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John Calipari says ‘if you want to watch a great player,” then go see Rhyne Howard

Rhyne Howard (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari is a terrific promoter of his team and has pleaded with fans to support his team several times this year.

On his weekly radio show, he made a different plea to fans.

“Folks, if you want to go watch a great player, go to our women’s game,” Calipari told Tom Leach on his weekly show. “She is a great player. She is up for player of the year in the country. She has a chance to be a leading scorer in the nation. Our stands should be packed to watch her. Just go watch her.

He’s talking about Kentucky sophomore Rhyne Hoard, who is averaging a nation best 23.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Howard is 146 of 327 overall (44.6 percent) from the field, 60 of 150 (40 percent) from 3-point range (despite missing 21 of her first 29 tries in UK’s first four games) and 79 of 100 (79 percent) at the foul line.

She’s had 20 or more points in 13 games — and three of the five she didn’t get 20 came in UK’s first four games.

Howard also has 45 assists, 42 steals and 21 blocks and just 45 turnovers in 18 games despite the enormous defensive pressure she faces each game. She can change a game with her passing, defense or rebounding as easily as she can with her scoring.

“I am trying to get her to come over (to the men’s team),” Calipari said. “We have a baseball player (on the team). Let’s get a women’s basketball player on my team. The way she scores the ball, woooo …. I have been so focused on my own team that I have to get there to see her.”

Yes you do Coach and the next chance to do that will be Monday when UK (15-3) hosts Auburn at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum.

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