You know how I know Kevin Knox is ready for March? When he dives on the ground for a loose ball with Yante Maten. Knox, not exactly known for his toughness, actually dove for two loose balls today vs. Georgia, which is exactly the type of hustle Kentucky needs to survive without Jarred Vanderbilt.
“That was surprising,” Washington said of seeing Knox dive on the ground. “[John Calipari] asked us to do more because Jarred [Vanderbilt] was out. It was good to see Kevin get some rebounds, hustle after loose balls.”
“It surprised me a little bit but Kevin’s going to do the things we need to win,” Shai said. “Especially with Jarred being out, we need all those hustle plays. He grabbed a lot of rebounds today and did a good job.”
“I know it’s March,” Knox said of his extra hustle. “It’s time to step it up. Jarred brings really good energy and he went down. We have guys that need to step up and give good energy, get rebounds, so I saw the ball on the ground, I’m going to dive on it. It’s win or go home now. You’ve gotta put your body on the court and give it all you got. That’s how I’m going to keep playing from now on.”
Knox vowed to bring that extra hustle to each game.
“It’s in me, and I got the ball too. I made sure I got it when I dove on the ground, I’ll fall for it. That’s what Coach likes to see, those plays that show toughness and show that you can fight and do anything for your team. I’m going to keep it up. I’m going to do anything for my teammates and put my body on the ground.”
What type of team is Kentucky when Kevin is making those plays?
“It makes us a lot different,” Washington said. “He’s one of the best players in the country when he does stuff like that. In order for us to win, he has to do stuff like that now and we’re confident in him that he’ll be able to do that the next couple of games.”
When told his teammates were surprised he went after a loose ball, Knox grinned.
“They always get on me about that, diving on the ground and stuff like that, but I’m going to show them this month it’s in me.”