By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky didn’t get “manhandled” in losses at Tennessee and South Carolina like coach John Calipari said it did.
Never mind if South Carolina and Tennessee seemed to dominate the second half of both games inside. Kentucky freshman center Nick Richards says the Cats were not manhandled.
“I wouldn’t say that. I think they just have experience over us, but we can’t really use that as an excuse. … I think it was just more of a team effort. That’s why we lost. The team didn’t really play together and it resulted in an L,” he said Friday as UK prepares to host Florida Saturday night.
Then he added that it’s really not experience other teams are using to beat Kentucky.
“More like they stuck to the game plan more than we did,” Richards said.
Confused? You should be. It’s this kind of logic that Calipari is trying to counter this year.
Who knows what the young Cats might do with ESPN College GameDay in town?
“When you’re a high school kid and you’re just watching College GameDay, now you’re going to be a part of it. It’s really a blessing to be honest. It’s going to be one of the most exciting times of my college career,” Richards said.
ESPN analyst Seth Greenburg said UK’s freshmen were spoiled and not connected to the team after the South Carolina loss. Richards saw what Greenberg said but insists he doesn’t “really pay attention” to the media.
“They’re entitled to their opinion and we know what’s going on back here. We’re the ones practicing every day, working out every day, listening to the coaches. I saw it, but I didn’t really listen to what he said,” Richards said.
He did say Greenberg was wrong about high level freshmen not caring about the college season because they are focused on the NBA.
“I would say that’s false. We’re all right here. We’re just trying to win a national championship. That’s everyone’s main goal. We just have to find a common ground and hopefully get it done,” Richards said.
“You could tell we didn’t match their energy (at South Carolina). They came out strong, they came out more aggressive than us and it resulted in us not scoring in like eight minutes or something like that. It’s just one of those things you have to learn and just gotta move on from it. Just get ready for the next game.”