As John Calipari often says, March is the most important part of the season.
In his fourteenth season as the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats, Calipari is looking to win his first NCAA Tournament game since 2019 and is preparing his team for what is hopefully a long postseason run in the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.
That task would be much easier with a healthy roster, something the Wildcats have not had for over a month. For much of that time, CJ Fredrick (rib) and Sahvir Wheeler (ankle/tailbone) have been out. That issue was made worse when Cason Wallace suffered an ankle injury last week against Vanderbilt, leaving him out since.
On Monday, John Calipari provided an update on all three players on his call-in show. Calipari said that none of the three participated in practice, but noted that it was relatively easy and short, suggesting that they sat out for rest.
However, with only two practices remaining before the team travels to Nashville for the SEC Tournament, Calipari also said, “They’re gonna have to start practicing, you don’t just say ‘Okay, I’m ready for Friday.’”
Calipari says Cason, CJ, nor Sahvir practiced today.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) March 7, 2023
Says practice was about an hour, consisting of of film and adding some stuff the the game plan.
Adds, they have two more practices. Before the SEC Tournament. “You’re going to have to get on the floor at some point.”
Given Wheeler’s recovery time, it is safe to assume that he will be out. Whereas Fredrick will likely continue to play through his injury. What about Kentucky’s projected NBA lottery pick?
The Wildcats did beat Arkansas without Wallace this past weekend, but winning three games in three days is a much taller task. With that said, given the comments from those in and around the program, Wallace is expected to play.
On another note, it looks like the injury bug got to John Calipari too, who “turned” an ankle on Saturday. According to Calipari, he stepped on a player's foot due to limited court space, leading to his comical moment of yelling at the bench.
The injury bug has gotten to John Calipari now. Says he “turned an ankle”after stepping on a players foot on Sat.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) March 7, 2023
Provides some context on his coach’s box warning & his comical moment of yelling at the bench.
“I said move the bench back… sit back so I can stay off the floor.” pic.twitter.com/6CBSjdsWKw