Will Jarred Vanderbilt play this weekend? Based on today’s comments from Boise, it doesn’t look like it.
Vanderbilt told reporters in the locker room that his ankle is about 70 percent, but he hopes to be able to play if Kentucky is still in the tournament next weekend. John Calipari said that unless Vanderbilt’s ankle improves to 95 percent by game time, he will not play him.
“Now, the kid wants to play, but at the end of the day, I’ve gotta make a decision on what I think and right now, I just don’t think it’s in his interest or ours that unless he’s at 100 percent — I would take 97 percent or 95, but you can’t take 80. You can’t. The games are played at too high a level. Great kid and I love the kid, but my guess is he will not play tomorrow. Didn’t practice with us today, so we’ll figure out from there.”
Calipari said he used this year’s SEC Tournament to figure out how to win without Vanderbilt on the floor.
“This is what made this year hard. It was hard because we had all freshmen. We start five freshmen. I don’t know if it’s ever been done, to have this kind of inexperience. But then Jarred joined our team and we struggled. And then we started going good and all of a sudden, Jarred is a Dennis Rodman, 10, 12 rebounds every game he played, 15, he could have had 20. Passes, runs, athletic. Then, he gets hurt. Before the tournament, we hadn’t played a game. We needed our tournament to figure out how to play in case he cannot play.”
Tomorrow seems like a definite no, but can Jarred’s ankle improve to 95 percent by Saturday if Kentucky makes it? We’ll see.