Kentucky basketball: Fears over Washington injury overshadows Cats victory

TyTy Washington Jr.of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
TyTy Washington Jr.of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Kentucky basketball
Lance Ware of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Lance Ware is the Kentucky Wildcats enforcer and showed the Gators why

In all honesty, I have always been a huge Lance Ware fan. I have loved his tenacity, work ethic, and cheering for a guy who makes the most of every minute he is on the floor.

The addition of Tshiebwe last January has only made Ware stronger, physical, and tougher and that is what this Kentucky team has lacked for years. Now they have a pair of monsters on the block.

Calipari was asked if playing both changed the tone of the game.

"“No, it did change the tone. Lance was the reason we had a gap. You know, and I said after, he’s building his own confidence. He knows what he is. He’s not listening to people tell him eighth-grade basketball scoring. He’s not listening to that. He’s doing what he has to, and he protected Keion (Brooks Jr.). Keion didn’t play great today. Keion has played out of his mind. Well, he struggled. He’s not a machine, he’s not a computer. It’s not video games. Lance went in and covered for him.”"

What was even more entertaining and definitely unexpected were them playing together in a game for extended periods of time. Ware has always been the backup giving Tshiebwe a breather, but with Keion Brooks struggling in the game and Jacob Toppin out with injury Calipari went with two bigs and it paid off.

Ware logged 14 minutes of action and netted four points and hauled down seven rebounds. The 6-foot-9 225-pound sophomore from Camden, NJ does what is asked of him and has become a crowd favorite.

Calipari was asked after the game if every team needs a Lance?

"“You know what I told him after, what’s great, that shows you it’s not eighth-grade basketball, he shot an airball from the free-throw line, and you know what the fans were doing? ‘We want Lance, we want Lance.’ It just tells you if you’ll fight and complete and not be timid, just play aggressively, everybody loves it.”"

When Ware went for the ball in front of the Kentucky bench a scrum nearly erupted when Florida’s Phlandrous Fleming Jr came up and shoved Ware in the back. Ware nearly went after him, but just smiled as assistant coach Orlando Antigua wrestled a much larger Ware away from the players.

If both stay out of foul trouble you have to believe Ware will see more action alongside Tschiebwe.

Brooks and Toppin had been playing well at the four spot and now they have competition from Ware for playing time.

Not a bad problem to have.