By LARRY VAUGHT
Malik Monk was not surprised by the way UCLA played Saturday when the Bruins came into Rupp Arena and won 97-92.
“We knew they were going to do that. If we let them open, they were going to make the shot. Great team, like I said before. So we were just outfought for letting them get that open,” Monk, who scored 24 points, said. “I knew they were a great team. I knew they were going to play like that and I knew they were great players. So we can’t just focus on one player and not focus on the other two. We gotta focus on every player. I knew it could happen.”
UCLA certainly looked that way on offense against Kentucky as it spread out the UK defense to get open drives or open 3-point shots.
“Discipline and us being selfish were really the main things on defense. Our offense was fine. We do that. We know offense is going to come, but defensive focus is every night and we didn’t have it tonight,” Monk said. “Just listen in on Coach, what he’s saying, and just listen this time. We know he knows what he’s talking about, so we just gotta focus in on it.”
Kentucky fans can only hope that Monk is right about what the loss will do for the previously unbeaten Cats.
“We never got down like this or anything like that before. Seeing this is great for us.”
Calipari noted after the game that Monk relied too much on perimeter shots and didn’t get to the rim to draw fouls.
“I was just trying to score. That probably happened,” Monk said. “I’ve just gotta attack more. Stop settling for a lot of jumpers and just attack.
“I don’t care about missing shots. It’s just defense. We know we’re going to miss a lot of shots, but we’re still going to have opportunities to score. Just the defense—we gotta focus on our defense.”