Andy Kennedy doesn’t think top-ranked Kentucky has a weakness.
The Ole Miss coach has been searching for a loophole as his team prepares for the Wildcats this week. The two teams will meet at 4 p.m. Saturday at Rupp Arena and Kennedy isn’t looking forward to the contest.
John Calipari) when you’re mixing in freshmen along with a couple of upperclassmen, and you’re doing it at that level where they really look, as impressive as they are as individuals, I think they’re even better as a team, which is a tribute to coach Cal and his staff.”
Kentucky (24-1, 11-0 Southeastern Conference) doesn’t have a mid-week game this week, but is conducting a practice and scrimmage for students and faculty from 3-5 p.m. this afternoon in an effort to break up the six-day layoff. The session will be televised live on WKYT-Channel 27 and nationally by ESPNU.
The last time Kentucky had a week-long layoff, the Wildcats dropped a 73-72 loss to Indiana in Bloomington, the team’s only loss of the year. Since then, the Cats have won 16 straight contests going into Saturday’s encounter against the Rebels.
While the Cats are busy entertaining the fans, Kennedy is preparing for a one-two punch against the two of the top five teams in the Southeastern Conference this week.
Before Kennedy can think about devising a game plan against the Cats, Ole Miss will take on Vanderbilt in a 9 p.m. tipoff Thursday night in Oxford, Miss. Kennedy also is impressed with the Commodores.
“There’s not a lot of holes in their game,” he said. “They’ve got a great collection of players and Kevin (Stallings) does a great job year in and year out. So it’s going to be a tremendous challenge. And honestly other than watching Kentucky play this morning, just trying to get to the next day.”
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings got his first taste of the Wildcats last weekend in Nashville and came away impressed. Despite a late rally in the second half, the Commodores dropped a 69-63 setback to Kentucky. Stallings and the Commodores will get another shot at the Wildcats on Feb. 25 at Rupp¿Arena, but Stallings already considers Kentucky one of the top contenders for the national title.
“They’re certainly very good and I would put them right up there with some of the best that I’ve seen — particularly on the defensive end, I think they’re outstanding so, yes, I think this Kentucky team is as good as a lot of the really, really good teams, great teams that I have seen in our league in years that I’ve been in it,” Stallings said Monday. “I would expect that they will continue to do very well and will have a great chance to make a run for a national championship.”