Kennedy praises Cats

Ole Miss coach leaves little doubt what he thought about bringing his team to Rupp Arena Saturday even though the Rebels lost 77-62 to No. 1 Kentucky.

Andy Kennedy joked that he contemplated "moving to Florida to sell insurance" the second time he watched tape of his Mississippi's loss to Vanderbilt Thursday.

However, the Ole Miss coach left little doubt what he thought about bringing his team to Rupp Arena Saturday even though the Rebels lost 77-62 to No. 1 Kentucky.

"I?am a basketball Jones at heart. I have great respect for this place. To me, it is the pinnacle of college basketball. I?believe that. Very few times do you get the chance to play in Rupp Arena, in front of a packed house, against the number one team in the nation, so enjoy it. If you are not getting any enjoyment out of this, what are you doing?" said Kennedy.

Mississippi shot 47.2 percent for the game, including 60 percent (3-for-5) from 3-point range. It got Kentucky star Anthony Davis in early foul trouble. Yet the Rebels were blitzed after tying the game 34-34 by a 34-12 run that left the Ole Miss coach gushing about UK's talent and national championship aspirations.

"It's the best Kentucky team we've played in my six years. And that's saying something," Kennedy said. "Obviously 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 because they defend (is better).

"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 said even though Kentucky is a totally different type team from the Nevada-Las Vegas teams of the early 1990's that were so dominant, he see similarities.

"They remind me of the Vegas teams in the early 90's. The only thing that can get in their way was them or foul trouble. They don't have an awfully deep bench. They have seven or eight key guys. If they stay intact and stay focused, and I know Cal will mandate that, they are as good as I?have seen in college basketball,"?Kennedy said.


AllWildcats Top Stories