By LARRY VAUGHT
Mississippi State coach Ben Howland says having fifth-year senior Reid Travis and sophomore PJ Washington gives Kentucky and coach John Calipari experience the Wildcats normally don’t have.
“They have two really experienced guys up there,” Howland said after UK’s win Tuesday night over his team when asked about the Cats’ efficiency. “Nick Richards is back for his sophomore year, it’s just something that hasn’t always happened because these guys sometimes leave early. I think those three guys really anchor their front line.
“I think their perimeter players, those three freshman are really good. They have Ashton (Hagans) who is 19 years old and he’s mature. I think Tyler (Herro) is fantastic. He really hurt us early tonight.”
And he did it because Calipari does something he seldom does — he put in a new offensive wrinkle for this game.
“When we talk about that run I mean they ran something they haven’t run before. They had a double screen, he jumped out of bounds then jumped in bounds and caught for a 3,” Howland said. “Those guys did a really good job.”
The coach wasn’t through yet.
“I think Immanuel (Quickley) gives them good depth coming in. He’s a real high level guard. They don’t drop off when he comes in the game,” Howland said. “So, they’ve got good depth and they are playing with a lot of poise.
“Part of it is their schedule, they have played a tough schedule early. Think about where they were during the first game of the year versus Duke. It’s credit to John (Calipari) and his staff – – Hall of Fame coach.”