NASHVILLE — Camron Justice has not had the freshman season he hoped for at Vanderbilt but has no complaints about how things have gone going into his team’s game in the Southeastern Conference Tournament Thursday.
“It has been up and down. I have been injured and trying to get in rotation and provide a spark for the team,” said Justice, who led Knott County Central to four straight 14th Region championships during his Kentucky prep career.
He scored 3,588 points — third most in state history — was named Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky after averaging 28.5 points, 6.2 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. He was also named a McDonald’s and Parade All-American.
Justice, who averages about 10 minutes and 3.3 points per game this year, says the “level of intensity and competitiveness” in the SEC was somewhat of an adjustment. Same with playing Kentucky twice, including a game the Commodores won in Nashville.
“It was a definitely different being my home state after growing up and watching them my whole life and going to see them play,” Justice said Wednesday. “It was a good feeling. It was probably more special to my family and friends. As I get older, it will become more unique for me. Freshman year it was just more in the moment situation for me.”
He knows how UK fans follow the Wildcats, especially to the SEC Tournament. Kentucky opens play Friday night.
“They talk about that stuff and how good the BBN travels and stuff like that. It is definitely a unique fan base and situation. But it will be just another game if we do play them,” Justice said.
Of course, the only way the two teams could meet would be in Sunday’s title game.
“I have family and friends coming down. Nashville is kind of close to home. It will be cool to see all of them as well as the BBN fans. A lot of people will be in town, so I will get hit up a lot I am sure,” he said. “Hopefully I can have a good tournament.”