The hype surrounding 5-star Kentucky forward Jarred Vanderbilt coming into the 2018 season was huge to say the least.
That was until he went down with an injured left foot the day before the Wildcats’ first preseason practice.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari said Vanderbilt practiced Monday for the first time since that injury on his radio show.
— UK Sports Network (@UKSportsNetwork) January 8, 2018
Cal confirms Jarred Vanderbilt is back on the practice court … and has been really good.
“Jarred changed the practice today. He was so physical. … It will be nice to get him back.”
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 8, 2018
Vanderbilt began doing individual drills and shoot with the team, but had yet to practice before Monday. He averaged 28.5 points, 13.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists as a senior in high school so he should be a huge addition to the Cats rotation when he officially returns to action.
Even though he’ll definitely help eventually, perhaps at some point in conference play, Calipari has previously stated he won’t rush him back.
“I’m not going to push him,” he said in December. “You guys know that’s not how I am. And I wouldn’t want to put him in a situation that wasn’t beneficial for him. I’m not going to play a guy [because], ‘Well, we could use him for eight minutes a game.’ No, I don’t do that to the kid.
“You have to worry more about the kid’s healthy and his ability to go perform, for him and for us — and if not, you just gotta let him sit.”
The Wildcats play Texas A&M at home Tuesday night, looking to rebound from a loss Saturday to Tennessee.