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February 2, 2013
Notes: Cats welcome second shot to defend Turner
Archie Goodwin was embarrassed.
After Texas A&M's Elston Turner dropped 40 points on Kentucky three weeks ago, several Wildcats said they were ashamed such a performance happened at Rupp Arena.
Worst of all, UK lost the game to the Aggies 83-71.
But when it comes to Saturday's rematch with the Aggies and Turner, the Cats and Goodwin are confident.
"They way they performed was simply not something that we should have allowed," Goodwin said. "But we're pretty sure we're going to take care of it this time."
The Cats started the first meeting with Alex Poythress guarding the 6-foot-5 guard. Calipari said he didn't know who would be covering him on Saturday but joked that he knew one guy that wouldn't, hinting at Poythress.
Odds are Goodwin will get the assignment, and he's more than ready for the opportunity.
Matter of fact, he can't wait.
"A guy that scores 40 on a team as good as we are, that's just an embarrassment to our team," Goodwin said. "We shouldn't let that happen.
"I can't wait to play him because I know that I'm not going to let it happen again."
Goodwin, with the help of some other Cats, held Ole Miss sharpshooter Marshall Henderson to only five points in the second half of a Tuesday win. Henderson shot 26 percent after halftime.
There are plenty of similarities between Henderson and Turner. Both are the focal points of their offenses, but Goodwin said Turner was the more physical of the two.
And while Goodwin is up for the challenge and ready to be the Cats' lockdown defender, coach John Calipari is hesitant to give Goodwin that label.
"What we have right now, except for maybe Nerlens Noel, are guys when they make an error they don't have the discipline to move on to the next play," Calipari said. "So, if he takes a bad shot or turns it over, slips and falls and comes back and he's guarding their best player, he will get lost on a screen.
"A shot will go up, he won't block out or he'll leave his feet and foul. It's where he is."
But if Goodwin can remain disciplined on defense and not let one bad play turn into two, it could go a long way in helping the Cats win.
And there's no guarantee that Kentucky will need a lockdown defender on Turner to avoid a repeat of his Rupp Arena performance. Since Turner torched UK, he's been less than impressive.
The Aggies are just 1-4 since beating the Cats, in large part because of Turner's struggles. In those games Turner is averaging 10.4 points per game, and he hasn't had a game where he has hit more than six shots. He hit 14 against UK.
Turner is shooting 31.6 percent since his breakout game against Kentucky. He's made as many threes in five games since (six) as he made at Rupp Arena.
The Cats are confident that if they can keep Turner at bay, the rest will take care of itself. And Kentucky's looking for more than a win at Reed Arena. It wants redemption.
"Anybody that drops 25, 30 or 40 on us, we do not want that to happen again," Jon Hood said. "We have a real sour taste in our mouth. We are looking to shut him down a bit."
Wating on Willie
Kentucky freshman Willie Cauley-Stein, who has missed Kentucky's past four games after having a minor procedure to repair an old injury in his left knee, could return to action against the Aggies.
Cauley-Stein traveled to Ole Miss this week but did not play. He practiced "on and off" on Thursday, Calipari said. It was unclear how much he would practice on Friday.
"My expectation would be he may play a little bit, but if I don't feel like it or the game's not going like I want, we may just let him out another game," Calipari said. "We'll see."
Cauley-Stein averages 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Kentucky is 3-1 in his absence.
Publisher Brett Dawson contributed to this report.