Arguably, Kentucky's most intriguing position going into the 2017-18 season is point guard. Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander bring different approaches to the position. So how will UK determine who plays when? Matchups? Hot hand? Coin flip?
"Play totally different," fellow freshman Kevin Knox said of UK's leading point guard candidates Thursday.
Gilgeous-Alexander is faster and more of a disruptive force on defense, thus better suited for the up-tempo style Kentucky prefers. "Quade has played slow his whole life," Knox said. "The kind of guy who had to change when he got here."
Green is more of a 3-point shooting threat. In UK's three exhibitions, he made seven of 11 shots from beyond the arc. He seems better able to spread opposing defenses that are likely to prefer to sag into the lane to limit UK drives to the basket.
"We've been working on Quade's defense because he's a little bit smaller and a little bit slower," Knox said.
Green acknowledged inattention to defense prior to coming to Kentucky. "I wasn't really doing it, really," he said. "I was going through the motions on defense. But now, I believe I picked it up."
Green downplayed the idea he and Gilgeous-Alexander are starkly different options at point guard. Both, he said, "try to get where you've got to go, really. So we're both fighting in practice to try to get better. That's every day."
With a bandage under his left eye, Green looked like he had been in a fight. An inadvertent elbow from Gilgeous-Alexander required three stitches to close, Green said. He will wear the bandage in Friday night's opener.
UK coach John Calipari suggested a decision might not have to be made.
"I like it," he said of the point guard candidates, "because we've played with three point guards the last few years."
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