By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky freshman Keldon Johnson isn’t dwelling on UK’s loss to Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals as the Cats prepare to play Abilene Christian Thursday night in Jacksonville to open NCAA Tournament play.
“I think it just motivates us even more to get out there and do what we have to do to take care of business,” said Johnson.
The freshman has even found a positive from the loss going into NCAA play.
“It was good for us. For the week before the tournament to be an environment like that, playing another great team like we did, to really battle and compete with them like we did, in the atmosphere that we did, was a good learning experience for us,” Johnson said.
It was a NCAA type atmosphere in Nashville when UK and Tennessee did play. Odds are the atmosphere won’t quite match that this weekend in Jacksonville but Johnson isn’t worried about that.
“Can’t wait to get out there and compete,” Johnson said.
If Kentucky wins, it would play the Seton Hall-Wofford winner on Saturday. Johnson hit a miraculous half-court shot to force overtime against Seton Hall in December before the Cats eventually lost at Madison Square Garden.
“We’re just talking it one game at a time. We got our matchup and we’re just worried about that and then if we happen to get Seaton Hall, then we’ll deal with it when the time comes. But until then we’re just worried about our first opponent,” Johnson said.