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Jarred Vanderbilt optimistic he’ll play

As you might expect, whether or not Jarred Vanderbilt will play was the hottest question in the locker room today. Vanderbilt has missed the past five games with an ankle injury, but was dressed for practice, which is set to take place right after the media session. How’s that ankle/foot feeling?

“It’s feeling better,” Vanderbilt told me.

Will he be able to play this weekend? 

“I’m optimistic.”

John Calipari did not sound as optimistic when he arrived at the podium.

“I’m going to watch him today in the shootaround,” Cal said. “He just keeps coming to me, ‘I can do this.’ It’s hard to play a guy that’s going to play 80 to 90 percent in these kind of environments. It’s just hard. The game is played at a high level. When you talk Kansas State, they’re physical, they play hard, they fly and then if they don’t have it, they grind. It’s hard walking into a game like that.”

“My guess is no, but it would be nice to have him there,” Cal concluded. “Last game, we had foul trouble. You have that guy there that you could put it, it would be nice.”

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, the open practice told us very little. While Vanderbilt was dressed, all he did was dribble and cheer on his teammates, who went through typical shootaround drills:


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35 Comments for Jarred Vanderbilt optimistic he’ll play

  1. KTR2786
    3:00 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Hopefully just playing it close to the chest like KS is trying to do with Wade. It would be huge to have him on the bench if someone gets in foul trouble at the very least.

  2. ClutchCargo
    3:01 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    He is almost certainly playing. I think this is one of those times where Cal says something to the press that he knows will get back to the players.

  3. CatstopWontstop
    3:17 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    I’m torn on whether I want Vando to play. I love his game and the rebounding/passing/play making he brings is phenomenal, but most of us thought we were going to bow out early when he went down before the SEC tournament, yet Kentucky hasn’t lost since.

    I just worry bringing him back will hurt the current flow of the team. However, worst case, use him instead of Richards if PJ gets in foul trouble and that would be an upgrade for sure.

    • KTR2786
      3:33 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah, don’t start him or really use him unless you need energy/rebounding/foul trouble relief. Having him available is massive especially when we have to guard a huge guy that can shoot; usually a weakness for us.

      6:20 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Having his energy on the court during those four minute doldrums that plague us would be huge, but don’t mess with what as gotten us this far.

  4. kentuck1
    3:29 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    The Cats are playing good without him right now but I don’t think they can win it all without him? I think they will need him at some time on the boards and with his passing. Maybe Cal should save him for the 2nd half, just in case he is needed? But only if they need him on the boards?

  5. JTHinton
    3:31 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Lets take a sec to point out the hair…

    • Mathlete
      3:36 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      That was my first thought too… Shai cut his hair and became a monster. Wonder if JV will have the same kind of metamorphosis?

    • KTR2786
      3:51 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      He did that weeks ago and most UK guys do when they start wanting to appeal to NBA teams. Looks more professional.

  6. Dusten
    3:32 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    This poor guy. He has got to be so sick and tired of being asked about the status of an injury and whether he thinks he’ll be able to play by ‘x’ date for ‘x’ game.

  7. henderblue
    3:33 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    He got in enough games with the team that I don’t think it would hurt the current flow of the team. Why not rest him tomorrow and if we advance, look at him playing Saturday.

    • Mathlete
      3:47 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      It’s more about getting Vanderbilt back into the flow of the team than getting the team in the flow with Vanderbilt. We’ll *definitely* need him if we keep playing on to San Antonio

  8. lexslamman
    3:36 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Does anyone really think it matters? I mean, have you guys watched the same Bruce Webber teams that I have? Have you seen much K-State this year? They’re not exactly intimidating. Neither is Nevada. I’m more worried about Loyola, but maybe it’s the nun thing. If Vanderbilt comes back, great, but I think this team has become pretty adept at both winning tough games and blowing out cupcakes without him.

    • Mathlete
      3:56 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      I’m not discounting K-State, they’re the third best team in Kansas and that’s an accomplishment.

    • lexslamman
      4:18 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Thanks for making me realize that IU is the 4th best team in Indiana. Maybe.

      Seriously, has anyone sat down and watched Bruce Webber (attempt to) coach?

