Karl Towns is a lovable guy. I’d argue that more than any other player in the Calipari era, Karl goes out of his way to connect with fans, and after five minutes in his presence, you can’t help but want to be best friends with him. However, before the game, Karl said no more Mr. Nice Towns. Karl told reporters that he made a conscious effort not to smile on the court tonight. “I came in with a killer mentality,” Karl said. “I just didn’t want to be a freshman anymore.”
It worked. Karl had a career-high 19 points off 8-of-9 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds. All without smiling. What do Karl’s teammates make of his vow not to smile? “It’ll be something we definitely make fun of him for,” Marcus Lee said afterwards.
Karl’s got a great smile, but if we have to sacrifice it for performances like that, then so be it.