By LARRY VAUGHT
Brandon Knight was especially glad to see senior Josh Harrellson get 26 rebounds in TuesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Blue-White Game since Kentucky still does know not when, or if, it will have center Enes Kanter.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was very important that we rebound, especially Josh. He is one of our bigs and since we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a big monster in there without Enes. We have to gang rebound and fight and make sure we get those possessions,Ã¢â‚¬Â 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, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Free Enes,Ã¢â‚¬Â in the second half and briefly acknowledged what they were doing.
Knight says it is a Ã¢â‚¬Å“little bit toughÃ¢â‚¬Â not knowing what will happen with Kanter.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We think about it here and there, but we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really focus on it. We have to be ready to play if we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have him. We would love to have him. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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,Ã¢â‚¬Â Knight said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think about the situation. It is out of our hands and we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play because we would love to have him and he would love to be playing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
With or without Kanter, Knight likely will be UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s team leader. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“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,Ã¢â‚¬Â Knight said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“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.Ã¢â‚¬Â