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Friday Headlines: Cason Wallace Watch Edition

Kentucky needs their star point guard back asap.

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NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky basketball fans felt their hearts stop on Wednesday night when star point guard Cason Wallace limped to the locker room early in the second half of the team’s game against Vanderbilt.

Wallace suffered an apparent leg injury and didn’t return, leading to more concern for both his status moving forward as well as what the team’s success will be as the postseason nears.

Kentucky didn’t play well against Vanderbilt and a poor offensive performance cost the Wildcats in a 68-66 defeat. John Calipari’s team now has a must-win game at Arkansas on Saturday if the Wildcats want to secure the No. 3 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament.

So, will they have Wallace back from injury by then? Oscar Tshiebwe seems to think so.

“Yes, I went and checked on him a little bit. I went and checked on him with the trainer,” the star center told reporters. “He should be good, he should be good. I am not supposed to give too much information out there [laughs]. … That makes me feel good (Wallace’s X-rays came back negative). I know he’s good, I know he’s good. He’ll be ready.”

Kentucky has lost Sahvir Wheeler for an extended period of time without a specific return date in sight. CJ Fredrick returned from injury against Auburn and played even more minutes against Vanderbilt, but it’s still doubtful that he’s playing at 100%. Adou Thiero has provided quality minutes in a new role, but he’s not seen the amount of playing time nor is he the complete two-way player Wallace is.

The Wildcats have a depth problem in their backcourt and it’s essential that Wallace is able to return sooner than later. Without him, Kentucky probably doesn’t have the legs to Thursday-Sunday if they hope to make an appearance in the SEC Tournament.

In the two weeks before their recent loss to Vanderbilt, Kentucky had really hit their stride. Four quad one wins and (for the most part) by convincing margins. So the team’s loss earlier this week could just be the team had an incredibly cold night shooting the basketball and that’s it. Or it could be the same rollercoaster we’ve seen from Kentucky all season.

Time will certainly tell, but there’s no doubt that Wallace gives Kentucky the best chance to win moving forward and into the postseason.

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