By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky freshman point guard Quade Green has missed the last three games with a back injury and it’s still not clear if he will play Saturday night when UK hosts Florida.
Kentucky coach John Calipari said today Green will be a game-time decision. He’s been out with a back injury suffered in UK’s loss at Tennessee.
“Be nice if he could give us some minutes just so Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] can sit out five minutes a half or so, but we’ll see,” Calipari said Friday.
South Carolina coach Frank Martin said after his team’s win over Kentucky Tuesday that the Cats (14-4, 4-2 SEC) were a “different” team with Green.
So what is missing when he cannot play?
“One more perimeter shooter, one more guy that can make baskets. He leads, he talks — he’s one of the most talkative guys — so it has affected us,” Calipari said.
Gilgeous-Alexander had to play 39 minutes against both Texas A&M and Vanderbilt with Green out but then got in early foul trouble at South Carolina. He had six turnovers, six points and no assists in 28 minutes.
Freshman center Nick Richards knows Gilgeous-Alexander will be glad to have Green back.
“We both love Shai and Quade. They’re both equally as important to us. So, I would say there are moments in the game when Shai is tired and there’s no one off the bench to help him get a rest,” Richards said.