This will be the first Power 5 foe UK has faced since Game 1 vs. Michigan State, so it will be a good test for the Cats as the schedule really heats up with upcoming games vs. Ohio State and Louisville.
On Friday, head coach John Calipari met with the media to preview the Yellow Jackets and update the status of his team.
Unfortunately, several Wildcats will be out Saturday, as Nate Sestina continues to recover from wrist surgery, while Dontaie Allen is still getting used to his new teammates and the college game after not practicing for 11 months following ACL surgery and a broken collarbone.
Calipari gave a brief update on Allen, saying the freshman is still “a ways away” from playing in games. Calipari added that Allen practices some but then needs a few days off to recover, so we probably shouldn’t expect to see him this month.
Calipari did not speak on Sestina, but he did give an update during his call-in show earlier this week, saying the grad transfer is progressing but isn’t even certain to play vs. Louisville in two weeks.
“He has a small cast, but I think he’s still a week away from taking that off to see how he feels,” Calipari said. “I don’t know (if he’ll return for the Louisville game). Have no idea.”
One more injury to note is Ben Jordan, who suffered a head injury last week that sidelined him vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, and he’s remained out of practice this week. While Jordan isn’t playing in games, he has been a valuable practice body for UK’s thin frontcourt.
While UK will have already played a daunting schedule when the calendar turns to 2020, there’s no question their biggest opponent right now is the injury bug.