UK assistant coach Joel Justus met with the media today to discuss the team’s mindset as they head to Brooklyn to face Hofstra, and when asked about Kentucky’s bounce-back win over Valparaiso, said sophomore Isaiah Briscoe’s energy is the key to this team’s success.
“Briscoe was a big part of getting that back for us the other night vs. Valpo. He was tremendous. He had big smiles. Big thing that Cal wants our guys to do is talk and touch and he was all over the place. He was engaged in huddles, he was engaged in pregame. That’s Isaiah at his best. And as someone who’s on the same team as him, it was great to see. I was happy. It was great to have him being his best and that was a lot of fun. Zay’s a big reason why we were who we were the other night.”
Briscoe didn’t have his best outing vs. UCLA, shooting only 28.6% from the floor, and during his interviews with the media, he admitted his energy wasn’t what it should have been that day.
“After the game, Coach called me into his office and he just told me, ‘What happened today, you weren’t yourself, I didn’t see the energy,’ and everything like that. And me being a leader of the team, I had to accept that. I told him, ‘Yeah, I didn’t bring energy and I feel like that one is on me,’” Briscoe said. “The time we had [in between games] at practice, I was just going hard and giving it my all, and he said, ‘That needs to be you every game. That needs to be you every day in practice.’ That’s what I’ve been focusing on.”
Justus said that when Isaiah’s playing with energy, it benefits everyone.
“I think the biggest thing for him is when he comes in and he’s got that big smile and he’s laughing and talking and touching and bringing that competitive spirit to practice, that’s when we’re at our best and then also when he’s doing that in games, that’s when we’re at our best. ”
“As long as we keep doing what we need to do and Isaiah does what he needs to do, I think we’re going to be fine,” Justus concluded.
– UK Sports Network (@UKSportsNetwork) December 9, 2016