It’s never easy when the Kentucky Wildcats head down to Knoxville for a matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers. Even the Cal era hasn’t produced the type of record that UK fans have become accustomed to seeing against SEC opponents.
But things may be a little easier for Kentucky tomorrow, as UT may be without one of their key players in the backcourt.
6-6 freshman guard Josiah-Jordan James has been sidelined for the last two games with some form of hip/groin injury. His status for tomorrow’s game is still uncertain.
After the Vols beat Alabama on Tuesday night, head coach Rick Barnes provided this update on James’ injury.
“We didn’t practice much the past couple days, If he wasn’t hurt, he could have done what we did.” Barnes said. “We didn’t even go live on Sunday. We didn’t go live on Monday. He wasn’t able to do any of it.”
Three days have passed since Barnes made that statement, and James did not practice Thursday, according to Knoxnews.com. It seems that even if James is able to go on Saturday, it’s unlikely he will be at full strength.
No additional information was provided Friday, so it will be interesting to see if he can log any minutes against the Wildcats.
The Charleston (SC) native is a critical part of this Volunteer team, especially his outside shooting presence. James is shooting a team-best 36% from behind the arc while snatching 5.7 boards per game, which is second on the team.
There is no denying that it will be a big loss for Rick Barnes’ team if he is absent for the 1 pm tip-off inside Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee is 13-9 on the season and 5-4 in conference play. It’s always a big deal when the Cats come to Knoxville. But this year, the Vols desperately need a signature win for their postseason hopes and are sure to be fired up for this one.