Kentucky’s shooting slump simply sums up tonight’s game. They were there all game, but the difference in the second half was that a few more bounced in.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, but you see if we make threes – we were 5 for 10 in the second half – and if you go back and look, they were the same looks in the first half that we went 1 for 11, then the second half we’re 5 for 10.” Calipari added, “But I’m not worried about it.”
At halftime he had a feeling the shots were going to start falling, but he was more upset with the effort and the defense than the missed shots.
“I walked in at halftime and I would like to have said, ‘OK we shot 30% in the first half and we’re up one. That’s a good thing.’ But it wasn’t because we got out-roughed and we got pushed around again.” Calipari said, “We just have a long way to go.”
Calipari saw his team respond defensively in the second half, creating fast break opportunities and easy buckets at the rim. They started to show a little fight, but he is persistent. Even after he left the locker room he sent each person on the team a text: “I believe in you. Time to ball.” He wants to see them fight and scrap as soon as their feet hit the floor.
“They are so young they don’t know what it means to fight, they just don’t.”