Kentucky Coach John Calipari Does Not Want To Think About Games Without TyTy Washington

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There was the loss at No. 2 Auburn on Saturday, but Kentucky coach John Calipari feels more stung by the impact of possibly not having point guard TyTy Washington in the near future.

Washington left the game in the first half with a left ankle injury shortly after his jumper put the No. 12 Wildcats up 25-16 with 8:24 to go. He landed awkwardly on a teammate’s foot. Without him, Auburn caught up to 33-29 at the half and took the game over in the second half for an 80-71 win in front of a 9,121 at a sold-out Auburn Arena.

“It hurts us,” Calipari said. “He’s a playmaker. If he needs to go get a basket, he can do it. We don’t have those guys.”

Washington, a 6-foot-3, five-star freshman who was the No. 3 point guard in the nation by out of Compass Prep in Phoenix, is averaging 13.6 points, 4.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds a game with 23 steals.

“Don’t know,” Calipari said when asked about Washington’s status after the game. “I don’t know. I’m not going to deal with it because I don’t know. I’m not going into hypotheticals.”

The Wildcats (15-4, 5-2 SEC) host Mississippi State (13-5, 4-2 SEC) at 9 p.m. eastern Tuesday on ESPN before traveling to No. 7 Kansas on Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN) as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Kentucky does have playmaker guard Shahvir Wheeler, a 5-9 junior who is averaging 10.8 points a game with 6.9 assists and 23 steals.

Auburn (18-1, 7-0 SEC) could be No. 1 in the nation in the Associated Press poll Monday with No. 1 Gonzaga (15-2, 4-0 West Coast Conference) idle on Saturday. Auburn plays at Missouri (8-10, 2-4 SEC) at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on the SEC Network.

Speaking of polls, No. 13 LSU (15-4, 3-4) will likely descend dramatically after its third straight loss – 64-50 at No. 24 Tennessee (14-5, 4-3). The Tigers dropped into eighth place in the league. Tennessee held LSU to its lowest point total under coach Will Wade, who has been coach since the 2017-18 season.

Tennessee will be in the other ranked pairing in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge as it plays at No. 23 Texas at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

In other games Saturday, Florida defeated Vanderbilt, 61-42, South Carolina beat Georgia, 83-66, Mississippi State beat Ole Miss, 78-60, Alabama defeated Missouri, 86-76, and Arkansas beat Texas A&M, 76-73.

This week’s schedule starts early with a COVID-19 makeup contest on Monday between Florida (11-6, 2-3) and Ole Miss (9-9, 1-5) at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network in a game originally scheduled for Dec. 29. Florida and Ole Miss will each play three games in six days.

The rest of the week’s schedule follows leading into Saturday:

TUESDAY’S GAMES (All times eastern)

Alabama (13-6, 4-3) at Georgia (5-14, 0-6), 6:30 p.m., SEC Network

No. 2 Auburn (18-1, 7-0) at Missouri (8-10, 2-4), 8:30 p.m., SEC Network

Mississippi State (13-5, 4-2) at No. 12 Kentucky (15-4, 5-2), 9 p.m. ESPN


Florida (11-6, 2-3) at No. 24 Tennessee (13-5, 4-3), 6 p.m., ESPN2

Vanderbilt (10-7, 2-3) at South Carolina (11-7, 2-4), 7 p.m., ESPNU

Arkansas (14-5, 4-3) at Ole Miss (9-9, 1-5), 7 p.m., SEC Network

Texas A&M (15-4, 4-2) at No. 13 LSU (15-4, 3-4), 9 p.m., SEC Network

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.


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  1. Kentucky had #2 Auburn on the ropes when that happened. Without TyTy, we’re in bigbig trouble. He’ll be back for the SEC tournament though, that’s 6 weeks rest for an ankle sprain.

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