The Cats were able to come away with the 66-55 win over the Tide in the first meeting, but they were at full strength.
This time, many wonder if TyTy Washington will be able to play. Washington initially injured his lower left leg last Saturday against Florida.
Washington gave it a go on Tuesday against Tennessee, but he was clearly not 100% and tweaked his injury again early in the second half, leading to him sitting out the rest of the game.
However, the injury concerns may go further than Washington.
During his Friday press conference, Calipari said Kentucky could be without 2-3 players for Saturday’s contest.
“We’ll see. I don’t know. I haven’t been at practice yet, so we could be a couple down. Two or three down. I don’t know yet.”
Sahvir Wheeler appeared to injure his wrist late in the loss to Tennessee, while Jacob Toppin played while battling an ankle injury.
During his radio show on Wednesday, Calipari explained that the most important thing for March is that this team is healthy and that may mean sitting some players a couple of games to be at full strength for the NCAA Tournament.
He elaborated on that during his Friday press conference.
“If they need to sit, they need to sit, and then I’ll figure it out. It’s not resting them. It’s that they’re not capable of playing at 100% and why would you do that? To win one more game? To improve your seeding?
“Well, it’s about them. So, the decision was not...with TyTy, my gut said not to play him, because he didn’t seem right. At halftime, when I grabbed him, I said, ‘Why don’t you sit out. Are you okay?’ I said, ‘Listen. If I see you limping at all, I’m taking you out and that’s it.’
“These kids want to play so bad, so there are times as a coach you’ve got to make decisions that are in their best interest for them. Sometimes you’ve got to. And then it’s next man up.”
Hopefully, the Cats are not down three players for Saturday’s matchup, but if they are then it will be next man up as they try to bounce back after their loss to Tennessee earlier this week.