Now that we’ve slept off the Sunday basketball excitement and we’re ready to tackle a new work week, let’s put the Monday morning responsibilities on hold for a moment to hit some of what we couldn’t get to last night. Normally we’re moving forward in these Monday a.m. posts, but with lots of Sunday evening basketball on the early 2016-17 schedule, get ready for basketball to flood the page on the mornings before Mark Stoops takes the podium for the football talk. I guess you can say we are crossing streams in November. So let’s go.
1. First, let’s get one thing out of the way — Brad Calipari did not call glass on his second three-pointer.
Without question, the play of the game was Brad Calipari’s banked-in three-pointer late in the game. The team, and his mother, exploded with applause for the young Calipari; however, his dad did not.
After the game, Bam Adebayo made it clear that Brad did not call glass on the shot:
2. Derek Willis believes the starting five will change from game to game.
Everyone in the building was surprised to see Kentucky roll out the starting five of De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, Wenyen Gabriel, Derek Willis and Bam Adebayo, leaving Malik Monk on the bench as the team’s sixth man. Monk will, of course, make his way into that starting five as a regular in the very near future, but the pieces will likely change on a game to game basis, according to Derek Willis.
Willis said, “I think it’s going to go either game by game, week by week… Kind of see who’s playing well, who’s playing with the most energy, who’s being most efficient on the defensive end, stuff like that, so it could change.”
3. Malik Monk suffered a minor shoulder injury in practice.
Coach Cal said Monk came off the bench because a three-guard starting lineup would’ve messed with frontline rotation, but Bam Adebayo thinks it might’ve been due to an injury Monk suffered in practice.
When asked about the surprise lineup, Adebayo told reporters, “It was because in practice Malik went down with a little shoulder injury. He slid and I guess he fell wrong so that was coach’s decision.”
If Monk was playing with a shoulder injury, it certainly didn’t slow him down any.
4. Adebayo lucky to walk away from scary fall.
Big Blue Nation let out a collective gasp with Adebayo legs were swept out from underneath him on a play at the rim early int he game. Luckily he was able to land softly, but in the moment, everyone braced for the worst, including Adebayo.
“It was like a little flash from my life.”
5. Calipari called out student attendance after the game.
In talking about the new upgrades to Rupp Arena, which he said makes the place look brand new, Cal also put the student section on blast, saying, “I look in the upper deck and I’m like, ‘These people are crazy.’ And only behind us, where there were some students, which we should sell the tickets, forget it, students you got to get here.”
Back in my day, it was a fight to get into the eRupption Zone for each game, and the teams weren’t half as good as they are these days. What’s the deal, kids?
6. Chris Dortch of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook thinks it’s Calipari’s deepest Kentucky team.
Looks like Cal has his deepest team at Kentucky.
— Chris Dortch (@cdortch) October 31, 2016
I’m going to disagree and take the 2014-15 team as Cal’s deepest (and it’s not even close), but it’s good to know there are people on the outside who like the depth of this team.
Sacha Killeya-Jones said, “We know if we go out there and play as hard as we can for four minutes, do everything you can, and then the next TV timeout or whatever happens, the next sub, whenever you need a break just put your hand up and you can get out, get a break, and go back in and play as hard as you can for as long as you can. It’s awesome having so much depth and versatility.”
7. Clarion’s head coach really likes Wenyen Gabriel.
Of all the young stars on Kentucky’s team, Clarion head coach Marcess Williams’ favorite of the bunch may surprise you.
“My favorite is Wenyen Gabriel,” he said. “I love that kid. He might be the best one of them all.”
Gabriel added a lot of new fans with his play last night.
8. How’s the weather up there, Bam?
9. Calipari disappointed in team’s three-point defense.
One of the main things John Calipari harps on is limiting the opponent’s three-point field goals. His team did not do a good job of that in its first exhibition, allowing nine made three-balls in the game.
He said he told his team afterward, “If we give up nine threes in a league game, we will lose.”
Willis added, “We gave up nine threes and I think that can be attributed to freshmen playing at Rupp Arena and still trying to get a feel for it. We’re going to make mistakes, but we still have a long way to go and we see the potential.”
10. Up next for the day: Mark Stoops and all the pre-Georgia talk your little heart desires.
Mrs. Tyler Thompson and Nick Roush will keep you informed with up-to-the-minute news out of Stoops’ press conference, while I sit in on the Kentucky Sports Radio radio show with Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond.
Stick with us and we’ll get over the Monday blues together.