John Calipari clapped his hands and looked skyward at his press conference on Friday afternoon.
The reason for his praise to God: Kentucky forward Derek Willis will be back in the team’s lineup on Saturday afternoon at LSU.
“I doubt if I start him,” Calipari said. “But it was great yesterday having him out there.”
Willis, who missed three games with a right ankle injury, was a full participant in Thursday practice. Calipari is happy to have the junior’s production (7.8 points, 4.0 rebounds) back on the floor, but said Willis still needs to improve in certain areas.
“There were times if he didn’t play rough, then we were really hurting in the post stuff,” Calipari said.
Freshman Skal Labissiere filled in admirably in Tuesday’s win against Florida, but a poor Thursday practice might send him back to the bench.
“He was not real good yesterday,” Calipari said. “So I’m gonna watch him today; whether I start him or not will be dependent on what I see today. What I saw the other day, he was unbelievable … Yesterday, it was like, what is wrong? Are you crazy?”
The Wildcats are currently tied with Texas A&M for first place in the conference standings. Kentucky-LSU tips off Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on CBS, while Texas A&M-Vanderbilt tips off Saturday at noon ET on ESPN2.