Bam Adebayo had 21 points tonight off 7-8 from the field, and any Kentucky fan that watched that game knows Bam needs to get the ball more for this team to succeed. John Calipari said his guards not getting the ball to Bam was one of several problems Kentucky had offensively tonight, and at halftime, he put his foot down.
“We wouldn’t throw Bam the ball until I said at halftime, ‘That’s it, you either throw him the ball or you’re coming out.’ Again, let me say this, doing what’s right for the team isn’t always right for you personally. And it’s an area we’re going to have to work on.”
Bam was getting so few touches early on that the freshman came over to Calipari and said something about it, prompting Cal’s halftime ultimatum.
“Bam, at some point, I don’t know if you saw me laughing, he walks over and said, ‘You may want to tell them to throw me the ball.’ And I had to laugh. We were down, and that’s what he said to me. And a halftime, I said, ‘That’s it.'”
So, are Kentucky’s guards being selfish? Not exactly. According to Cal, his three guards have a terrible case of hero syndrome. Instead of coming up with a play involving their other teammates on the court, they’re trying to do everything themselves individually.
“It’s not that we have selfish guys. They’re just playing, just playing versus, okay, what are we trying to do each trip down,” Cal said. “And the pass they want to make is the hero scoring pass. We’re not playing how we were playing two weeks ago. Maybe we got arrogant. Again, it comes back to what I’m accepting as a coach. And obviously I’m accepting this kind of play from young kids and I’ve gotta do a better job and I will.”
Thankfully, there’s time.
“This is going to be a tough road and it’s a tough learning thing. The good news is, it’s still January. That’s what’s great. This is not college football. This is get your team right.”