At various points this season, he's done it, to varying degrees, with Chris Livingston, Lance Ware, Ugonna Onyenso and Daimion Collins. He's also made Adou Thiero the subject of such praise. On Wednesday night — after the barely used freshman played a little more than three minutes in a 20-point victory over Florida A&M, his first game action in nearly a month — Calipari amped up the appreciation level.
Kentucky's coach talked about how Thiero was the only scholarship player on this UK team who had yet to receive a true, extended opportunity to show his stuff in actual games. Calipari paused briefly, for effect, and made a statement that went beyond any he'd uttered in the recent past regarding players under similar circumstances.
“I'll say this, and I'm not saying this lightly,” Calipari started, in full declaration mode. “I don't know when it's going to happen, but he will have a huge impact on college basketball. He will. Because he can play basketball. He's tough physically. Plays better in the games than he does in practice, to be honest with you.
On This Day In UK Basketball History
- On March 2, 1970, Dan Issel scored 42 points against Auburn.
- On March 2, 1991, before a crowd of 24,310, the then-largest crowd in Rupp arena history, the Wildcats closed out the 1990-91 season with a 22-6 overall record. Although UK was ineligible for the SEC title because of probation, the Wildcats secured the best record in the league (14-4) with a 114-93 win over Auburn to end its two-year probation. A ceremony and parade followed.
- On March 2, 1996, with a 101-63 victory over Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena on Senior Day, UK became the first team in 40 years to finish with a perfect record in the SEC, a 16-0 sweep. It was the Wildcats’ 25th win in a row, tying the school record for consecutive wins in a season. Two games later, they set the new record at 27 games.
- On March 2, 2012, Darius Miller, in his final performance at Rupp Arena, led Kentucky in scoring with 17 points on Senior Night in a 30-point win over Georgia.