No. 18 Kentucky basketball will play Florida on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Find game time, TV channel and how to watch online below.
John Calipari said he hopes Jarred Vanderbilt can give the Wildcats 16-18 minutes against the Gators — more if he feels comfortable — and Kentucky will need everything it can get from him.
Vanderbilt had 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a block in a 14-minute debut at South Carolina on Tuesday night. That impressive return from a foot injury was about the only highlight for the Cats, who blew a 14-point lead in the final dozen minutes.
“He played hard. He competed. He went after rebounds in traffic. He went and got balls,” coach John Calipari said. “He was the only guy. We had guys play 32 minutes and get 2 rebounds.”
Calipari said in the 30 possessions Vanderbilt played, South Carolina averaged 0.8 points per possession — which soared to 1.2 points per possession without him.
“That’s a big number. Just that one change. Again, toughness, being active,” said Calipari, who bemoaned a lack of leadership for his young team to this point. “[Someone who] would step up and grab guys and make them change. I need someone. Maybe it’s Jarred. Maybe Jarred becomes that guy.”
One ESPN analyst compared Vanderbilt to No. 1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons on Friday, and his teammates seem to be similarly impressed by Vanderbilt’s energy, athleticism and versatility. He played point guard for stretches when the Wildcats were in foul trouble Tuesday.
“I’ve been knowing Jarred since third grade,” forward PJ Washington said. “Jarred is a beast. He can do everything on the court. You all pretty much saw it in just the short spurt he was in. Once he gets back fully healthy with no limits to his playing time, we’re going to be all right.”
Kentucky-Florida game time, details
- Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018
- Location: Rupp Arena (23,000), Lexington, Ky.
- Records: Kentucky 14-4, 4-2 SEC; Florida 13-5, 5-1 SEC
- Favorite: Kentucky by 3
What TV channel is Kentucky-Florida on?
You can watch Kentucky vs. Florida on ESPN. Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor will be on the call.
How can I watch Kentucky-Florida online?
Stream Kentucky vs. Florida on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
How can I listen to Kentucky-Florida on the radio?
Kentucky and Florida will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel 190 and Sirius channel 137.
- Calipari said starting point guard Quade Green, who has missed the last three games with a back injury, will be a “game-time” decision Saturday. The Wildcats have missed his poise (and shooting from 3-point range and the free-throw line) at the ends of games. They could really use him against Florida’s loaded backcourt, featuring Chris Chiozza (12.3 ppg, 5.9 apg, 4.2 rpg, 2.1 spg), Jalen Hudson (16.5 ppg), Egor Koulechov (15.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and KeVaughn Allen (11.3 ppg) — three of them shooting better than 40 percent from three. All four guards have scored at least 26 points in a game this season.
- Will Kentucky be motivated by some harsh criticism from ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg this week? He called the 5-star freshmen “spoiled” among other things. And then on Friday, Calipari all but agreed with him — saying Greenberg’s points need to be addressed and sharing that the Cats had an unpleasant film session in which he demanded personal responsibility in the form of, “That’s on me, Coach.”
- ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, in town for College GameDay, had a lot to say about the young Wildcats (and college basketball in general) on Friday. We have the full Q&A here, and it is well worth your time.
- Oh, and about the same time Kentucky and Florida tip off, 5-star sensation Zion Williamson will announce his college decision. All the buzz is for home-state Clemson, but there’s still a sliver of hope the Cats can pull a Kevin Knox-type surprise.