Unlike most John Calipari-coached teams, this year’s roster has six seniors on it: Antonio Reeves, Brennan Canada, CJ Fredrick, Jacob Toppin, and Oscar Tshiebwe (Sahvir Wheeler will not take part in tonight’s ceremony due to a minor procedure).
Reeves, Toppin and Tshiebwe are all healthy and have been playing big minutes this season. Fredrick was able to return from a lingering injury on Saturday vs. Auburn, but Wheeler has remained sidelined with his own bugging injury.
Canada has only played in eight minutes this season across a total of four games.
Calipari did mention on his weekly radio show that he would start five seniors, so look for Tshiebwe, Canada, Reeves, Toppin, and Fredrick to get the starting nod tonight.
Kentucky’s first matchup against Vanderbilt came just over a month ago when the Wildcats beat the Commodores, 69-53. However, Kentucky followed up that performance with a 2-3 record over their next five games — including their crumbling loss to Georgia.
This is a new Kentucky team, though, as they’ve won four straight games since that Georgia loss. All four of those wins have been Quad 1 victories, too.
In fact, the Wildcats have been so impressive over the last two weeks that they’re now back in the Associated Press Top 25 rankings at No. 23.
In regards to the postseason, a win tonight would lock up the No. 3 seed for Kentucky in next week’s SEC Tournament. That No. 3 seed seemed like something that was impossible just a few weeks ago, but recent success against Tennessee and Auburn has turned things around for the Wildcats.
A win over Vanderbilt also gives Kentucky more momentum heading into their clash with Arkansas on Saturday. The Wildcats were run off their home court back in early February, so a redemption win would have to feel pretty good as the regular season comes to a close.
Tonight’s tip-off vs. Vanderbilt is scheduled for 7 pm ET with coverage on the SEC Network.
Tweet of the Day
Updated NET rankings has UofL at No. 308, which still makes it a Quad 4 win for Kentucky.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) February 28, 2023
This is nice.
From the seniors running through paper hoops featuring their pictures to the signing of My Old Kentucky Home, it’s a stirring moment that creates memories of a lifetime.
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Is he right?
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They’ll need him to come up big this postseason.
Blue Devils are 22-8 on the season.
Keep em’ coming.
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