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Some Late Friday Night Notes


A few late notes on Florida Eve…

 – The note that I found most curious Friday was Calipari’s assertion that as of this moment, he wouldn’t advise anyof the Kentucky players to enter the NBA Draft.  Calipari tempered the statement by saying that decision was still a ways off, making it seem more like a passing comment than anything.  What we’ve learned, however, is that Calipari doesn’t just say things to say them.  There’s a reason for everything he says to the media.  The statement about his players not being ready for the draft had the feel of a last ditch effort of finding what would motivate them to come together as a team.  He’s tried positive reinforcement.  He’s talked about the upside.  He’s criticized them.  Challenged them to get better individually and collectively.  None of it has seemed to help them take the next step in playing as a team.  Maybe this will.  I don’t know if the possibility of going pro is lingering in their minds and, to be completely honest, I would probably think it’s not, but the statements from Cal would make you presume that he at least wonders if it is there enough to be a motivating factor.  Last year’s team was led by two guys who could play relaxed every night and still know that a top-5 spot was waiting on them at the end of the year.  The freshmen on this team don’t have that luxury.  If that’s the case, it doesn’t make them selfish.  It just might explain why they haven’t found cohesion.

 – One of the themes of this week’s practices appears to be Calipari’s insistance that the team “play harder than your opponent”.  He talked about it in his meeting with the media and Matt noted earlier that he was preaching it during practice.  All season long, Cal has told anyone who would listen that he’s challenging the players to give more each game and find a way to blow away the expectations that people have for them.  To this point, they still haven’t quite gotten there yet.  Saturday is going to be a test as the Gators bring a team that is heavy in talent, but also beat them in Gainesville by making the effort plays at the end.  They will attack for offensive rebounds and try to tip passes and dive for loose balls.  If Kentucky wants to win, it’s going to take an efficient game and that type of extra effort in out-working a team that has shown that they come ready to play hard for 40 minutes (or more). 

 – In the portion of the media meeting involving the players, Brandon Knight and DeAndre Liggins both spoke of being angry with the loss at Arkansas and with how the team is playing.  Knight said that the team isn’t feeling pressure, but they know they have to play harder.  He also spoke of the team watching film and seeing guys not playing aggressively or with confidence and said that it’s not the team they want to be.  He sounded like a player who was ready to challenge his teammates in the game to raise their play and that’s something that is needed very badly on the court.  He said all the right things about remaining confident in his shot and taking open looks at the end of the game.  He needs that to rub off on his teammates Saturday.

 – The home-road dichotomy continues to be an interesting twist to the season and it will continue against the Gators.  The Cats open as eight point favorites against the SEC East leaders, who beat them by two in Gainesville.  It’s obviously a testament to how well they’ve played in Rupp and if they were to walk away with a win – especially at that margin – it could go a long way in getting things going in the right direction.

 – On a completely different note, Randall Cobb measured at 5’10 1/2 and 191 pounds at the NFL Draft Combine, which was seen as a victory of sorts.  There were some concerns that Cobb would measure smaller, but those measurements seemed to be a pleasant surprise.  He will participate in all of the drills this weekend and look to improve on a 40 time that was measured at 4.55 in the spring.  He will also be honored Saturday by the Touchdown Club of Atlanta as the Southeast Special Teams Player of the Year, though he won’t be in attendance to receive the award.

 – The drama continues with the Detroit Pistons as Marc Stein reports that the veteran players tried to orchestrate a boycott of the team’s shootaround after they were not traded and coach John Kuester was not fired.  Among the group of players, who were all benched Friday night, was Tayshaun Prince, who has quarrelled with the coach all season.  Stein reported that the players had organized a boycott before the All-Star break but were told the coach would be fired and they called it off.  After he remained in place, they set it up again.  Not a good situation.

That’s it for now.  Make sure you join us for the KSR Live Blog at 3:30 and follow Matt’s CBS account (@MattJonesCBS) for behind-the-scenes tidbits all day.  Today could be the start of a very good thing.  See you in a few…

Article written by Thomas Beisner

21 Comments for Some Late Friday Night Notes

  1. AKA cold buckets
    12:03 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    I predict big games from Lamb and Knight tomorrow.


