The Wildcats upset then unbeaten Vanderbilt 79-73 in double overtime on Jan. 12 to start league play. Now the Commodores are 20-4 overall and only 5-4 in league play after six SEC road games already.
"They have not struggled. They have just been on the road," Gillispie said Monday. "They are a very, very difficult team to play.
"They are hard to stop in transition. They are hard to score on in transition. They spread you out so much and they can score from all five positions."
Gillispie remembers Vanderbilt missing a lot of shots in the game at Rupp Arena when UK broke the Commodores' two-year, four-game win streak over the Cats. Vandy was 24-for-54 from the field, but only 9-for-24 from 3-point range.
He also remembers both 6-11 A.J. Ogilvy and 6-9 Alan Metcalfe getting in foul trouble as well as Vanderbilt turning the ball over more than normal in the first half.
"All games are big in this league," Gillispie said. "They (Vanderbilt) have had a brutal schedule. We will get them at their best now that they are back home.
"I think we are going to try really hard. We have not taken care of the ball very well in our last two games. We've got to play smarter at all spots."
Kentucky limited Vandy star Shan Foster's touches in the first game. He finished with 20 points on 6-for-12 shooting, but did most of his scoring late when Vandy was trying to overcome an early 23-10 deficit.
"But he's not a one-man team," Gillispie said. "They are all good enough to beat you."
Foster averages 18.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Ogilvy, a freshman from Australia, adds 17.4 points and 6.7 rebounds. He had 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting against UK and only five rebounds, one reason the Cats won the board battle 45-23.
"Ogilvy gets better all the time," the Kentucky coach said. "He is a great athlete. He's tall, strong and has good hands. He has unbelievable knowledge of how to play. He looks better and better all the time."
However, Ogilvy was soundly outplayed by UK freshman Patrick Patterson in the first game. Patterson had 23 points, 12 rebounds and blocked two shots. He went to the free throw line 13 times.
Gillispie says each UK player has to do a better job taking advantage of the swarming defenses opponents are using on Patterson.
"Patrick demands so much respect. We have to make harder cuts. We have to get the ball to him quicker so you can get a shot one step closer to the basket (when he passes)," Gillispie said. "We have to take advantage of playing with a guy who catches everything, knows where to be and how to utilize his footwork."