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Brandon Knight takes another step forward


For Coach Cal, this season has been all about development – the need to get better each time you take the floor.  For the majority of the season, Kentucky flirted with taking the next step toward being a great team, but didn’t really seem to do it fully until the last three regular season games and the postseason.  For all of the collective growth, though, the evolution of Brandon Knight has been the most remarkable thing to watch.  Knight looked uncertain and out of position in Maui, but has now emerged as one of the nation’s premier guards, matching a stone-cold killer’s mentality on offense with developing defense and improved point guard savvy.  Maybe most importantly, though, he’s started to emerge as a vocal leader – a trait that was evident late in the West Virginia game when he demanded that Terrence Jones post up on the block.  It was a play that Coach Cal loved.

Yes, and we were — somebody asked a question, did we come out saying we’re trying to post the ball. Yes, we did. But we had done it earlier, too, and he didn’t post. He stepped off the lane. And Brandon looked at me, and I said, “You tell him. Why are you telling me to tell him? You’re out there with him, you tell him.” And they love each other so there’s no big deal about it, and they can laugh about it later, but that’s what a good team can do. They can get on each other; they know it’s not personal.

So why has there been so much improvement from Knight over the course of the season?  According to Calipari, it’s because he has the best work ethic of any player he’s ever coached.  Here is the extended version of those compliments:

He is an terrific player and an unbelievable person who I’ve never seen — all the players I’ve coached, and I had guys that would live in the practice facility, literally, I’ve never seen a guy with this kid’s work ethic. His focus on where are my weak areas, and he goes after them.

I’ve had a couple. One is the MVP of the NBA, so he was kind of that way, too, who called me today, by the way, what a great young man, called me before the game to wish us well. But this young man works like he does, and both very bright basketball players.

Any time you spend that kind of time, you expect good things to happen. If you’re trying to get over, if you’re cutting every corner, if you’re trying to fool around in practice, the minute it goes wrong in the game, you expect it to continue. If you’re a hard worker and you spend the time, you expect good things to happen, even if I miss two. Everybody says, why would you give him the ball when he didn’t make a shot? Because I knew he expected to make the last one, and you have to give it — and he’s not afraid to miss the last shot. You can’t be afraid to miss it, either, now. It means if I miss it, I miss it.

Go Cats.  Go Brandon Knight.  Go George Mason.

Article written by Thomas Beisner

35 Comments for Brandon Knight takes another step forward

  1. nKy_UK_fan
    6:08 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    UK has to limit Diebler’s 3’s

  2. Daver23
    6:08 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    George Mason looking scary awful and Ohio State looking Scary good. Hopefully they don’t shoot like that against us.

  3. BurnerTurner5
    6:10 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Ohio State it will be. I hope they don’t look this good Friday.

  4. First?
    6:14 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink


  5. Nope
    6:14 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink


    OSU it is.

  6. ukwildcatwildfan
    6:15 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    2, 3) At the beginning it looked like it could be a potential upset, with George Mason up 11-2…. and then Ohio State went on a 50-15 run.

  7. blitzedanddazed
    6:15 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Larry Brown to take Arkansas job?

  8. Big Blue 66
    6:17 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    OSU will have more on their hands than a colonial league team without their best player next friday.

  9. Lazlo
    6:18 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Those are answers to questions that our very own Matt Jones asked after yesterday’s win — very, very, very GOOD questions … and enough of this “Go George Mason” stuff. Enough already. I say bring on Ohio State. If you want to be the best, seems like you should beat the number one overall seed … the media will say Ohio St. will blow us out — Pitino just said “they have the look of a national champion” — they’ll be 10 point favorites tomorrow. One of the greatest games in our history began just like this. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity.

  10. blitzedanddazed
    6:23 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Ricky Three Stacks wants to know what is under OSU’s skirt.

  11. MikeInLexington
    6:24 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Wow, George Masons coach has Rob Bromleys enthusiasm

  12. catfan
    6:26 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Ohio State looks pretty scary. They have 2 huge guys and threebler seems to hit from everywhere.

  13. I can't see the comments
    6:27 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    No matter what us UK fans say, OSU is better than UK. They are scary good. But UK was better than West Virginia last year, upsets are great.

    This season is already a success, no pressure. But they have a chance to make it legendary. Let’s just enjoy it.

  14. TampaCat
    6:31 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    13.) I can’t hear your comment AGAIN!!! Go CATS!!!

