Cats prepare to take on tough Vandy squad

Top ranked, at least until Monday, Kentucky seeks redemption against a very hot Vanderbilt squad in Rupp Arena today. John Calipari, Eric Bledsoe, Darnell Dotson and Patrick Patterson discussed the prospects of playing Vanderbilt during yesterday's press conference.

On Friday Kentucky coach John Calipari discussed the prospects of playing Kevin Stallings' hot Vanderbilt squad.

"(Vanderbilt) reminds me of my UMass teams. Just a team of five guys, three guys off the bench, and they all know what their jobs are. They make shots and they are tough. They are not beating themselves. Kevin and I talked today and I told him what a great job he is doing with that team."

Calipari discussed the challenges of playing Vanderbilt, which features a quartet of players averaging double figures in scoring. Jeff Taylor(left), A.J. Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal are all averaging around 14 points per game.

"You can't worry about one guy; every guy that they have can shoot threes, can bounce the ball and pass the ball. It's like my UMass teams. Everybody is a basketball player and they are physically tough. You are not going to punk them. You aren't walking into the gym saying, ‘Let's throw an elbow and knock somebody down. Knock them out for introductions.' That's not happening. None of that stuff is working in this game. They are a veteran team and they are tough."

Darnell Dodson said of the Commodores, "We expect them to come out and play a really tough and physical game, so we just have to come out and match their level of intensity."

Dodson discussed what it has been like coming off he loss to South Carolina and preparing to play a tough Vanderbilt team.

"It was hard the first day, but we had a good practice (Thursday) and everybody is back focused on bouncing back and winning Saturday's game against Vanderbilt," said Dodson.

Eric Bledsoe was asked about Saturday's contest with Vanderbilt.

"They are a pretty good team, they work hard. Their post players and guards, they never stop playing," said Bledsoe, a freshman guard.

Junior forward Patrick Patterson also spoke of the game against Vanderbilt on Friday.

Patterson said, "(Thursday) everybody was practicing hard. The teammates were out here early taking shots and more focused. We definitely will have a better effort. Vanderbilt has a good winning streak; they are doing well right now and have an extremely tough team. (A.J.) Ogilvy is a tremendous basketball player. He is very strong down low. He can post the ball, and he can also run. He has improved so much on the jump shot. Last year he was able to drive the ball from the perimeter. He can do so much as a big man. We know what type of team they have and we want to do whatever we can to win the game. We are going to bring our ‘A' game and play our hearts out."

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