Ulis will not practice
According to Coach Calipari, Tyler Ulis’ status for the team is still day-to-day and the 5-foot-9 sophomore will not join his teammates in today’s practice. Cal shied away from reporter’s questions about Ulis playing in tomorrow’s match up against the Redbirds, instead, Cal saying the team “might be without Tyler” and that it “would be a different game.” Cal assured reporters that Ulis’ injury was not serious and that “he’ll be fine.” Ulis hyperextended his elbow during the Wildcat’s game against South Florida Friday, but according to Ulis’ dad, subsequent x-rays revealed no broken bones and told reporters that his son’s injury was nothing to worry about. Cal said, knowing Ulis, the starting guard would insist on playing against Illinois State but it was still too early to make a definite call.
If the team is without Ulis for Monday’s game, Cal said he was unsure how the team would react gainst the Redbirds who, according to Cal, play similiar to Arkansas in that they like to trap and pressure teams on defense.
“Tyler keeps coming and does not stop,” Cal said of Ulis. “That’s the experience. I don’t know how the other’s will respond. They (Illinois State) has some veteran guys… Ulis has experience with these types of teams.”
Let’s just hope that Tyler is icing up that elbow.
The guys need to be more aggressive
Cal said the guys need to “stop running from someone” and instead “look for someone to post up” during games. He told reporters that after reviewing tapes, he noted that some guys need to play more physically and fight for position.
“We’re playing really fast and that is really hard to do,” Cal said. “You have to play physical. What we’re asking of them is really hard. If we can get to when the shot goes up, fight for position then go get the ball, we’ll be fine.”
Cal said Illinois State likes to spread the court and play five men out, which means the Wildcat’s will need to adjust on the defensive side of the ball where center Skal Labissiere will need to up the ante on the aggression meter.
“If Skal doesn’t play tough enough, we’ll put Isaac in,” Cal told the media.
Hawkins is working hard for minutes
After being sidelined with a hand injury, Dominique Hawkins told reporters he felt like he was “being left behind” and has been working hard to get back into rotation. In regards to Hawkins’ playing time, Cal said he has been trying to get the guys to understand that they are responsible for themselves.
“They need to fight within. You want more time, how are you going to get it,” Cal said. “If you don’t defend you have no chance playing here. If you go under the ball screen – you are coming out.”
Cal said, unlike other teams, Kentucky players are expected to be on “warp speed time” here and develop their talents quickly.
“(On other teams) you can tell them that by junior year, you are going to be a beast,” Cal said. “But here, we say, by JANUARY, you got to get this right.”
Blue gets in
Cal said he expected to see some blue at UCLA’s Pauley Pavillion when the team takes on the Redbirds tomorrow.
“I don’t know why,” Cal joked with the media. “I would figure they would get tickets somehow.”
Let’s hope the Big Blue Nation doesn’t disappoint.
Isaiah Briscoe has a message
According to Cal, Briscoe has a card attached to his mirror that reads: “Make a ridiculously hard play look easy.” However, the coach said Briscoe has been reading the message backwards, because he has been making easy plays look difficult. Cal claimed it was “just how the AAU play” and that Briscoe would have to break some habit’s from high school.
The No. 1 Wildcats (6-0) will take on the Redbirds (3-4) tomorrow at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.