Despite Kentucky’s recent struggles, Auburn expecting tough fight

John Calipari - photo by Chet White |
John Calipari – photo by Chet White |

News that forward Willie Cauley-Stein, one of Kentucky’s four freshmen who start, doesn’t expect to play Saturday was passed along to coach Tony Barbee.  How, Barbee was asked, did he believe his friend would cope with the 7-foot hole in his lineup?

“He just reaches down the bench and goes and grabs another McDonald’s All-American,” Barbee said. “So it doesn’t change much.”

That’s life for the basketball program, never short on talent or mystique. However, this year’s Wildcats edition is a shell of its former self after winning the national championship ten months ago — is 11-5, not receiving a single vote in either the Associated Press or USA Today polls after opening the year ranked third in both publications.