UK set for matchup versus Mount St. Mary’s


Kentucky sophomore guard Ashton Hagans goes for a steal during the University of Kentucky vs. Utah Valley men’s basketball game on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 82-74. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Julia Price

As expected, the UK men’s basketball team dropped to the No. 9 spot after its loss to Evansville last week.

“As the season goes on I hope we can look back on this game and say it woke us up. It got us right,”UK head coach John Calipari said of the loss.

Although they left the Utah Valley game with a win, it didn’t go unnoticed that the Cats have some improvements that need to be made in order for them to play up to their full potential.

The Cats had nine offensive rebounds in the first half, but in the second half only had three. Those numbers don’t add up to a win, but the Cats escaped by the skin of their teeth with a victory anyways.

“I think it’s always a good thing when you can play close games and win versus not grow,” Kentucky assistant Joel Justus said as he speaks on the areas the Wildcats are working hard to improve themselves in.

Monday’s game also left spectators eager to see what’s in store for the injured Wildcats as they seek their fourth win of the season against the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers on Friday.

It’s still up in the air as to whether sophomores EJ Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley have minutes in Friday’s game after taking an absence due to ankle and chest injuries. Freshman Dontaie Allen will still not receive playing time due to an ACL injury sustained in December.

Despite the many wounded Wildcats, the Calipari still has confidence in those that are attempting to prove themselves ready for the upcoming game.

“If we didn’t play through Ashton then we really did not get a shot,” Calipari said.

Sophomore Hagans reached his career-high of 26 points and was named player of the game in Monday’s matchup against Utah Valley. 

Cats fans should also expect to see more of sophomore Johnny Juzang, who notched seven points and nine rebounds for the Cats on Monday.

The Wildcats take on Mount St Mary’s at 7 p.m. on SEC Network.