Kansas may not be the team it was with Udoka Azubuike, but the Jayhawks are still a formidable foe, and John Calipari can’t wait to see how his players react to tomorrow’s top ten matchup in Rupp.
“This is one where we’ll learn about each other. Who’s amped up, who’s calmed down. This is the kind of game you do that with. We’ll see. They’re going to come in — they’re terrific. Top ten team.”
Kentucky has shown glimpses of greatness in recent weeks, but has yet to turn in a full 40 minutes of effort. Cal said tomorrow’s game will be a measuring stick to see how much further the Cats have to go to be capable of making a run in March.
“This is a team you’ll be playing if you are lucky enough to get in the tournament and advance. At some point you’re playing a team like this. Let’s see how good we are. Right now, them being more of a veteran team, they’ll be a little bit advanced in what they’re running, their execution, probably sustaining effort, where we still have breakdowns, let teams back in the game. We do it and at some point, they’ve got to learn it will end your season playing that way. It will be a great challenge for us.”
Priority number one? Stopping Dedric Lawson. The junior forward serves as the Jayhawks’ big man and is averaging a double double with 19.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
“Lawson is as good as we will play against.” Cal said. “He’s averaging 25 and 15 the last five games. Guard play is good, they shoot the ball with [LeGerald] Vick. They kind of play like us. They don’t shoot many three but they attack that rim and they rebound the ball.”
“We know they’re going to be good. I just want to see where we are at this point against that kind of team.”