KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Nearly seven years removed from his native Senegal, Kentucky center Souleymane Charaf Camara still speaks in slightly fractured English.
But Camara, who goes by his nickname Jules, has come to understand basketball quite well.
That's what matters most to Wildcat fans.
The 6-foot-11 Camara showed his high roundball I.Q. here Wednesday night, making a slew of critical plays in a game full of them as the Wildcats edged the host Volunteers 74-71 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Kentucky improved to 10-3 heading into a home game Saturday night against South Carolina.
Tennessee fell to 7-3 with road games looming in the next week against Mississippi and Florida.
With 4:53 left in Wednesday's game, Kentucky was clinging to a 66-65 lead and the 17,273 fans were roaring - most of them for the Vols.
Camara knocked down a wide open jumper from the right key for a 68-65 UK lead.
With 2:08 to go and the Wildcats up just 68-67, Camara knocked down both free throws in a bonus situation to put Kentucky again up three.
Again, Camara struck back, swishing another jumper near the free throw line with 53 ticks left on the clock for a 74-71 Wildcat lead.
For more on this story, see today's State Journal.