ATLANTA — Kentucky freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt will not play Thursday night for Kentucky in its Sweet 16 matchup against Kansas State.
Vanderbilt has suited up in any game this postseason. He missed Kentucky’s three SEC Tournament games and its first two NCAA Tournament games with a left ankle injury. Vanderbilt didn’t fully practice with the rest of the team in the brief period open to the media Wednesday afternoon.
Vanderbilt said Wednesday that he was still “day to day” and “hoping for the best” when asked if he’d play against Kansas State.
“I probably wouldn’t have too many minutes,” he said Wednesday. “The guys have been playing well in my absence. I think regardless we’re still gonna play good.”
The 6-foot-9 freshman missed Kentucky’s first 17 games of the season with a foot injury, but he was Kentucky’s best rebounder in the subsequent 14 games he did play. Vanderbilt averaged 7.9 rebounds and 5.9 points in 17 minutes per game.
Kentucky coach John Calipari guessed Wednesday that Vanderbilt would be unavailable.
“It’s hard to play a guy that’s going to play 80, 90 percent in these kind of environments,” Calipari said. “It’s just hard. The game is played at a high level. When you talk Kansas State, they’re physical, they play hard, they’ll fly, and then if they don’t have it, they grind. You know, it’s hard walking into a game like that.”
Kentucky and Kansas State tip off at 9:37 p.m. ET at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Watch: Jarred Vanderbilt updates status
The post Kentucky basketball: Jarred Vanderbilt will not play against Kansas State in Sweet 16 appeared first on SEC Country.
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