Right now, it’s hard to find silver linings in Kentucky’s loss to Seton Hall aside from a ridiculous shot by Keldon Johnson, but John Calipari said he liked his team’s fight at the end of the second half.
“I like the fact — I told them after the game, we fought. We fought. That was good. I thought we started the second half and we just kind of did what we had been doing, which is letting guys beat us to balls and all that. And all of a sudden, it’s anybody’s ball game. But at the end, I thought the second part of the second half, we fought.”
“All in all, for our kids to fight in a ‘road game’ and give us a chance to win and go to overtime? We made strides. We’re a better team than we were two weeks ago. We just still — I’ve got a lot to figure out offensively. We played such great defense. You’ve gotta get to 40 somehow.”
All season, Calipari has said he’s not worried about Kentucky’s offense because this is one of the best shooting teams he’s ever had. Not today. The Cats were 43.5% from the floor, but only 25% from three. Tyler Herro, one of Kentucky’s best shooters, was ice cold, going 0-6 from three and only 4-13 from the floor.
“We couldn’t get baskets,” Cal said. “Tyler, 0-6. And I hate to tell you, every one of them was wide open. He just didn’t make them today.”
Cal insisted he’s not discouraged with this team, but admitted that the annual process of teaching young guys is draining.
“We’ve got a ways to go. Every year I go through this and it’s painful and aging. Trying to figure out your team. Trying to win games while you’re trying to figure them out. How you finish games and get them to mature quickly? It’s just hard. You know what? I’m going to have to go through it again.”
If you’ve ever wondered what this team would look like on its worst offensive day, this may have been it. If you believe Calipari, that won’t happen too often.
“When you fight and you defend like we did in the first half, you’ll be fine,” Calipari said. “We just missed a lot of shots we couldn’t afford to miss.”