    • catdaddyd
      12:40 am March 22, 2018 Permalink

      Didn’t he make it to the NCAA championship game with Illinois a few years back?

    • ukcamel
      6:09 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      I’m not sure Indiana is better than Ball St., Evansville or Valpo. I’ll grant they are better than IUPUI.

  9. TB112162
    3:43 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Lexslamman this is the sweet 16 there are no cupcakes everybody is still playing because they have won 2 games

    • lexslamman
      3:58 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      We have K-State, then Loyola or Nevada between UK and the Final Four. That’s 2 to 3 cupcakes among many still in the tournament. Terrible teams win games all the time, even in March. Syracuse, for example.

    • Mathlete
      4:03 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Syracuse really is inexplicable. If you put them head to head against K-State the final score might reach the 50s… combined.

  10. BluemanGreen
    3:50 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    At this point im gonna call BS. The kid is going pro & isn’t going to risk any more time playing college ball. who doesn’t play on the biggest of stages at 90%? Cal just goes into lawyer mode every time he is asked about it with vague answers dancing around the subject. Really wish he was playing…but at this point im guessing its not going to happen.

    • Big Meech
      4:01 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      What makes u think he doesn’t want to play. U have watched him, dude is all heart. A sprained ankle isn’t any risk to his future, it’s just any injury that takes time. It’s probably tearing him up he’s not out there. I have no clue but I’m no going to assume he’s not playing and not assuming he’s going to the nba.

    • BonnieTayshaunBilly
      4:36 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      I just don’t understand how Vanderbilt goes pro. Any potential he has is seriously impacted by his potential to be constantly injured. He didn’t do enough in his games to make 1st or 2nd round in draft. He has no shot and he misses layups. He is not Dennis Rodman. People seemed to have forgotten who Dennis Rodman was as a basketball player.

    • ukcamel
      6:17 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      1. He is most likely not going pro. He will “test the waters” like everyone else, but I don’t see him getting drafted in the first round and he could be a lottery pick after next year if he stays healthy and develops any semblance of an offensive game.

      2. Even if he was 100% going pro, what is he “risking?” This doesn’t make any sense to anyone with a brain. If he is drafted it’s based 100% on his athleticism and size, that isn’t going to change by playing. If he went out and had a “bad” game it wouldn’t change how he’s viewed because he’s a project either way. If anything, him playing could only potentially help his draft stock By showing he didn’t get that hurt/can bounce back from injury. Certainly they aren’t worried about his ankle for this summer.

  11. Underdog
    3:59 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    Sure hope the players don’t think Kansas State is a cupcake team. There are big time athletes on that team. They’ve beat several NCAA tournament teams. We better bring it, incl a chip on our shoulders.

    Every game will be tough.

    One game at a time.

    I like my team.

    4:29 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    OMG! LOOKS LIKE BUILT IN EXCUSE IF WE LOSE! Play him for the love of God!

  13. BigBlueNationDude
    5:06 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    The whole vanderbilt situation is laughable

    • Booby Petrino
      7:51 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Your existence is laughable

    • ClutchCargo
      10:10 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      What’s laughable is that BBNumbnuts might not even be the biggest idiot in this thread. See Randall lee’s contribution below. LOL!

  14. Randall lee
    6:02 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    We expect out-of-state boys to have the love for the program that local boys do.they just don’t.9

    • Booby Petrino
      7:53 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah we need more Jarrod Polsons and less Jarred Vanderbilts LOL

    • Eazy
      8:24 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

      Lol, how about Anthony Davis and MKG?! Towns and Ulis were all heart too. Fox. Now Shai and Green. Others include Wall, Cousins, Knight, etc. all very passionate. There’s a reason Calipari has won the most games in the tournament since he’s been here. 28 and counting. Haters and some of our fans are incredibly ignorant.

  15. Wade
    9:09 pm March 21, 2018 Permalink

    I think he plays sparingly and for a few minutes at a time only, if we have a decent lead at the time. Just to get reps. there’s only a few games left and it’s crunch time. Like that vando s trying to get in there and I appreciate what cals doing but I’d give my left leg to play for the cats in March or any other school for that matter.