What made the win so impressive was the Cats played without their top two point guards in Cason Wallace and Sahivr Wheeler due to injury. It certainly says a lot about this team to go on the road and get a Quad 1 win without your top floor general, especially one like Wallace, who’s been one of the best freshmen in college basketball and a potential lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
As for Wheeler, he’s expected to miss the next 2–3 weeks, so Kentucky can’t count on having him back soon.
If this Kentucky team is going to make noise in the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, they need Wallace, who suffered a leg injury in the second half of Wednesday’s home loss to Vanderbilt and did not return, then was inactive today.
Initially, the belief was the injury wasn’t serious and a return in the SEC Tournament was possible, if not likely.
However, following today’s win, head coach John Calipari said he has no idea if Wallace plays next week. But as our own Tristan Pharis points out, Calipari said he believed Wallace would play in Nashville during the pregame radio show.
John Calipari not wanting to give too much info on Cason Wallace when asked if he will be available for the SEC Tournament.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) March 4, 2023
"I have no idea. We may have a new point guard in Antonio."
Likely some gamesmanship. Prior to the game, he said he believed Cason will be ready by then.
Thankfully, Kentucky is locked into the NCAA Tournament, so there’s no concern about needing to win next week to get into the Big Dance. It’s hard to see Kentucky winning more than a game or two in Nashville if Wallace sits, but the No. 1 priority should be having him as healthy as possible when the NCAA Tournament begins.
Wallace will have had over a week to recover before Kentucky’s first game next Friday, so perhaps that’s enough to get him close to 100%. If he’s out, senior guards Antonio Reeves and CJ Fredrick will continue to play more at the point.