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Calipari, Knox discuss Jarred Vanderbilt’s debut

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t heard, Jarred Vanderbilt made his long-awaited debut Tuesday night against South Carolina. He was a little rusty in his return to basketball, which was to be expected, but we got a glimpse at his potential and he looked potentially awesome.

After the game, Coach Cal told reporters, “He was pretty good for the first time out. We’re trying to figure out what we’re doing. We haven’t really scrimmaged with him in. We’ve done some halfcourt stuff, but I thought he was pretty good for the first time out.”

Kevin Knox was a little more complimentary of Vanderbilt and his first game; he said, “Jarred’s a great ball-handler. He has a good feel for the game and good passing skills, so he can definitely help us handling the ball sometimes. When Shai got in foul trouble and we needed another point guard, Jarred stepped up and I thought he did a good job. It was his first game back, so once he gets the feel for it and gets the plays down, he’ll be a great addition to the team.”

Leave your postgame Jarred Vanderbilt assessments below…

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

11 Comments for Calipari, Knox discuss Jarred Vanderbilt’s debut



  1. Catsfan1715
    1:04 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    I’m excited. He appeared to be lock down in man to man. He’s a freak athlete. Made some tough shots, and hustled. He’s clearly not in full game shape and was showing some jitters-but I think he will be a key player for us if he can stay healthy.



  2. KYcats11
    1:24 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Exceeded my expectations. One thing I’m surprised by is how fast he is. Overall a good game from him, and gets me excited for the rest of the season.



  3. Kat4Life
    1:36 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    I thought he was obviously nervous that first 3 min run, but he settled into a high-effort, fundamentally sound stretch where he passed the ball very well, rebounded, and hit a few shots….played good defense……I think he adds a great dimension to our team, and will become a top 3 player by year-end…..he is a strong, high-energy, pass-first point forward…….



  4. Freedom Stacks
    1:39 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Vando confirms what I believed to be true last year when he committed to UK… he is gonna be my favorite! He is versatile and is VERY needed! Just sucks we played so horribly in his first game. Only positive to take from this game. And we need our full roster ASAP!!



  5. katmandue2you
    1:46 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Extremely excited about Jared Vanderbilt. Exceptional quickness, great ball handler, a more willing and forward thinking passer than anyone else on the team even after a half season of the others playing together. Plays with more intensity and urgency than most anyone else on the team even though they’ve had half a season already to develop the needed intensity and urgency. Twice grabbed defensive rebounds directly under the basket and instantly became a one man fast break dribbling the ball upcourt with confidence and urgency…and each time willingly advancing the ball farther upcourt with forward passes to open teammates including Brad Calipari. Exhibited a lightning quick release on short shots in the paint that also demonstrated a feathery touch…with both shots finding the bottom of the net…one directly and one on a bank shot. And just a great athletic motor that runs at a very high rpm.



  6. zod
    10:00 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    I thought when Vanderbilt entered the game both Knox and Richards were more aggressive (at least, aggressive for Knox). They both seemed to feed off of his energy and aggressiveness. It actually looked like Kentucky ball. At one point, Diallo was the shortest guy on the floor. That was an imposing lineup. He might be the leadership this team is lacking. If he stays healthy and the rest of the team heals up, February and March could be a lot of fun.



  7. BBNDan7
    10:06 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    My favorite part is potentially seeing less Diallo now



  8. CatesDuncan
    10:41 am January 17, 2018 Permalink

    It was amazing too see him run point at 6’9



  9. Saul T. Nuts
    1:03 pm January 17, 2018 Permalink

    I’ve been saying it all year, he’s the best player on the team.



  10. george56
    2:34 pm January 17, 2018 Permalink

    They played tired, esp Shai, 1st possession a clue, and PJ, two unforced pass errors. Has there been a 6’9 guard since Magic ? Valdo looked too fast for his teammates, so will take a few games, but damn. Maybe the team was mentally off because of anticipation re Valdo.



  11. Luether
    3:22 pm January 17, 2018 Permalink

    Needs to get his butt in shape…