Kentucky hoping home is where the confidence is

By Will Graves/The Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach John Calipari jokingly double-checked with a Southeastern Conference official on Monday when he looked at the schedule and saw the Wildcats get to spend the next week at Rupp Arena.

It’s been a bumpy few weeks for the 22nd-ranked Wildcats, who fell to 1-5 on the road in conference play during an 81-77 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Kentucky (17-7, 5-5 SEC) returns home on Tuesday to face Mississippi State (13-11, 5-5). The Wildcats are unbeaten at Rupp Arena under Calipari, and the coach says his team needs the time to develop a sense of urgency with the regular season winding down.

Calipari says the difference between Kentucky and SEC East leading Florida is the Gators consider defense a priority, something he says the Wildcats haven’t figured out.