Seventeenth-ranked Kentucky basketball will play at Tennessee on January 6, 2018. Find game time, TV channel and how to watch online below.
It’s not like Kevin Knox was in some kind of tailspin, to be clear. He had consecutive bad games, shooting a combined 4 of 18 from the field (1 for 7 from 3-point range) with 15 total points against Louisville and Georgia, but before that he’d been Kentucky’s best player more often than not this season.
Still, the 6-foot-9 freshman forward, a projected NBA lottery pick, was relieved to end that mini-slump during a win Wednesday night at LSU: 7 of 12 from the field, 2 of 3 from deep, 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“I had a rough two games, but that’s what my teammates are for. We fought through it as a team,” Knox said. “They helped me get through it. All the coaches walked me through it, talked me through it and just made sure I kept playing hard and just focused on winning and focus on team.
“Cal challenged me not to focus on offense so much and focus on defense and rebounding. I took the challenge.”
Coach John Calipari hopes Knox will keep that attitude Saturday in Knoxville — and beyond. He has taken steps to ensure it, despite Knox playing mostly on the wing for the Wildcats and Calipari having called him a 6-foot-9 guard for months.
“Kevin is no longer working with our guards. He works with the big guys, so that’s where he will be the rest of the way,” Calipari said. “Just to be more aggressive, go to the goal more, rebound more. Play like you’re a forward who can really shoot. Play like you’re a big man who can really shoot and score. So I’m just trying to get his mentality — most cases, it’s trying to get guys to think different.”
We’ll see against the Volunteers whether that continues to make him play different.
Kentucky-Tennessee game time, details
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018
- Location: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
- Records: Kentucky 12-2, 2-0 SEC, Tennessee 9-4, 0-2 SEC
- Favorite: Tennessee by 2 1/2
What TV channel is Kentucky-Tennessee on?
You can watch Kentucky vs. Tennessee on SEC Network. Tom Hart, Sean Farnham and Kris Budden will be on the call.
How can I watch Kentucky-Tennessee online?
Stream Kentucky vs. Tennessee on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
How can I listen to Kentucky-Tennessee on the radio?
Kentucky and Tennessee 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 145.
- Three Wildcats were severely limited at LSU while battling the flu. Calipari didn’t provide much of an update Friday on the afflicted: Hamidou Diallo, Nick Richards and Sacha Killeya-Jones. “One guy will not practice today,” the coach said. “So he’s still out.” But Calipari declined to elaborate. As for his own health: “I’m good, no flu. I don’t ever take flu shots because I don’t like needles, so there’s nobody giving me a flu shot unless you held me down, knocked me out and then stuck it in my arm. But they have pills now. They have flu pills, and I said, ‘I’ll take the flu pill.’ “
- Thompson-Boling Arena has been a tough place to play for Kentucky under Calipari. The Cats have lost their last two and three out of the last four trips to Knoxville — and this game is sold out. “It’s going to be a war,” Calipari said. “It’ll be good for these guys to feel this. Playing on the road last game was good, and now you go here and it’s always a difficult game for us.” Not many players on the freshman-heavy UK roster understand that, but sophomore Wenyen Gabriel does. “Every single rebound, loose ball is going to matter,” he said. “Every free throw, everything is going to matter in this game.”
- Calipari considers UT coach Rick Barnes an old, dear friend in the business, which is refreshing because he admits sometimes he shakes an opposing coach’s hand and calls him a “jagoff” under his breath.
- The Vols rank 15th nationally in defensive efficiency and 29th in both blocks (5.4) and offensive rebounds (13.1) per game. They’re a solid 3-point shooting team (39.1 percent) and have a formidable sophomore forward, the 6-7, 240-pound Grant Williams, who is averaging 15.6 points and 6.7 rebounds. “We’re going to have to really be on our toes playing against him, be really aggressive,” Gabriel said. Four different UT players have made at least 20 threes this season, led by 6-5 sophomore guard Jordan Bowden, who has hit 60 percent from deep.
- Tennessee has some impressive wins on its resume — over No. 13 Purdue and N.C. State, at Wake Forest and Georgia Tech — but also blew significant leads against good teams. The Vols led No. 3 Villanova by 15 in the final two minutes of the first half, led No. 12 North Carolina by nine in the second half (and by three with 72 seconds to go), led at No. 22 Arkansas by nine with 3:53 remaining and led Auburn by 14 at home … and lost all four of those games, including the last two to open league play. “We expect them to give us 100 percent,” Knox said. “Because one, they’re 0-2, and two, they’re playing Kentucky and everyone plays their best against us.”