The Kentucky Wildcats rolled to a 78-66 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday night. It was also their second straight game without Sahvir Wheeler, who went down with a neck injury against the LSU Tigers last week.
Without Wheeler, TyTy Washington took over the point guard duties and led the Cats to back-to-back wins and broke the single-game assist record with 17 against the Georgia Bulldogs.
While it is great to see that this team can still play at a high level with Washington running the point and having that option which adds a new dimension to this team, it’s still important that they get Wheeler back sooner rather than later, if for no other reason than he’s Kentucky’s best backcourt defender.
During his coaches show on Wednesday night, head coach John Calipari gave an update on Wheeler, saying that he seems to be getting better and has been working out on his own. He will have two days to practice to see if he can play Saturday against Tennessee.
UK coach John Calipari says Sahvir Wheeler seems to be getting better. Has been working out on his own. Has two days to practice and see where he is. "Nice to know we can play without him, but his disruptiveness on both sides of the ball" is important to Cats.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) January 12, 2022
Calipari added, “Nice to know we can play without him, but his disruptiveness on both sides of the ball” is important for the success of this Kentucky team.
The Cats will face off against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday at 1 pm ET on ESPN. The Vols get a large chunk of their scoring from guards Santiago Vescovi (13.6 ppg) and Kennedy Chandler (13.4 ppg), so having Wheeler’s backcourt defense may very well be the key to winning Saturday, which would also be Kentucky’s first victory over a top 25 team this season.
Here’s to hoping Wheeler is ready to rock come tipoff Saturday.