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John Calipari praises Jordan Burks for stepping up vs. No. 1 Kansas

The freshman forward impressed against the No. 1 team in college basketball.

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Jordan Burks Isamu Haynes-Sunayama - A Sea Of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats fell to the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday night, but the overall performance impressed many across college basketball circles.

With Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard shining under the bright lights, it was another freshman who received some huge praise from John Calipari.

Jordan Burks has been inserted into a backup center role for the Cats as they wait for the return of Aaron Bradshaw, Ugonna Onyenso, and Zvonimir Ivisic. He played that role in Chicago and finished the game with the highest +\- of anyone seeing time for the Cats that night, at +19.

“Jordan Burks was really good,” Calipari said during postgame interviews. “Whatever minutes he had, he was a plus-19. And it was all based on energy and effort, all of those kinds of things.

“Jordan was a plus-19. You look at Jordan and say, ‘Why was that?’ He just played with unbelievable effort. He changed the game. He and this guy here, Reed. They walked in, and the game changed. We’ve got a good group.”

Burks was the leading scorer the past season at OTE, as he thrives in the wing role. Listed as a guard on the Kentucky roster, it is obvious that John Calipari likes what he is seeing from him early, and one can assume he will continue to see some minutes once the roster is back to full strength.

For now, he is thriving and making an impact early. Let’s hope this continues and becomes a reliable contributor in a season for a frontcourt that desperately needs it.