By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari isn’t worried about his players being too excited for Saturday’s game against UCLA.
“It’s all we talk about all the time. What do you look like when you’re at your best? And if you have a question, come and see me. I’ll explain it again. But that has been talked about a lot. But let me say this: Could they go in here and lose their minds? Yeah, they’re all freshmen. They’re all sophomores. The sophomores might as well have been freshmen,” said Calipari Friday.
“So yeah, they can go in here and this be overwhelming for them. Then we’ll move on to the next game. We’ll figure out what it was and how we’ve got to do it, what we’ve got to do. What I will tell you is I’m glad I’ve got the team I have. Win or lose I’m glad I’ve got the team I have, and this is all building toward March.
“This is a great game in early December for us. Hard. They could bash us. They beat us last year and they beat us bigger than the score. Score said nine or 10, whatever. It was 20. It was not even a game. We never had a chance. Never had a chance in the game. We got down. Tried to mess around. Never had a chance. And they got the same team back with Ball. We lost everybody and have a brand new team so it’ll be interesting.”
Calipari knows with UCLA’s ability to score that if his team is not making shots it will not win.
“Both are good shooting teams and have players that are able to go on runs. We score in different ways. We score a little bit differently than (UCLA) scores, but if you’re missing baskets and shots, then it’s hard to win a game like this,” Calipari said.
“To advance in the NCAA Tournament, you can’t be a team that scores 62 points a game. If you want to win a national title and get to Final Fours, then scoring 62 points a game makes it really hard. Here’s why: You’ll play a team that scores 75. If you can’t score 75, then you just lost that game.
“That’s why I think you’d like to have your team scoring near 80. Seventy-five to 80 points a game is about what you want. If it’s more than that, then you’ve probably got a pretty good shooting team or deep team.”