Most Recent Posts
- Video: Larry hears cowbells, makes a chocolate cow and soaks up the culture in Switzerland
- