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Can IUP game tonight help prepare Kentucky for Duke?

Keldon Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)


Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus doesn’t think coach John Calipari is worried that much about what Duke does or doesn’t do.

Kentucky plays IUP (Indiana University-Pennsylvania) in an exhibition game tonight but Justus says Calipari always stresses the “most important opponent that we play is ourselves.”

Maybe but playing Duke to open the season is no ordinary game. Justus has to know that. So does Calipari.

“I think we’ve addressed that since we started practice in August and I think we’ve continued to echo that message this week in between Transy and then our game tomorrow night. I think that will be the message daily as we move forward this year. Every game is important, not only to our guys – it is a chance for them to show who they are, who they’re becoming,” Justus said Thursday.

“It’s a chance for them to be evaluated. But, it’s also someone else’s big game as well. I think for us, our guys are growing as individuals. We are growing as a team. So I don’t think that we worry about who we play down the road because we have tons of big games down the road.

“Our most important thing is having a really good practice tonight, having a great shootaround tomorrow afternoon and getting better tomorrow night.”

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