Twany Beckham expects similar environment at Mississippi State



The phone calls to DeMarcus Cousins, the water bottles thrown onto the court — Twany Beckham remembers the peripherals of UK’s six-point overtime win at Mississippi State two years ago.

He remembers it from the other side, when he was a member of the Bulldogs and UK rolled in with a No. 2 ranking.

“It was the biggest game of the season for Mississippi State,” Beckham said. “The fans got really crazy and really loud two years ago.”

Beckham will be sitting on the opposite sideline on Tuesday, when UK (this time No. 1) travels to Mississippi State.

Some things have changed for Beckham since then. He’s wearing a different uniform, obviously, and he’s now playing for his home state school. But he doesn’t expect the environment to be any less accommodating than it was two season ago.

“I know it’s going to be crazy tomorrow,” Beckham said.

Beckham has been texting his former teammates leading up to the game. Mississippi State’s Dee Bost is “already hyped” about the game, Beckham said. Bost is a crucial player, averaging 15.8 points and five assists, as the Bulldogs’ point guard.

“He’s a tough cover,” Beckham said of his former backcourt teammate. “He’s fast, he’s strong and he can get to the basket. It’s going to be a tough matchup for Marquis (Teague), but he’s going to be ready for it.”

UK will have to be ready for more than just Bost. Mississippi State is on a three-game losing streak to Georgia, LSU and Auburn — not exactly a trio of dominant teams — but the Bulldogs still have plenty of talent.

“I know they’ve dropped a couple games, but it doesn’t matter,” Calipari said. “I don’t even like watching those game tapes, because they’re not going to play that way against us. We’ll get their best game. … The talent on their team, no one’s questioning it.”

They’re led by 6-foor-11 forward Arnett Moultrie, averaging a team-best 16.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

That will be a tough matchup for Anthony Davis.

“They’re not only playing against the name on the front of the shirt. They’re playing against the name on the back of the shirt,” Calipari said. “Every game you walk out there, someone’s trying to make a name at your expense.”

And a huge factor in this game will be Mississippi State’s 6-foot-10 Renardo Sidney, who is day-to-day with back spasms, according to head coach Rick Stansbury.

If Sidney can go — and according to a quote from Dee Bost in The Clarion-Ledger said Sidney will be ready — it gives UK one of its toughest (and tallest) frontcourt challenges of the season.

“It’s very obvious against a Kentucky team that’s as talented as they are we need every big body we can get … to have any chance at all,” Stansbury said. “When you’re playing Kentucky, you have to hit on all cylinders and hope Kentucky doesn’t play their best.”

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