“Playing not to lose” is a phrase we’re not used to hearing around these parts these days. But, that’s exactly what Cal said the Cats did tonight in the second half against Alabama:
“(Alabama) fought and had great confidence and played to win. We played not to lose, which young guys do on the road at times. …This is a young team, I’m trying to be patient, I am. At some point you buy in.”
For the past two weeks, Cal has preached the importance of “buying in” for this squad. He says the first step is individual players buying in to the way they have to play to be successful, and once they’ve done that, the team coming together as one. Several players failed at the former tonight, namely Archie Goodwin, Ryan Harrow, and according to Cal, Nerlens Noel. Cal said that Nerlens reverted back to bad habits, coming off his feet during shot fakes. In order for the him to be successful, Cal said it is critical for Nerlens to stay down. A defeated Nerlens admitted the lapse as well: “I should have stayed on my feet and stayed disciplined. I definitely owed that to my team.”
Seven blocks helps make up for it.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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