  2. el hombre juan
    12:08 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    i predict everyone (that plays) is very tired. what do you expect.

  3. Impermissible Snacks
    12:17 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    No mention of Nazr getting dealt at the trade deadline?

  4. Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven
    12:38 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    No way Cats beat Gators by 8 tomorrow. Our players are angry, they’re losing (3-4 in Feb) and they have no chemistry.

    Cats: 73
    Florida: 69

  5. bubba
    2:51 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    We’ll have a great team next year.

  6. Matt from Hodgenville
    6:31 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t like the “play harder than your opponent” approach. Sounds too much like Gillispie. With as much talent as our guys have, teach them to “play SMARTER than your opponent,” (i.e. DON”T THROW THE BALL DIRECTLY TO AN ARKANSAS PLAYER WHEN YOU HAVE A ONE POINT LEAD IN OVERTIME!!!)

  7. kidandplay
    7:28 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    high top fade yo

  8. there's always THIS year
    7:30 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    unfinished business … SEC title + FF

  9. barn
    7:33 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    UK 91/lizards 84. right it down, ralph

  10. Players fan
    8:45 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    None of the present players are ready for the NBA, physically. They need more muscle, especially Jones and Knight. There is no doubt about ability as to Knight and Lamb. I don’t buy into the hype about Jones, fantastic potential, but I can point out mistake after mistake, most of which don’t even reach the plus and minus. I know they need his height but often I think the “team” plays better when he is not there, and that is not saying he hogs the ball, it seems they feel they have to get him the ball, instead of Lamb or Knight taking shots. Jones 3 points shots are momentum killers.

  11. Hard Hittin' CAT
    9:07 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    If I were going to say last years team was led by two guys I’d have to have Patterson as one of the two.

  12. duhville cat
    9:08 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    Alright ladies…. Wakey… Wakey. Let’s get this show on the road.
    Go Cats! Chomp dem Gaytors!
    And put a body on Blanche Devereaux (Parsons) for cryin out loud!

  13. HomeJersey
    9:22 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    All the talent in the world + $1 will get you a cup of coffee. I’d start 4 Deandre Liggins and 1 Randall Cobb Saturday. These kiddies need to grow a pair, man up & chomp them damn Gators. Make those seats @ Rupp worth the $$$$ GO JORTS!!!

  14. NotTheSlickistRick
    9:45 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    Wake up time to hate on some gators. Is Beis sleeping in or BTI’s computer still crunching meaningless numbers for some totally useless post?

  15. concerned fan
    10:02 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    Prince is hurt, I think, but he did boycott practice. I think he’s been unhappy there for a while. Detroit has shown he so much love that it would be hard for him to go, but for his career he needed to be traded.

  16. Jonah Hex
    10:07 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    Prince and those guys are worse than the Democrats in WI.

  17. Jonah Hex
    10:08 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    And yes I would say the same thing if the Republicans took their ball and went home.

  18. Al's IndiCats
    10:08 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    If there is one thing that sticks out the most to me, is that if someone hassels Knight, (putting hands on him pushing him around) he starts to get somewhat timid in his play. That’s when I would drive on him even if there wasn’t an opening in the middle. I’d make that dude foul me on every play.
    On Jones, MHO I just feel he isn’t ready for the pay check yet. Although he’s in the top 4 or 5 in rebounding in the SEC, he’s not doing what needs to be done with a guy his size.
    Let’s go get some Gay-tors and make them look like Chimps or chumps that they are…..GO CATS!!!!!!!!

  19. john4uk
    10:19 am February 26, 2011 Permalink

    Jonah Hex Says is completly ignorant .Only a fool would make a statement like heade.

  20. nba draft
    2:45 pm February 26, 2011 Permalink

    what a shame! cal was really wanting to shine on draft day!greatest day in ky bb history

  21. Jonah Hex
    10:45 pm February 26, 2011 Permalink

    Jalen Rose said the same thing this morning 19.