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Upcoming opponents worry Calipari

Isaiah Briscoe helped coach Malik Monk Wednesday. (UK Athletics Photo) The University of Kentucky men's basketball team beat Cleveland State 101-70 on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, in Lexington's Rupp Arena. Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Isaiah Briscoe helped coach Malik Monk Wednesday. (UK Athletics Photo)
The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team beat Cleveland State 101-70 on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, in Lexington’s Rupp Arena.
Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky is  undefeated and ranked No. 1 going into tonight’s game against Tennessee-Martin. Just don’t think John Calipari is seeing a smooth road ahead for his team.

“Tennessee-Martin had Mississippi beat, lost by three. They won every other game. They’ve beaten all the teams here. They press, they trap, they drive the ball at every chance, and so we have that game,” Calipari said.

“Then you go to the following week and you think about who we’re about to face, bam, bam, bam. And it’s going to be a tough road. I think that Valpo just beat Alabama by eight. Valparaiso has a center that they tell me is an NBA player. He’s 6’9”, 250, absolutely a lock for the NBA. Big kid. Scoring 25 a game right now.

“So we have – look, we are where we are. Now, each game forward is going to get better and better. It’s exactly what you need before you get into league play.
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Kentucky freshman Malik Monk has been on a 3-point tear in recent games and he’s learned to take games one at a time.

“We just gotta focus. If we focus in before you’ll play just like you focus. I’m just trying to focus in before the game and get up game reps,” Monk said.

Calipari indicated after Wednesday’s win that sophomore Isaiah Briscoe might not be ready to play tonight against Tennessee-Martin. He missed Wednesday’s game because of a pulled back muscle and spent much of the game trying to help coach Monk and UK’s other freshmen.

“He was just being a coach. He was being an extra coach out there, telling us what Cal says or just lock in on defense, talk more, simple stuff like that,”  Monk said.

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