MKG faces former teammate in Gordon

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist faces former teammate Derrick Gordon when the Cats square off with WKU

Louisville — Since he's known Derrick Gordon all his life, Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist said Wednesday he was not quite sure how to explain what playing against him would be like.

"I think it will be weird. I have never played against him, only with him. I?don't even know how to explain it," said Kidd-Gilchrist.

The two New Jersey high school teammates will square off Thursday night when No. 1 Kentucky meets Western Kentucky. Gordon is Western's leading scorer and Kidd-Gilchrist is one of Kentucky's most valuable and versatile players.

"I have been knowing him since I was 8," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "We played high school and rec league ball together. I?am proud of him. He is a great kid. He plays great defense and with a lot of heart, two things I?really like."

However, Kidd-Gilchrist says Gordon might not have seen everything he has to offer during their time together. "I got something up my sleeve for him," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "He does not know it yet, but I?do. I'll have some stuff he has not seen yet."

Gordon laughed when told what Kidd-Gilchrist said.

"I am just going to play my game and not try to do anything out of character," Gordon said. "If he did add something, we will find out. I will guard him some. That's the matchup everybody wants and everybody back home is going to be watching."

Kidd-Gilchrist wants to guard Gordon, too.

"He said he wants to guard him. He knows that guy. He wants to stick him. High school teammates, it's always good to go against one of your high school teammates, especially around tournament time. So he definitely told us that he wanted to guard him," Kentucky center Anthony Davis said.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he saw Gordon play "many games" when he was recruiting Kidd-Gilchrist.

"As a matter of fact, I saw him hit a game winner down in Florida when their team was floundering, and he made two baskets and then a game-winner to win the game, which shows me how much courage he has," Calipari said of Gordon.

Gordon said the two often joked about playing against each other in college, but neither imagined it might be in the NCAA Tournament.

"It's going to be exciting," Gordon said. "We have to play our game and not get caught up in doing things we are not used to doing."

The Western freshman says he and Kidd-Gilchrist have similar games and philosophies.

"We are junkyard warriors. We rebound and do not care who is scoring. We both shoot from mid-range and need to work on our 3-point shooting," Gordon said. "We have a lot of similarities. Neither one of us likes to lose."

Gordon jokes that Kidd-Gilchrist told him Kentucky was "going to blow us out," something the Western standout says won't happen.

"That's not going to happen. We have seen them play on TV a lot. We didn't even have to watch film. We know they get most of their points in transition," Gordon said. "It's going to be an up and down game. Anything can happen. We are not going to stop fighting."

Gordon says Kidd-Gilchrist is "my brother" and he wishes media interview schedules had not kept them from seeing each other Wednesday.

"Any time I?am with him I?am happy," Gordon said. "We meet in AAU and just stayed in contact and then went to high school together. It's going to be real good to see him. I?have not seen him since we graduated. I can't wait to play. I wish the game was today. It's going to be that much fun."

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