The Vanderbilt Commodores (20-8, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) will be looking for some payback Saturday as they invade Rupp Arena to take on the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats (27-1, 13-0 SEC). The Commodores, fresh off a 59-48 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks on Wednesday night, have not lost since going down to the Cats two weeks ago.
If Calipari was looking to find out what type of mettle his team possessed, what type of resiliency it could muster, he found out Saturday night with a gutsy 69-63 victory in front of a rabid crowd of 14,316 fans at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn.
If you’re looking for a reason why Kentucky has shifted into another gear, Calipari says it’s because Teague is grasping his role. He’s understanding that less – as in shots – is sometimes more, and he’s realizing it all just in time for the homestretch of the regular season.
Given the buildup entering this game, I decided to post some comments from Vanderbilt’s media opportunity on Thursday, as they relate to the UK matchup.
Voted on by a select panel of both SEC and national media members, Kentucky is predicted to capture the 2012 SEC championship. UK earned 18 of the 23 first-place votes.
While his teammates were in Lexington for a chunk of the summer playing in pickup games, Miller was testing his game alongside and against some of the world’s best young players. On Miller’s team alone, he played with the likes of Alabama’s JaMychal Green, Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins, Pittsburgh’s Ashton Gibbs and Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe.
After watching his team get outrebounded, “outhustled” and “outworked” in the second half of doubleheader nightcap, a hot and irritated John Calipari said this letdown loss simply came down to toughness. One team (Baylor) had it. The other (Kentucky) didn’t.