17 July 2024

Breaking News;Tre Mitchell was suspended for wildcat after facing several…..

 

Tre Mitchell didn’t play for UK basketball in Cats’ buzzer-beating win at Mississippi State

 

A wildly entertaining 2023-24 Kentucky men’s basketball season has now seen 28 games played to completion.

 

And the Wildcats have had all of their scholarship players available for a grand total of 24 total minutes, all of which came in a home win over Ole Miss on Feb. 13.

 

This lack of roster continuity continued with Tuesday night’s buzzer-beating road win at Mississippi State.

 

Kentucky fifth-year forward Tre Mitchell was out injured for the 91-89 win over the Bulldogs, which marked the fourth straight game that Mitchell has missed for the Wildcats. Mitchell has now missed six of UK’s last seven games.

 

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But, it seems like his time on the sideline could be nearing an end.

 

Postgame, UK head coach John Calipari indicated that a return for Mitchell could be coming sooner rather than later.

 

“I think so,” Calipari said when asked if Mitchell was nearing a return. “He’ll practice a couple days and let’s see where he is.”

 

Kentucky next plays on Saturday afternoon against Arkansas at Rupp Arena.

 

Mitchell — who has per-game averages of 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists this season — has started all 22 games that he’s appeared in for the Wildcats.

 

“We like our depth, and we like the ability to be able to play different ways,” UK assistant coach Chin Coleman said Monday. “I think obviously having Tre’s experience and all of that stuff, he’s like a traffic cop out there for us: He kind of directs traffic by being a secondary ball handler, we put the ball in his hand, we play through him a lot, we trust him.”

 

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The Wildcats have gone 4-2 this season in games Mitchell hasn’t played in, with wins over Vanderbilt, Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State, and losses to Gonzaga and LSU.

 

“We’ve just got to figure out different ways to play with or without (Mitchell),” Coleman added. “As we’ve done the whole season, figuring out ways to play without this guy, these two guys … it’s kind of been like a musical chair type of thing for Coach Cal to kind of figure all this stuff out. I think for the most part he’s done a great job.”

 

Sophomore Adou Thiero has started for Kentucky in all six games that Mitchell hasn’t played in this season.

 

Thiero was UK’s third-leading scorer with 11 points against Mississippi State, and he also had two steals in 26 minutes on the court.

 

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Kentucky has gotten comfortable playing shorthanded this season: Including Tuesday night, a total of eight Kentucky players have combined to miss 52 games this season due to injury, illness or other availability issues.

 

“It’s kind of crazy,” Thiero said Friday about UK’s persistent injury issues. “It’s like the basketball gods don’t want to see us all play together, because they just know what’s going to happen if we all play together. But the time’s coming. Hopefully soon, we’ll have a whole team. And stay like that.”

 

Herald-Leader Staff Writer Ben Roberts contributed to this article.

 

Tre Mitchell had missed five of Kentucky’s most recent six games entering Tuesday night’s contest at Mississippi State.

Tre Mitchell had missed five of Kentucky’s most recent six games entering Tuesday night’s contest at Mississippi State.

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