By LARRY VAUGHT
If it takes playing 38 minutes for Kentucky to win, then bring it on because Kevin Knox is going to make sure he’s ready to do just that.
“That’s a lot of minutes. Being in shape. I do a lot of running at practice. We do a lot of running as a team in practice. So being able to stay up to my game with all those minutes, I gotta do what my team needs me to do,” Knox said.
He did that Tuesday night at Arkansas in an 87-72 win that lifted UK to 19-9 overall and 8-7 in Southeastern Conference play.
He had 23 points on 8-for-18 shooting from the field, including 3-for-8 from 3-point range. He pulled in seven rebounds, made two steals and had one assist. He also had three turnovers in his 38 minutes.
“If I need a breather, I’ll come out. But the timeouts and all that stuff, the quick breather, that kind of helps out a lot. I just try to do what my team needs me to do to win,” Knox said.
Knox had a big first half in UK’s loss at Auburn a week ago. He had a big second half in the win over Alabama Saturday. He played well all 38 minutes at Arkansas despite not always shooting well. He ran the floor and got points in transition and driving to the basket that UK needed.
“Coach, he’s basically saying that I gotta put the ball in the basket and play some defense and rebound the ball,” Knox said. “He’s putting me in some more baseline runners and some more stuff to get me to spots where I like.
“I’ve been in the gym so I’m just hitting some shots now, just trying to get better defensively and get better rebounding so I can help my team as much as possible.”