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Jan 16

Tennessee expects same from Kentucky Wildcats

Tennessee guard Jordan McRae hasn’t noticed much change in Kentucky’s basketball team this season.
“They’re a good team,” McRae said after the Volunteers defeated Auburn 78-67 Wednesday night in Knoxville. “They are their usual Kentucky team. They are going to be tough to beat at home but I think we can manage.”
For the first and only time this season, Kentucky and Tennessee will meet Saturday in a noon tipoff at Rupp Arena. Kentucky is coming off an 87-85 overtime loss at Arkansas, while the Volunteers recovered from a 57-56 setback to Texas A&M last weekend with an 11-point victory over the Tigers.
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said the bounce back win over Auburn proved to be beneficial to his squad.

“I thought we were good as far as the energy and emotion as players,” Martin said. “Leading up into the practices I didn’t think we were emotionally and immensely at the level we needed to be because of that tough loss. I think our guys will be back on the grind after this. You get it off your back and continue to push forward. League play — you’re talking about 18 games. You learn from it and get ready to rumble on Saturday.”
Because of putting so much emphasis on his team, Martin hasn’t had much time to focus on the Wildcats but knows the task won’t be easy, especially with Kentucky coming off its first conference loss.
“You talk about a league team — a very talented league team,” Martin said. “I haven’t watched film with a pen and a pad on them, because my focus is obviously Auburn, but (I started on) that (Thursday) — breaking down film (and) analyzing,” the Tennessee coach said. “One of our assistant coaches already scouts them, so he has a game plan, but for me I have to watch these four or five pieces of film.”

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