«

»

Calipari’s choice was not to play Labissiere against Vanderbilt

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari decided Vanderbilt was not a good opponent to play Skal Labissiere against. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari decided Vanderbilt was not a good opponent to play Skal Labissiere against. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Remember how well freshman Skal Labissiere played at Arkansas Thursday? He made shots. He rebounded. He blocked shots. He played with confidence.

Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt was going to be a chance for him to be on that success. Kentucky coach John Calipari said as much after the Arkansas win.

So what happened? He played all of four minutes, missed his only shot and did not have a rebound even though UK won by 19 points.

Apparently Calipari wanted to make sure everyone knew what happened with Labissiere, who did give up a 3-point goal in the first half.

I asked Calipari about the play of Derek Willis. After one sentence, this is the direction he went:

“Just so you know, with Skal, I just didn’t think this was the right game for him because of how these guys play,” Calipari said. “They’re older inside. They’re bigger, they shoot threes. And it just wasn’t a game — but he’s fine.

“We’ve put in some stuff specifically for Skal. And I think going forward he’s going to be fine, but I just didn’t like the feel of the game. That was my choice. It was nothing he did or didn’t do.”

Leave a Reply