By LARRY VAUGHT
Anyone who thought Tyrese Maxey would be overwhelmed when he had to play point guard against Florida after normal Kentucky starter Ashton Hagans didn’t make the trip with the Cats just didn’t know Maxey.
The bigger the challenge, the more he like it. Always has and always will.
“It was cool. I just tried to do what I needed to do to get the W. Tried to get guys shots, Nate Sestina, Keion Brooks, Nick Richards. Try to run the offense as best as possible, as best as I could,” Maxey said Tuesday.
Maxey played 39 minutes at Florida on Saturday. He missed 10 of the 11 shots he took but compensated with seven assists, five rebounds and one steal. He also managed to get seven points by hitting all four free throws he took and his only field goal was a 3-pointer. He also had just one turnover.
Maxey likely will play point guard in the NBA just like he did at times in high school and would have to do again Friday in Hagans does not play in the SEC Tournament in Nashville.
“I kind of did it in high school for the most part, but that was the first time having to do it, exclusively, in college,” Maxey said. “I do it when Ashton goes out of the game or when we don’t have another point guard in.
“But it was pretty good, pretty fun. I had a lot of fun out there and we were able to get a win. That was really important.”
Calipari praised the way Maxey played against Florida despite the poor shooting. Maxey also thought he played well.
“I didn’t turn the ball over, tried to get my teammates the ball, get them shots, get them easy shots, wide open shots and try to stay solid. Try to help us get the W,” Maxey said.