Kenny Payne says Cats have “trained for this time of year”

Kenny Payne says Kentucky needs to do a better job passing the basketball. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — If you ask Kenny Payne, Kentucky is prepared for the challenge Texas A&M presents when the two teams meet Tuesday.

“We’ve trained all this time for this time of the year,” the Kentucky associate head coach said Monday. “Right now, we want to be playing our best basketball leading up into going into the tournament, going into the NCAA Tournament.

“A lot of that offensively starts with passing. Making good passes, being a really good passing team, seeing each other, making extra passes and attacking defenses.”

Texas A&M (14-12, 8-6 Southeastern Conference) has won two of the last three games against Kentucky at College Station, including an 85-74 victory two years ago. The Wildcats (22-5, 12-2) edged the Aggies 85-74 last season in Lexington. Kentucky moved up to No. 8 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll released on Monday.

Going into Tuesday’s contest, Texas A&M has won three straight games, including an 87-75 victory over Mississippi State Saturday.

“(It will be a) very tough game,” Payne said. “They try to get you in foul trouble, which you know has been something that we struggle with. They throw a lot of junk defenses at you.

“They throw different rotations and zones and presses. We have to be a really good passing team in this game. We have to be able to attack them and make good passes because, from the day we started this season, we all talked about the better offensive teams are the better passing teams.”

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Gametracker: Kentucky at Texas A&M, Tuesday, 7 p.m. TV/Radio: ESPN, UK Radio Network

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at or twitter @keithtaylor21.


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