Marcus Lee thinks Kentucky ready to be “aggressors” now

By LARRY VAUGHT

Marcus Lee (Vicky Graff Photo)

Marcus Lee (Vicky Graff Photo)

Well, at least Marcus Lee is saying the right things after Kentucky’s perplexing loss at Tennessee after it had a 34-13 lead late in the first half Tuesday.

“Emotionally I think we’re ready to be the aggressors now, and I’ve seen that in practice. A loss is like those, you see players kind of regretting practice and kind of just hesitating and not really excited for it. It’s been the total opposite,” Lee said.

“We’ve all come into practice trying to get better. Our practice was through the roof the other day. That’s just the way I saw it and that’s the way you get over games like that the best.”

Too bad the Cats weren’t excited to practice before Tennessee or they might not have given away a victory that would have made reaching the NCAA Tournament much easier. Now they are a 4.5-point favorite Saturday over Florida, a team that has won five of its last six games.

“Yesterday was a rough-house practice,”  Kentucky coach John Calipari said Friday. “Marcus Lee was really good yesterday. I don’t know. Don’t ask ask me. ‘Why wasn’t he into the game?’ I don’t know. But he was really, really good yesterday to the point of like the old Marcus Lee from earlier this year.

“Will he be that tomorrow? That’s the hard thing about what we’re trying to do with coaching. If he really does his thing, it kind of puts everything in a spot that we’re good with. If you’re on the side scrambling, who’s next? How do we do this? It just makes it hard.”

That’s the challenge Calipari faces. Who will play well when? Will defenders score? Will scorers defend? Will big men rebound?

” I’m not looking at this other than, I’m blessed to be here and have this opportunity. I’m not like woe is me. Ain’t no way. It’s just figure it out and accept the challenge of this and know that we can beat anyone in the country. And, we can lose to anybody in the country.”

6 comments

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  1. How many games has it taken for him to figure this out? Is he buying into it?

  2. Marcus……not sure too many of us have that much confidence in you. Question is….can you walk the walk? You have been long overdue for a breakout game and actually have been regressing, but you aren´t the only one. Time for you to assume a leadership role and do it by example. Wish you and the team success tomorrow and please stop the senseless fouls.

    1. Calipari would agree with you Mike

  3. This team has “been ready to be the aggressor” prior to this time, occasioned by this most recent embarrassing loss. Following the Ohio State loss, following the LSU loss, following the embarrassing Auburn loss, I recall hearing the same essential message coming from players on this team.

    Talk is cheap, and this type of talk often reflects nothing more than intellectual assent to the message that they are getting in the practice sessions in the aftermath of these embarrassing losses.

    It is long past time for this team to walk its talk. Missouri is the show me state, and I say it is time for this team to simply stop talking and show me.

  4. Well, I will say this, I have said it for UK football, where ever it applies really , to me its hard to manufacture toughness, you are or you are not. I would hate to think after 1 rough house practice a mentality is born. I don’t buy it. Oh hey today I am going to be a tough guy or tomorrow I am going to be a tough guy , but next week , who knows. Listen , if you want to be a tough physical team , show it with some interior post play.

    Its hard to compare to sports, but in football , if you are up big, and you want to demoralize the opposition, run the ball down there throat and kill the clock , to me if you want to do the same in basketball , throw it in to the interior when you have a lead and pound it. UK can’t do that ! Yes they have gotten out to big leads because of guard play primarily, but have let leads slip away because they can’t pound in and get points , jump shots , poor shot selection, bad shots with shot clock dwindling down, all leads to what we have seen. I will stand by what I say , it is my opinion, , but Skals’ lack of anything on the inside hurts terrible. Marcus Lee, very very limited with any offensive SKIILL, Alex Poythress , an animal when he takes the notion. This is not what Cal had planned no doubt in my mind.

    I hate to play the what if game, but the guards better be on most of the time or its curtains.

  5. Kinda late to be saying this but better late than never I suppose.

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