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Larry Vaught: UK prepares for Missouri

 Quarterback Stephen Johnson remains convinced UK can win a lot more games despite the Cats' anemic offensive showing against Eastern Michigan. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, and UK fans, were not overjoyed with the 24-20 win over Eastern Michigan. Yet it does put UK at 4-1 going into this week’s game with Missouri.

Kentucky’s anemic offense had five three-and-outs on eight second-half possessions and the offensive line was shredded by the Eastern Michigan defense. However, there’s still reason for optimism going forward.

Missouri has been outscored 86-17 the last two weeks and has allowed 31 or more points in every game this year. Tennessee lost 41-0 at home to Georgia last week. Vanderbilt has given up 97 points the last two weeks in losses to Alabama and Florida. Mississippi State after a then stunning 37-7 pounding of LSU has been outscored 80-13 in losses to Georgia and Auburn. And Mississippi got crushed 66-3 by Alabama Saturday.

“We have a lot of stuff to fix. We can never argue about a win and we can never be mad about a win,” Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson said after the Eastern Michigan game. “We definitely know we have a lot of stuff to fix, so we cannot put ourselves in those situations when it comes down to it. But we also know if we get some things fixed, we still have a chance to win a lot of games.”

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The 2017-18 season hasn’t started but ESPN has already come out with a mock 2019 NBA Draft projection.

Recent UK commit Immanuel Quickly is No. 6 overall on Jonathan Givony’s mock draft list with three UK sophomores — Kevin Knox )12), P.J. Washington (16) and Jarred Vanderbilt (18) — all in the top 20. Junior Sacha Killeya-Jones is projected at No. 28. That would give UK five first-round picks in 2019.

As of today, Hamidou Diallo and Nick Richards are both projected as 2018 first-round picks.

Just remember a lot will change by June, as we found out late last week when UK announced Vanderbilt would miss about three months due to a foot injury.

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