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Knight: It will be ‘crazy’ if Cats have Kanter

By LARRY VAUGHT

Brandon Knight was especially glad to see senior Josh Harrellson get 26 rebounds in Tuesday’s Blue-White Game since Kentucky still does know not when, or if, it will have center Enes Kanter.

“It was very important that we rebound, especially Josh. He is one of our bigs and since we don’t know about Enes, we need Josh to be ready to play. It was big-time that he was able to get those boards. We all have to rebound. We don’t have a big monster in there without Enes. We have to gang rebound and fight and make sure we get those possessions,” Knight said.

Kanter wore a T-shirt with a picture of his favorite pro wrestler, the Undertaker, as he sat on the bench at Rupp Arena with coach John Calipari and watched his teammates play while he still awaits word from the NCAA on his eligibility. He did seem to like it when fans chanted, “Free Enes,” in the second half and briefly acknowledged what they were doing.

Knight says it is a “little bit tough” not knowing what will happen with Kanter.

“We think about it here and there, but we can’t really focus on it. We have to be ready to play if we don’t have him. We would love to have him. He’s our brother, but just in case, we have to be ready to play without him and if we do get him, it is going to be crazy. He will be a great addition to our team,” Knight said.

“We don’t think about the situation. It is out of our hands and we can’t control it. We just work hard with what we do have and hope that we will eventually have him. It was a little bit tough looking at him sitting over there and knowing he couldn’t play because we would love to have him and he would love to be playing.”

With or without Kanter, Knight likely will be UK’s team leader. He’s not overly vocal yet, but it is something he knows he must do to go along with his overall play. He had 37 points and eight rebounds in the Blue-White Game and seemed to never tire despite playing all 40 minutes because there were no substitutes.

“I think over time I will be a vocal leader. I think I am just trying to get more acquainted with the atmosphere and grow into it. I am a quiet guy and that is something I am trying to work on,” Knight said. “I became more vocal and comfortable tonight and it is something I have to get better at because coach (John) Calipari wants me to relay messages and be a leader on the court.”

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19 comments

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  1. LindaS

    What a great young man. Already a leader, already thinking about his team and already knowing what he needs to do. I like this young man a lot. He supports Enes and Josh, he has Josh’s back and is a big fan of Josh. I think Brandon is going to be one of the best ever to play at UK. If he stays long enough he will be a legend. GO CATS! FREE ENES, PLEASE! NEUTER THAMEL!

  2. Adam

    Knight will rank as one of UK’s all-time greatest PGs, even if he is only here for one season. He’s that good.

  3. King Ghidora

    It’s become very obvious the NCAA has no intention of actually clearing Kanter to play. After encouraging players from Europe to come to the USA to play college ball they will be lucky to have third string players from grade school teams sign to play here now. It looks to me like their hatred of all things UK has led them to choose to renig on their recruiting of Euro players. What a shame for the entire sport. I hope someone sues them over failing to keep their promises. I hope UK does it.

    I was optimistic about Kanter’s chances based on what Cal was telling us but at this point I figure it’s a lost cause. They would do anything to keep UK from being a powerhouse again this year. And I mean anything. Something is rotten in Indy besides the White River.

  4. ukcats2008

    I don’t know King Ghidora, I doubt all hope is lost. Remember, as of this day one year ago, John Wall hadn’t been cleared either. I would rather have them take their time and get it right, instead of finding something after the season and threatening to vacate games, or just having a knee-jerk reaction to declare him ineligible.

  5. bryan mceuen

    I stated earlier that the longer it takes for the NCAA make a decison the chances that Kanter won’t play for the cats,but i hope i’m wrong on this sitation

  6. Andy

    King,
    I agree with you that The NCAA is dragging its feet on this. Perhaps there are some last minute issues that need resolving. Kansas also has issues with Josh Selby not being cleared yet by the NCAA, so I think this could be a very deep and detailed investigation above the usual. I still am optimistic about his chances. If the NCAA denies kanter, then they would have dug themselves a huge PR hole, they will never get out of IMO. I would rather have them(NCAA) get it right than bungle it up, which seems to be there MO lately!!

