Samford-Kentucky Preview

The Associated Press

Kentucky bounced back nicely from a stunning loss in its last game, but it may have to play its next one without preseason All-American Terrence Jones.

Because of a gruesome finger injury, the sophomore forward is questionable for the third-ranked Wildcats' matchup with visiting Samford on Tuesday night.

Kentucky (9-1) suffered its only defeat this season on a buzzer-beater at Indiana on Dec. 10 but registered an 87-62 rout of Chattanooga to open a five-game home stretch Saturday.

Leading scorer Doron Lamb had 24 points to lead five players in double figures, and freshman forward Anthony Davis added 14 points, a season-best 18 rebounds and five blocks. Wildcats fans, though, might have been just as focused on Jones, who tried to play with a dislocated left pinky.

A photo passed around the Kentucky locker room showed his finger bent at nearly a right ankle from his shooting hand.

"Yeah, I've seen it," guard Darius Miller said Monday. "It's pretty nasty."

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Jones, who is averaging 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds this season. He had four points and six turnovers in the loss to Indiana, and missed all three of his shots during the 10 minutes he played Saturday.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said that Jones, who has missed consecutive practices, likely won't start Tuesday's game.

"I don't know (his status)," Calipari said. "He's still swollen and black and blue. The doctor said he thought he may be able to practice today, but he looked at and said, 'I'd keep him out another day.'"

The Wildcats should manage if they have to play without Jones as Samford (3-6) has beaten only one Division I opponent. The Bulldogs' consecutive wins coming into this game have come against NAIA schools Lindsey Wilson and Spring Hill, which fell 90-64 in Homewood, Ala., on Saturday.

Bulldogs leading scorer Drew Windler (11.7 ppg), a 6-foot-9 sophomore center, had a career-high 23 points during that game. He might have a tougher time scoring if guarded by Davis, who is listed an inch taller and already considered a potential NBA lottery pick.

The freshman, averaging 11.8 points, is one of the nation's leaders with 4.4 blocked shots per game and second in the SEC with 10.0 rebounds per contest.

Windler's team is facing its first ranked opponent since the 2007-08 season. Samford has lost nine straight to Top 25 foes - by an average of 25.2 points - since knocking off then-No. 15 St. John's on Nov. 19, 1999.

The Bulldogs have never faced Kentucky, which improved to 18-0 all-time against Southern Conference teams with Saturday's win over Chattanooga.

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