By LARRY VAUGHT
The day before Kentucky lost at Vanderbilt, UK coach John Calipari was optimistic that freshman Charles Matthews might provide a needed boost for the Wildcats.
“He’s getting back to being the energy guy. He got away from that, like started judging his energy based on shooting and scoring,” Calipari said Friday. “Well, you’re not going to have a whole lot of energy then.
“Versus when somebody walks in a gym, they don’t even think whether he shoots an airball, turns it over – all they watch (for) and say, ‘Look at his body, look how energy driven this kid is, look how much he brings to the court and how he changes the temperament.’ That’s who he’ll be his whole career, and if he’s not that, then they judge you on things he’s not as strong on.
“And that’s what we’ve been really hitting him on, and you know what, last game I thought was the first game in like the last four where he added energy to the game.”
Matthews played 11 minutes in Saturday’s loss at Vandy and had four rebounds and two blocked shots. He did not take a shot or make a turnover.
“He blocked a shot, he came up — he did some stuff. Yeah, that’s who he’s gotta be,” Calipari said.
Then he noted how another freshman, Isaiah Briscoe, did not have that same kind of energy.
“So now all of a sudden you have another guy (Matthews) that’s your defender and rebounder — the biggest rebound for us was the one that he (Briscoe) went up to get and the kid jerked it from him, Roberson, and then it was an and-one. So what happened? ‘My fault.’ My fault? If this were the NCAA Tournament, our season ended on a ‘my fault.’ That’s where we were today,” Calipari said.