LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Missouri Tigers come into Rupp Arena for the first time ever Saturday night and UK coach John Calipari is expecting a battle. Calipari said he watched the Tigers' upset of Florida earlier this week. "They ball, they're not afraid, they fight, they'll battle. They'll make tough plays, they''ve got more than one player that can make a play, so they don't have to run plays to make baskets."
Missouri is unranked and has won only one road game all season. The Tigers are 19-7 on the year and are looking to build their resume for the post season just like Kentucky. Missouri features big men Laurence Bowers and Alex Oriakhi, along with guards, Keion Bell, Jabari Brown and Phil Pressey. Pressey is regarded as one of the top point guards in the country, averaging 6.7 assists. Calipari believes his guards can keep up with him. "It's a challenge and then it's a challenge for him to stay in front of our guards. If the court's open and they want to attack and play. There's no excuse now, the court's open, get by him. He's getting by you, get by him."
It's shaping up to be a big game for UK point guard Ryan Harrow, who struggled through two difficult games against Florida and Tennessee.
Harrow came back strong in Wednesday's 74-70 win over Vanderbilt, scoring 12 points and dishing out four assists.
It's also being called a "statement game" and guard Archie Goodwin feels Kentucky can make a statement. "We're a team ya know, that can do a lot of things that people have been doubting us about. And just to show the world that we actually know how to play this game and we're going to be pretty good and have a chance to win."
Missouri and Kentucky tipoff at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN.