What is Kentucky doing best?

By LARRY VAUGHT

team restrains Cal

John Calipari said Monday he could not comment on officiating that got him ejected from Saturday’s game at South Carolina. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky has played its way back not only into the Southeastern Conference race, but also into the talk of teams with the potential to reach the Final Four.

So what has happened to the team that lost to Auburn, Ohio State and UCLA?

“We’re defending better. We came off a Kansas game where we didn’t guard in the second half, (and) really for 25 minutes of the Tennessee game where they just had their way with us,” Calipari said Monday on the SEC coaches teleconference.

“It starts with us on our defensive end, which leads us to play a little bit faster when we guard and rebound, which is what we’re trying to do, but we’re also efficient in the half court. We’re grinding it better, we’re creating shots we need to create, we’re offensive rebounding. I’ll tell you, this all comes back – like all my teams – when we really guard we have a chance.”

Calipari said he figured out his team was not good enough offensively to rely solely on offense if it wanted to be part of the Final Four conversation.

“All we’re doing is really focusing on how we’re guarding, the schemes that we’re trying to use, different things that we’re doing. We’re working on our zone in case we need it because of foul trouble. We seem to have a lot of fouls called against my team so we got to be prepared for that. We’ve gotten better because of those things.”

4 comments

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  1. I believe that what this team is doing best right now is doing the hard work of becoming a team rather than the assemblage of individuals that it was for the first 15 or so games.

  2. They are playing excellent, shut down defense. You may get past the first line but the second and the rotating third line will shut you down. Great job guys but….keep it up.

  3. I am probably in the minority here but I think Willis turned this team around. In the games prior to him getting to start UK was getting almost no production from the front court. He changed that on both ends of the floor with his rebounding, his defense and his plain old hustle. It was contagious. And he took the scoring pressure off the guards on offense too. Teams had to guard him down in the corners or he would burn them up.

    The guards are certainly playing great but I really think Willis had a lot to do with the change in this team.

  4. i agree king 100 percent

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