for the Kentucky Wildcats dislocated his finger during the Wildcats’ close win over Utah Valley on Monday night, then proceeded by continuing to play with the injury.
Then, Whitney casually popped his finger back into place and gave his bench the thumbs up.
What made this even more impressive was it came with under three minutes left and Kentucky up by one. After Whitney missed a shot at the rim, he came down on his hand and dislocated his finger, then came back the other way to fight for a rebound that went off the Wolverines.
Kahlil Whitney gutted through a dislocated finger to make a game-saving play: pic.twitter.com/8WbJywMkus— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) November 19, 2019
While head coach John Calipari decided to pull his star freshman anyway, it should really build the hype for Big Blue Nation that Whitney clearly brings a hard-nosed toughness to the team. Clearly, after an embarrassing loss to Evansville last Tuesday and a narrow win over Utah Valley tonight, Kentucky desperately needs some intensity on the defensive side of the ball.
Forget offensive chemistry, especially considering how Kentucky’s elite speed/athleticism can lead to easy buckets in transition.
Calipari talked to the team about the play Whitney fought for a rebound with dislocated finger, then popped it back in and tried to keep playing. "Think about that." Clearly loved the toughness.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 19, 2019
(He failed to answer my question about Whitney status moving forward.)
As Kyle Tucker as The Athletic noted, Whitney’s status is unknown as the team’s schedule unravels. With Kentucky set to play St. Mary’s on Friday night, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see the freshman miss that matchup.
With Whitney now banged up, he joins Ashton Hagans, EJ Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley as Wildcats who are banged up. As the week unfolds, we should find out more on the team’s injuries.