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Tony Barbee has ‘never seen a more competitive group’ at UK

Barbee also revealed who the team’s hardest worker is.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Kentucky’s exhibition against San Lorenzo De Almagro was derailed by the power going out in the Imperial Arena, but Kentucky’s players didn’t care. They still wanted to play.

Assistant coach Tony Barbee said that is a perfect example of how much this team wants to compete.

“They love to compete. In the four plus years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen a more competitive group,” Barbee told KSR. “They compete in practice against each other almost to the point of fighting but it’s a good competitive. It’s just their spirit and they get along off the floor, but when they get a chance to compete against somebody, they’re playing to win.”

It didn’t matter if the lighting was bad, or if they could even score. Kentucky players were going to finish the game one way or another, as they made the call to keep playing when given the option to continue the game or settle with a 45-27 win.

That would have been nice, but instead, they went back to work and ended up with an even more impressive 91-68 win.

During the broadcast of Thursday’s game, Dan Dakich said Barbee told him that Tyler Herro was the hardest worker on the team. That would help explain how good he’s been in the Bahamas, scoring 38 points on 13/21 shooting.

Don’t just take Barbee’s word for it. The 40 minutes on the court in adverse conditions and poor lighting didn’t fill the appetite for a few of them. Quade Green, PJ Washington, Tyler Herro, Immanuel Quickley, Jemarl Baker and Keldon Johnson all got out on the floor after the game, and were shooting around at 11:30 p.m.

The season hasn’t even started yet, but this team appears to be full of gym rats, and that competitive drive could be a huge factor for the Cats to fulfill their expectations.