"He's a guy you can spend 30 minutes of your scouting report and his name will not come up," said Kennedy. "He made some big ones I thought. We cut it to three (points) and he raises up and knocked in a big shot."
Dodson got his second straight start — this one in place of Darius Miller — and responded with three rebounds, one assist and none turnovers in his 16 minutes of play.
His teammates understand how valuable Dodson's outside shooting can be.
"It is either give up layups or give him the shot," Wall, who had 17 points and seven assists, said. "If he makes shots, it's tough for teams to stop us."
Dodson knows his role is to score. He's not a dominant rebounder or defender, but he is the team's best 3-point shooter and when he hits shots, opponents pay dearly for double-teaming Cousins inside or clogging the lane to stop Wall or Eric Bledsoe from penetrating.
"My teammates look to me to score. My responsibility is to finish plays," Dodson said. "It helps everybody when I make shots just like it helps me get open shots when DeMarcus finishes plays inside. When we are all doing our jobs, everybody's job is easier."
Perhaps the best part, though, is that Dodson doesn't have to do more than he's capable because UK coach John Calipari now has a three-headed small forward.
Dodson is the 3-point specialist. DeAndre Liggins is the best defender and rebounder, and he's improving his offense. Miller is the steadiest and still the most complete player despite his recent scoring slump.
Combined they had 24 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 42 minutes.
While it might be nice to have one who was a 3-point specialist, lockdown defender and terrific rebounder, coach John Calipari knows he has to utilize the strengths of each player as he did in this game.
He actually thought Miller, who was 2-for-5 overall and 1-for-4 from 3-point range, had two 3-pointers because he shot the ball with no hesitation. He also liked the way Liggins and Miller each took a charge.
"They are all different. When you come to the end of the game and you need a defender and rebounder, who do you play? DeAndre. Who do you put in to shoot? Darnell. If you want a smart, steady player, you put Darius out there. "I am playing by committed, but I think Darnell and DeAndre have stepped up their play and I can also play those two guys at the two (guard) when Eric needs to come out."
Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson are UK's four stars. They normally will lead the team in scoring and minutes played. They are the players Kennedy and other coaches talk about in the scouting report while Dodson, Liggins and Miller are often overlooked.
However, that's fine with Dodson because he says filling the small forward position by committee works for the Cats.
"I am pretty comfortable in my role. I think we all are. We play as hard as we can and then take ourselves out or if we make a mistake, Coach will take us out," Dodson said. "I think there is always some kind of change in the game when one of us comes in and that makes it hard on other teams.
"It doesn't matter whether it is me, DeAndre or Darius, we all bring some extra energy into the game that can pick up our overall level of play. We all have the mindset that we should be going in and making our team better."
That's what Calipari wants. He wants to use UK's depth to wear down opponents and realizes when he gets the kind of overall contributions from the three the Cats did Tuesday that his team likely will play well.
"I was worried about the game because I don't think these guys understood how good this team (Mississippi) is," Calipari said. "I was happy with how we played and proud of my team."