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Calipari expects another war at Vanderbilt to start SEC play

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari shared a few thoughts on opening SEC play with a game at Vanderbilt Thursday and home game with Texas A&M Saturday on today’s SEC teleconference.

“On the road at Vandy (on Thursday), always a tough game. They’re a team that’s going to run their stuff and shoot threes. And Texas A&M (home on Saturday), it will be our first opportunity to play against them and really have an idea of how they’re going to play, but Billy (Kennedy) does a great job. Gonna be two hard games for our team,” said Calipari. “We’re starting four freshmen now. We’ve gone through some grueling workouts to try to see what we’re about and where we are. The only thing I can tell you is we still have a long way to go.”

One media member asked Calipari if he might mention avenging last year’s SEC Tournament title game loss to Vanderbilt. The answer is one I can believe.

“They guys I’m coaching may not even know that game happened to be honest with you,” Calipari said. “I’ve watched all three games that we played with Vandy last year just to touch up on how we played them, how they played us. All three games were wars. We happened to win two; we could’ve lost all three – or we could’ve won all three. But they were wars, and so I expect nothing less than that going up (to Nashville). I imagine it’ll be sold out, be a great crowd.

“For us right now, we’re worrying about the process. We’re worrying about our effort. We’re worrying about us playing together, and execution and mental discipline, and let the other stuff take care of itself. We’re so far from, ‘Gotta win this game, gotta win that game.’ We’re just trying to be the best team in the gym that we’re playing in. That’s all we’re worried about right now.”

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12 comments

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  1. Larry Pup

    Every sec game is a war.

  2. Kokamo Joe

    Vandy has lost 6 games, including a loss to Middle Tennessee. They have beaten such teams as Nicholis State, UTEP, Alabama A and M, and Cornell. Calipari was blowing coach speak. We are better than Vandy, way better. In fact we are far better than all SEC teams except Florida and Missouri. We get Florida late in the season and I expect the Cats to be cooking by then. They may get us at Florida, but no way is Florida beating UK in Rupp. We play Missouri one time and that is in Rupp.

    The SEC has historically been UK’s to dominate and it is weaker than ever this year. Some may not want to admit that, perhaps thinking that beating weaker teams is a slur on UK, but I don’t see it that way. If you are way better than everyone else, don’t deny it, enjoy it.

    If UK can’t beat Vandy this year, then the Cats are far less than we think. Not going to happen. UK by 20.

  3. TheProfessor

    For those that may not remember, the following list of numbers are the final game margins for the 8 UK games on the road in the SEC last season. No, every SEC game is not a war for a UK team that is playing well. Some SEC road games are going to be a war each year. The SEC road venues that are going to present those wars also varies year to year depending on the quality of those specific teams. If the game at Vanderbilt ends up close Thursday night, it will be because the UK team did not show up to perform.

    34
    24
    15
    15
    13
    9
    6
    3

    Perhaps 1 or 2 SEC home games could be a war in a given season. But the vast majority of SEC home games for a UK team are not wars either. This list is the final margin for UK in their 8 SEC home games last year.

    30
    25
    23
    20
    15
    15
    9
    6

    This week, teams in the SEC will begin to learn where they really rank, relative to one another, and Vanderbilt is going to begin to figure out that it does not stack up very well in the SEC this year.

    1. Larry Pup

      I hope you are right Professor. Different team this year though. I say war because we need every win we can get.

      1. TheProfessor

        Yes, a different team, but last year went 16-0, and this team is not likely to run the SEC table.

  4. Jim Boyers

    Yeah, this is going to be a war. A war Calipari will have to wage against the total boredom his team will need to stave off in the second half of this game. UK will be up by so much that they will lose interest.

    UK by at least 20.

  5. Larry Pup

    Hope you are right Jim. I don’t count em until we win em.

  6. LindaS

    Vandy is so desperate they are handing out NCAA Commemorative rings…they can’t get one of their own.

    1. Karen Sprinkle

      Actually, Vandy is handing out replicas of their SEC Tournament championship rings.

      1. Karen Sprinkle

        ….to the first XX number of fans and the first XX number of students through the gates. Given that there are tickets available for face value on Ticketmaster, I wonder how many of those “first fans through the gates” might be UK fans. Chuckling just thinking about it, although I’m sure Digger Phelps would scold me for that.

  7. LindaS

    I bet that is what it is, but I saw a pic and it looked like an NCAA ring and that is what the caption said too. Thanks, Karen, I didn’t want to think they were doing that.

  8. LindaS

    Just looked at it again, had an NCAA ring below it and I got confused! LOL Blonde moment.

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