3 Point Shot: SEC pressure heating up for Cats

Forward Isaac Humphries of the UK Wildcats jumps for a rebound during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Rupp Arena. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff.

Josh Ellis

The Cats will to make up for their big loss to Tennessee when they face Alabama. Here are three things to know for Tuesday’s game.

SEC race tightens

The Crimson Tide is coming off a loss at home to Mississippi State, dropping to 7-7 in conference play. Alabama joined Ole Miss and Georgia in a tie for fourth place in the SEC, the last seed that gets a two-round bye in the SEC Tournament.

UK remains in first place despite its loss at Texas A&M on Saturday. South Carolina, Texas A&M and LSU all stand in second — just one game behind the Cats.

Though the postseason doesn’t start until March 9, every conference game from here on out is a must win.

Isaac Humphries in

Freshman forward Isaac Humphries had a career high six points and 12 rebounds against Texas A&M, and he will likely be rewarded for his solid play by being inserted into the lineup more often.

The Australian native has averaged 14.4 minutes in his last five games, nearly double the minutes he played when he season started.

Expect Calipari to go to the big Aussie until the rest of the UK frontcourt returns from injury.

Derek Willis out

After turning his ankle in Saturday’s overtime loss in College Station, junior forward Derek Willis will likely miss multiple games moving forward for the Cats.

The injury could not have come at a worse time for UK, as Willis was emerging into a key player on a peaking UK team.

Head coach John Calipari will now have to find another player to fill the void of Willis. Whether it be Charles Matthews, Skal Labissiere or Isaac Humphries, the Cats need the next man to produce.