It was another happy locker room tonight, and in yet another example of how loose and fun this team is, Willie Cauley-Stein broke out the team Twitter Mirror to capture the pool of reporters around him. Making this picture may be my proudest moment as a media member.
Before he took the picture of all of us, Willie had a lot to say about the Cats’ dominating performance. Yesterday, Daxter Miles said he doesn’t think the Cats play hard. I reminded Willie of that and asked him how hard he thought his team played tonight.
“I don’t think we played hard enough, personally.” Willie quipped, smiling. “I think we played pretty well. That was one of our better games, when we was up by a lot staying focused and staying on it, what we wanted to do. I think we did pretty well.” Understatement of century?
Typical Willie, he got more wound up about West Virginia’s trash talk as he kept talking. “Teams talk. Like coach said, you’ve gotta step in the ring sometime. You gotta throw the ball up,” Willie said. “Teams are better off saying nothing to try to catch us off guard instead of talking cash (yes he said cash). Now we ready. We was ready to play last night. Come into the game, we was ready to go.”
Every player I interviewed said the trash talk was a big topic yesterday and this morning. “We were joking around with each other. They were saying we don’t play hard and we were like, ‘maybe they should play hard,'” Tyler Ulis said. “We’re winning and we’re just trying to keep it going and the trash talk just pumped us up and we came out and did what we’ve gotta do.”
“Everybody was juiced up,” Dakari said. “We wanted to come out and make a statement and after all the talking they were doing, we didn’t really do that much talking. We just let our play do the talking. I think that made a statement.”
When I asked Dakari if he thought Kentucky “played hard,” he joked “We was only at 50%…haha, no I’m just playing.”
You might not be, actually.