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Coach Cal: “Less is more.”

…and a little team effort can go a long way.

Tonight’s matchup against Alabama will show whether Kentucky has permanently improved, or if the game at Auburn was just a fluke “whomping.”  After a season of frustrating effort levels, and sloppy guard-play, the Cats seemed to click against the Tigers, running up a 20+ point win.  What was the difference?

Coach Cal voiced his opinion on what set this new look apart from the early going: a focus on the team, instead of on the stat sheet.

I was really pleased with Archie’s play.  His shot selection was really good. He played and drove to make his teammates better instead of just trying to shoot the ball. And then defensively, he took some pride in his defense. Now you have an attacking player who’s taking pride in his defense versus a player who’s taking bad shots, an unenthusiastic defender.

Archie had 12 points, trying to score about half as much as he’s been trying to score. And he scored two or three points less than his average–and that’s because he missed free throws. So what I say is: You can do less and score more if you’re efficient and you’re playing for your team. He’s learning that.

Is it really that simple?  You’ll remember one of Cal’s go-to phrases toward the end of last year was mentioning how Anthony Davis and MKG, the top two picks in the Draft, took the 4th and 5th most shots on the team.  I wonder how many times he’s mentioned that in practice to these guys?  However often it is, it looks like it’s finally starting to click.

And did you notice the Cats having fun on Saturday?  All the smiles and 3-goggles and the like?  It looked like the way last year’s team used to play; it looked like they enjoyed basketball.  And that’s hard to do when you’re trying to focus on your own numbers.

So they’re starting to do it, and they had fun doing it. They enjoyed playing. They bounced and jumped and they chest-bumped each other. We’ve been waiting all year for it. But see, when you’re concerned about how you’re playing and you miss two shots, it’s hard to chest-bump somebody. If you’re more about the other guys on the team, none of that matters.

It’s hard to believe that the solution may be that simple, but it looks like the Cats have finally turned a corner.  I’ll knock on wood for saying that, but maybe the Texas A&M loss was the jolt that got the guys thinking about the team more than the box score.  And when you think about the team, you share their successes, and when you share their successes, you have more fun playing.

And when you have fun playing, you “whomp” SEC teams.  And we have fun watching.  Let’s keep it rolling at Alabama.  (See what I did there? “Rolling” at Alaba- Nevermind.)

Article written by Corey Nichols

16 responses to “Coach Cal: “Less is more.””

  1. Caytss

    Drew and tt have already posted 90% of what u just said. It would be nice to actually get some news at 9 am.

  2. just saying

    WOW, a “Corey Story” thats not difficult to read, and actually has a point. Little guy is growing up in front of our eyes

  3. zekefromlostcreek

    bama will be a much tougher test than auburn was

  4. RealCatsFan

    Really glad to see the light starting to go off for Archie. It takes a lot of personal pressure off of a player when he stops worrying about his individual performance and starts devoting energy into making sure he is helping his teammates maximize their game. This relaxed attitude translates into more success on the court, which Archie is finding out. Archie will also discover that it is much easier to finish on a drive when a defender is not sure whether he is going to dish the ball off to a teammate or take it to the rack. In the past, the defender knew there was a 95% chance that Archie would do the latter, so they were always ready to try to block his shot or draw a foul.

  5. HicksPickSix

    Corey Nichols’ contributions to KSR: “less is more.”

  6. rick

    It will take more than a win at Auburn to say this team has turned the corner.

  7. UKJoe

    Loved the way we played at Auburn, but not ready to say we turned the corner yet. Its Auburn, not Florida. We still have a long way to go. But winning comes first, and tonight is a must-win. See you guys there.

  8. lbj

    Whats this….UK basketball news? And here I was hoping to hear Corey’s thoughts about that new show “Buckwild”.

  9. UKJoe

    Breakfast at Wheelers today very very good. Never dissapoints.

  10. Bob Loblaw

    This is the problem with a young team, it just takes them longer to “get it”. I think they have turned a corner and will blow out Alabama tonight.

  11. Sports Motto

    Just curious Cory, was this a Coach Cal quote or your own line?

    “And when you think about the team, you share their successes, and when you share their successes, you have more fun playing.”

    Love it!

  12. blueballs

    “Less is more.”

    I tell my wife this every night and she doesn’t believe me

  13. Rockfield, KY

    It’s ironice that it took at loss at the hands of one guy having a huge individual night to teach our guys that we have to play as a team in order to win. That being said, I’m glad Archie is learing what the term “efficient” means. We’re not good yet, but if we ever get it figured out, we’re the most talented team in the country.

  14. Blue

    While I’m really excited with the way we played Saturday, I’m not ready to say we’ve turned the corner for a couple of reasons…1, we came out of the gates in that game horrendous, although we did play strong throughout the second half. I’m glad we were able to bounce back after that poor start. 2, Auburn is terrible, and we should have beaten them by 25+. 3, Auburn had a pitiful shooting night, all of which cannot be attributed to our defense. Had they had an average night shooting the ball, especially when we went on that 0-13 spurt in the first half, that game may have looked totally different. I know we can always play the “what if” game, but 0-15 is extremely uncharacteristic of Auburn, and played a big role in our ability to build such a big lead. Regardless…It may prove to be a turning point for this team if they take away what Cal seems to believe they may have.

  15. NotSatire

    Lol…love the pic