  7. bigbluefans4uk.com

    If the NCAA is looking to do the popular thing with Kanter, they will determine that he is ineligible. That is the outcome that the vast majority of the college basketball world wants, and the NCAA’s fallout from such a decision would be minimal, and basically limited to fall out from the BBN. If they rule that Kanter is eligible, the cry will come from far and wide, including from all the usual suspects like Louisville, but from the SEC schools that must play against Kanter 1 or 2 times this season.

    The rumors continue to swirl. Today alone, I have read that the decision will be next week, and he will be eligible, and that he won’t be eligible. Last week, Larry suggested that we might hear something this week. A few weeks ago, some of my sources said that the decision would come “next week” which did not happen.

    I don’t think anyone who knows anything about this is talking.

  8. Colorado Cat

    Knight is so very impressive as a student athlete. It is a blessing to have someone so intelligent and such a hard worker on the UK team. I’m sure he is gone to the NBA next year, but he was quoted as saying he could get his degree in 2 years because of his advanced studies in high school. Oh to dream of Knight staying 2 years!

    KSR rumor comments say Enes will play but miss a bunch of games. Supposedly heard it from a UK board member, and the official will be out tomorrow. I’m not holding my breath.

  9. bigbluefans4uk.com

    Colorado Cat, what is “a bunch” of games?

    3, 6, 10, 15, more?

  10. gmoyers

    Still expecting Kanter news soon and still thinking he will play by mid-December. but just have to wait and see

  11. bigbluefans4uk.com

    Still in a “wait and see” mode

  12. golfncat

    Knight is an outstanding young man whose talents fo well beyond basketball. For that reason, I believe he will stay for 2 years and get a degree like Patterson did. Knight will end up being one of the all-time greats of at Kentucky.
    The decision on Kanter will be eligible or ineligible with Kanter sitting until the decision is made. I believe that he will be eligible but the NCAA will drag their feet for enough time to make him sit 5 to 10 games.

  13. bryan mceuen

    regardless what happens we will move on and cheer our cats on!!!

  14. Nashville Cat

    whether Enes gets freed or not, Knight is a stud. Jones too. I’m excited to see what these guys do

  15. bigbluefans4uk.com

    That’s right. This is going to be an exciting team to follow this year, even without Enes.

    There are not 10 teams in America that can start 4 better players, top to bottom than Miller-Liggins-Knight-Jones

  16. King Ghidora

    I’m not at all convinced that players like Vargas and Harrellson won’t take up the slack and make UK a threat to win it all. I see lots of people saying they won’t have a chance but those same people said the same things about the team last year. There is a ton of talent on this team for sure. Maybe if the Cats don’t have a truly great year we’ll get to see some players return next year. That could lead to a very interesting situation.

    One thing is certain. I will be supporting the Cats all the way no matter what.

  17. UKFAN

    This is just a guess. Enes will have to miss 9 regular season games, but will get to play. Cats are going to be great this year with or with out Enes. With him we have a ligit shot at final four. With out him we have to work a little harder but still have a good shot at final four.

    FREE ENES GO CATS

  18. john l

    The NCAA should be4 ashamed of thenselves in the way they have drug out the Kanter issue.The youngman man has completed a year of prep school in this country,plus has been on campus at UK since June attending classes,and yet the NVAA cannot come up with a ruling on his eligibility.Makes one wonder if the NCAA is using the information presented by Pete Thamil in the New York Times’ or the information given by Kanters’ family,and if so,why would they believe one over the other when Dr.Kanter is supposedly so meticulus with his record keeping.

  19. Suziecat2

    My first thoughts about the Kanter decision were… the longer the NCAA takes the more likely he will be cleared, meaning if just reason was found to declare him ineligible the NCAA could say “No” immediately. Having said that, the theory of delaying an ineligible decision leaves no time for a proper appeal has merit.

    My concern is for Kanter whose life is in limbo.

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