*** UPDATE: Kentucky has announced that Fox will play tonight. ***
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – It looks like starting point guard De’Aaron Fox will play for Kentucky basketball tonight at Tennessee. He hit the court at Thompson Boling Arena about an hour before tip-off to join his team for warm-ups, in uniform and a new pair of high-top sneakers.
Fox is usually a low-top man, but after suffering a right-ankle injury in the first half of Saturday’s game against South Carolina – he did not return and was on crutches, wearing a protective boot by the end of that victory – the Wildcats aren’t taking any chances. Especially with Saturday’s showdown against second-ranked Kansas and its elite backcourt looming.
UT students yelling "earned not given" at Brad Calipari (that's his tattoo), and Fox telling him not to sweat it. pic.twitter.com/QLfBY5ARmB
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_AJC) January 25, 2017
Fox moved slow at first during Tuesday’s warm-ups, but after a brief break to stretch and tie that right shoe extra tight, he was soon back to his normal, springy self. Fox launched himself for a twirling, 360-degree layup at one point.
Former UK star Rex Chapman, who is now part of the program’s official pregame radio broadcast, reported early in the evening that Fox would play. The school would not confirm until just 20 minutes before tipoff. He’s averaging 16.2 points, 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds, earning him a spot on several midseason watch lists for national awards.
The news is not as good for fellow guard Mychal Mulder, who will miss his second straight game with an unspecified illness. Kentucky announced shortly before tipoff that he did not even make the trip with the rest of the team. The senior is averaging 6.5 points per game and shooting 36.2 percent from 3-point range. He’s second on the team behind Malik Monk with 23 made threes.