By LARRY VAUGHT
LOUISVILLE — De’Aaron Fox had no excuses.
The freshman guard had a team-high 21 points for Kentucky in Wednesday’s 73-70 loss to Louisville. He was 7-for-15 from the field but only 1-for-3 from 3-point range and 6-for-10 at the foul line. He also had more turnovers — 4 — than assists — 3 — in 34 minutes.
“They’re long, athletic, they blocked shots at the rim, over the rim. They played well today. They defended like we thought they would and they just came out with the win. They made big plays. They rebounded like we thought they would. They made a big rebound at the end of the game and got two points, put them up three, and we had to take a three (that Malik Monk misses),” said Fox after the game.
As good as the atmosphere was in the Yum Center, Fox said it did not rattle the Cats.
“If they were, they didn’t show it. We kept it close. You try to do that with a top-10 team on their court. They just made big plays,” Fox said.
What about possible fatigue from playing in Las Vegas Saturday against North Carolina?
“I can’t speak for everybody, but for me, we flew back in right after the (North Carolina) game. We had some days, had practices. For me, it didn’t play into it at all,” Fox said.
Calipari indicated that he probably played Fox too many minutes, but the freshman said he was fine.
Louisville junior guard Quentin Snider made 10 of 19 shots and had a game-high 22 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals (he had just one in 11 previous games this year). Often it was Fox defending Snider.
“I knew Q just because I was recruited by (Louisville), so I got to know the guys on my visit. I know most of the team. He had a big game. He had a big game today. He hit shots, he controlled the team. He basically controlled the pace of the whole game and made big plays,” Fox said.