If I have one takeaway from today’s game, it’s that we really need Derek Willis’ ankle to get better. Without Derek on the floor to stretch out the offense, the Cats looked lost. Once Murray cooled off and proved he is, in fact, mortal, Kentucky’s weaknesses inside were painfully exposed. As Chris Fisher pointed out on Twitter, aside from Jamal Murray, UK is 0-17 from three-point land in their two games without Willis. He’s that critical to opening up the floor.
“Derek is a crucial part of our team,” Marcus Lee said. “He brings something that a lot of our bigs can’t. He spreads that court out wide, especially for Tyler and all our guards to get in the middle and it helps everything out. We’re hoping he gets back soon and we can start rolling again.”
John Calipari said he had no idea when Willis would be back (“Maybe he’ll take a picture of [his ankle] and let you guys know”). While Cal admitted that not having Derek today hurt, he pointed out that Derek didn’t exactly have the game of his life against the Commodores earlier this season, putting up 7 points off 2-8 shooting.
“Probably hurt us, but again, if he’s not fighting and rebounding and doing stuff, if you watch the game against them last time, he was not a factor. He was not a factor in that game, he made one jump shot.”
Still, for Kentucky to do anything in March, today’s performance proved we need that ankle to heal up.
Apologies for the quality, blame Periscope