  15. tdogg4033011
    6:35 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    13) I sorta agree with ya, but these dudes aren’t even being defended. UK will definately
    have to play well to beat OSU …… defend like crazy, rebound & control tempo and we
    will have a good shot.

  16. robby
    6:38 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    The only place GM is going is back home.

  17. I can't see the comments
    6:39 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink


  18. SexnNursinHomes
    6:41 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    13- It’s not dementia from late stage syphillis, but I think we beat osu. nor am I psyhic like that fat nasty ginger woman who paints her face like a clown and sits her big ol’ ass on Montel Williams show, but we will win against osu.

  19. ukfaninohio
    6:44 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Man im ready for this game we absolutley cannot lose to the buckeyes!

  20. ukfaninohio
    6:44 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Anybody remember the last time we played them i think we won by 12 sometime in the late 90s was just wondering what year?

  21. sjdkfdsj
    7:04 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Anybody wanna drive up with me and pull off a hit on diebler, lighty, and sullinger?

  22. mudcreekmark
    7:07 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Law of averages. Ohio State is shooting a little over 40% from the 3 for the year. They are at 67% for this game. It all has to wash some time. Hopefully it will happen next game. Also, they have been so deadly from the 3 lately they may have fallen in love with it.Just sayin. I’m a numbers guy and I know the numbers have to even back out, especially when we’re not goin to give up as many easy 3s as GM. Jst like whenKnight scored 2 points in the first game, odds were that his average would be made up some time and it did in one game.

  23. ukchampion
    7:08 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    i am a huge Brandon Knight fan and i think he’s a great player….

    BUT the guy often follows up a great play with a real boneheaded one. he also take poor shots sometimes. he needs to learn that he simply does not make the off-balance jumpers efficiently at all. he continues to take bad jumpers and overly-ambitious drives to the basket, sometimes very early in the possession, on a team with various offensive weapons.

    the guy can do no wrong in my book and i really hope he stays next year. but with all the praise he gets i think he still has some flaws worth pointing out.

  24. Last year
    7:13 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    If you recall, last season a certain #1 seed absolutely blew the doors off their opponents in the first two rounds. This year, WE’RE that dangerous West Virginia team. Cats by 6.

  25. Liggins Sez
    7:14 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    I was hoping that O.S.U. would have had a tighter game to make their confidence a little shakier…no such luck there…if they shoot like that against us it will be lighty out..think we can put up some better D than the GM did…think State will have more pressure on them as well.

  26. ukchampion
    7:16 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    i also agree with the people on here saying Ohio State is a very beatable team that we actually match up with pretty well except for our lack of depth.

    we need to be hitting shots from the perimeter, and may need Eloy to provide some quality relief to Jorts.

  27. Brink
    7:18 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    26. OSU only goes 6-7 deep as well.

  28. G Mason
    7:20 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    They couldent even score 100! Hahahahaha

  29. serdi
    7:24 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    How is Ohio State going to match up with Kentucky? Let’s focus on us and stop worry about Ohio State or anybody we play after Friday. Our success over the last 9 games has been our focus on our defense and offense. We need to keep that up.

  30. Hi Everybody
    7:24 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Who do you all think Liggins will be guarding? Craft off the bench, Lighty, Diebler? Idk but I think no1 on that team matches up well with Miller I look for him to have a good offensive night

  31. JerryD
    7:28 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Here’s a good tidbit…

    Kentucky has never lost to Ohio State in the regular season, but, has never beaten the Buckeyes in the NCAA tournament. Look it up…

  32. Funny Stuff
    7:35 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Hey I wanted to look at what the TT folks were saying about the BCG hire for shits and gigs, and I stumbled upon this gem. This dude calls BCG “The Warrior” and says he will go from being a UK fan to a TT fan because of the hire.

  33. Robasama
    7:36 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Why does Krzyzewski never do the network halftime interviews? Every other major college coach does them, but he sends his lap dog assistants. Just another reason to hate those snobs!

  34. WoogedyBoogie
    8:08 pm March 20, 2011 Permalink

    Umm, just watched this in a video, like yesterday. Anything behind the scenes there fellas (and lady)??

  35. Lou eaton
    9:14 am March 21, 2011 Permalink

    Best part of this story may be OH ST expecting to blow us out like GM…sound like last year with us and WVA???? I think so…