The Kentucky Wildcats saw Zvonimir Ivisic make his collegiate debut Saturday vs. Georgia, leaving the roster nearly at full strength for the first time all season.
Will we see it reach 100% strength this week vs. South Carolina and/or Arkansas?
In order for that to happen, Adou Thiero must make his return after not playing since December 21st due to a back issue.
Following Kentucky’s win over Georgia, head coach John Calipari revealed that Thiero had resumed workouts.
Then on Monday, Calipari posted a picture of the team practicing, and Thiero was spotted in full uniform.
Congressman Barr stopped by practice with his two daughters, Eleanor and Mary Clay. It gave me a chance to thank him in front of Z for his hard work in getting the visa. Our own Eric King also enlisted the help of Senator McConnell’s office. It was amazing we were able to get him… pic.twitter.com/LY09IPkKa4— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 22, 2024
While Kentucky’s offense is still humming even without Thiero, the defense and rebounding have continued to be issues, two areas he does well in.
The sophomore guard is currently second on the team in rebounds at 5.6 per game, and that’s playing in just 22.9 minutes per contest. Thiero is also hitting 76% of his free throws, so he’s someone Kentucky can go to in crunch time to help close out tight games.
And we can’t forget about Thiero’s performances in Kentucky’s biggest games. Against Kansas, he racked up 16 points and 13 boards (six offensive) in 31 minutes.
Then against North Carolina, Thiero chipped in seven points, four blocks, two assists, and one rebound in 16 minutes.
That kind of production would be a welcome sight for a Kentucky team currently ranked 286th in points allowed per game (77.2) and 230th in offensive boards allowed per contest (9.2).