By LARRY VAUGHT
John Calipari thought Kentucky did a superb job defensively against Florida Saturday even though the Gators won 66-64.
The Gators shot only 33 percent from the field and 20 percent (6-for-30) from 3-point range.
So what made the Kentucky defense better than what it had been in other games?
“I don’t know if I can put my thumb on it. I’m just not as familiar with Coach Cal’s team as obviously he and his staff are,” Florida coach Mike White said. “And you don’t know this is the first time. After they play at our place later on, I’ll be able to compare those two performances.”
However, White did offer a lot of insights on UK’s defense.
“This team is so different than last year’s team. Last year’s Kentucky team obviously and it is my first time seeing them live. I thought they played hard and defended. Obviously they are a very good team. I’ve thought that all year, even when I watched them on film and watched them on TV,” White said.
“We are all trying to watch each other as much as possible, SEC basketball. Live, I was really impressed with the length in person, the closing speed on shooters, the attention to detail. I thought Nick Richards did a good job on ball screen defense. Kevin Knox and Gabriel with their length getting the shooter. Diallo’s speed getting the shooters.
“It was pretty suffocating. They cover ground with that length and that speed. There wasn’t much space on the floor for us to get to the rim or to get an open three off. And then when we put our head down and got to the rim, everything was contested at the rim.”