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Feb 18

Kennedy: Kentucky has reached elite status

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy has coached a lot of basketball games and has competed against Kentucky every season for the past six years, but the current crop of Wildcats may have topped the cake.
Kennedy came away impressed with the Wildcats following his team’s 77-62 loss to the top-ranked team in the nation Saturday at Rupp Arena.
“It’s the best Kentucky team we’ve played in my six years – and that’s saying something,” the Ole Miss coach said. “Obviously (John) Calipari has taken this thing to an elite level. Two years ago when we were in here; when you talk about John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, maybe the best outside guy and the best inside guy in college basketball during their time and they had some other very good pieces, I think this team (is good) because they defend. Anthony Davis at the rim and for him it was a very pedestrian game, but he is such a difference maker. He just changes the way you try to attack him and when you tell your guys to attack, it changes the way in which they do attack because they know he is lurking, his length is incredible and he just makes a difference defensively. I believe they do a really good job with their ball movement and their spacing. I think they are tremendous”
Kennedy made those comments after his team was dismantled by Vanderbilt 102-76 in its previous outing Thursday night.
“I watched the (Vanderbilt) game threes times,” he said. “The first time I watched, it I was trying to figure out how to stem the tide literally from an Ole Miss perspective, second time I watched it and I was contemplating moving forward, the third time I watched it, it was with our team yesterday and I was in awe with how Vanderbilt played. Was it the best we could play? No, but we’ve played a lot worse. (Vanderbilt) put on a clinic (like) nothing I’ve ever seen, and unfortunately we were on the receiving end of that. I thought tonight our effort was pretty good, Kentucky is very good. I was realistic with the guys, the margin for errors was small. I thought we competed and for us, now it’s just a matter of trying to move forward and winning the games in front of us.”

Feature story: Miller’s dunk gave Cats a spark in win over Rebels.

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