Today’s SEC Tournament semifinal victory over Alabama did not come easy for your University of Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky turned it over and gave up easy offensive rebounds at the start of the game.
Then, a switch was flipped. In the postgame press conference, John Calipari shared what solved his team’s problems.
“They had nine rebounds between them,” he said, pointing at De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. “They had eight turnovers at halftime. EIGHT. They had none in the second half. That’s why we won the game.”
Their scoring certainly helped as well. Malik Monk hit the gym early to get out of his shooting funk, finishing with 20 points. For the second consecutive game De’Aaron Fox went for more than 20, finishing with 28 points. Since the Texas A&M game, Fox has scored 67 points and made 57 percent of his shots.
“I’m just getting confident,” Fox said of his current three-game heater. “I went back home and one of my friends told Coach Cal something. I’m not going to repeat it, but he said something to the whole group and after that I’ve just been shooting the ball better. Let’s not jinx it. I’m coming into the game with more confidence. Honestly, my teammates are getting confidence in me and it’s just helping me build my own.”
The infectious confidence is helping this team become the best version of itself. Complemented by selflessness, they are beginning to turn the corner.
“The team is starting to come together and understand numbers don’t matter,” Calipari said. “We’re still not, like there yet, but we’re moving where I want us to go.”