By LARRY VAUGHT
Assistant coach Tony Barbee insisted Monday that facing No. 22 Mississippi State Tuesday night after a win over Auburn last week and before facing Kansas in a national showdown Saturday was not a trap game for the Wildcats, who blasted the Bulldogs 77-66.
So how concerned was UK coach John Calipari about UK’s emotional focus for Mississippi State?
“Every game we play, there’s emotion to it, so it’s a different feel for this program. Because whether it’s at Auburn or at Vanderbilt, they are all sold out and it’s a huge game, and so, we need to be more steady in how we do this, and we are,” Calipari said.
“ I said the next, the Kansas game, is really, really big, because it’s the next game. I mean, we weren’t worried — I have not watched one thing on Kansas. I watched a little bit of maybe Iowa State, maybe. I think I watched maybe four minutes of them, live TV. I can’t tell you one thing about how they play.
“This was about beating a top 20 team (tonight), a team that’s played well all year. A team that makes nine 3’s per game, missed some shots today, thank goodness, and then they rebounded like crazy. They are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. They missed a lot of shots that they normally make. ”