Darius Miller is eager to see how much Kentucky has progressed since its last road game.
Miller will get that chance when the Wildcats take on Arkansas tonight in Fayetteville, the team’s first contest away from home since an 81-77 loss at Vandy on Feb. 12. Since the setback to the Commodores, Kentucky reeled off two straight victories, including a 90-59 blowout over South Carolina in its last outing last Saturday at Rupp Arena.
“We feel like we are prepared,” said Miller, who scored a career-high 22 points in the team’s rout of the Gamecocks. “We feel good and ready to go. We feel comfortable, so hopefully we can come out, play the whole 40 minutes and stay focused.”
Aside from a renewed emphasis on defense, the previous two games at home helped the Cats recover from a rare losing streak that featured three losses in four games.
Calipari knows that playing in front of the home crowd has been a major factor in the recovery process. The Kentucky coach also hopes the team can build off those two performances and produce in their final two road games.
“Let’s use these to get better,” he said. “Let’s look beyond just wins and losses. Let’s start playing better.”
As usual, Calipari is expecting a “war” against the Razorbacks, who have lost four of their past five games in the Southeastern Conference, and have suffered 10 straight setbacks to the Cats.
“They probably think they can beat us, and I don’t think it’s going to lighten them up,” the Kentucky coach said. “It’s like, this is a chance to get them (Kentucky), and let’s take advantage of it.
“It’s going to be a war. Every game we have from here on in is a war. We either have to bow the necks and play or you get beat.”
Despite the pregame hype surrounding the contest, Kentucky freshman guard Doron Lamb likes the team’s chances and added that the Cats are feeling “confident.”
“Everybody’s happy, smiling, while we’re having great practices and doing what coach (Calipari) tells us in practice,” he said. “If we keep doing that, then we’re going to win our games on the road.”