Vols Face Kentucky’s ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’ Defense Again Saturday
Kentucky may be the kingpin of SEC hoops, but Tennessee has won 6 of the last 9 meetings against the Wildcats, including the last match-up earlier this month in Lexington.
In the Vols 82-71 win two weeks ago over Kentucky, Tennessee freshmen guards Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson put on a show.
Said Kentucky head coach John Calipari:”They scored 50 points. Two players. 50. The one thing of all the tape that I’m watching now. They’re making three’s too. So you can’t just collapse in the lane because if they make a ton of threes, they’re really hard to beat. But if two players get you 50, they’re hard to beat.”
John Fulkerson didn’t score at all in the big win over Kentucky.
But he appeared to get back on track Wednesday against South Carolina scoring 19 points.
Said Vols assistant coach Kim English:”It’s not Fulky’s job to be Carmelo Anthony in the mid-post isolation post fade-away game. Like he has to get some easy buckets. It’s the job of the guards to set up those forwards for easy baskets.”
Vols have to keep their head on a swivel against that Cats defense.
They lead the nation in blocked shots.
Reporter:”The serious threat of sending it back the other way that affects how they have to approach you all the way around.”
Said Calipari:”We say they hear ‘Casper’. They hear ghosts. They know you drive in there, you don’t know where the hell it’s coming from, but ‘Casper’ is in there.”
Maybe we should call’em the ‘Blocking Dead’.
Despite the Cats defense, they’re still 7-13 this year.
Certainly not a scary record, but maybe a bit deceiving.
Said English:”There may not be a team in the country that has not lost more single possession games, but I’m not sure there’s a team that has played as many single possession games as those guys.”
Tennessee and Kentucky tip at 1pm on Saturday at Thompson Boling Arena, and the game will be televised on News 12 Now.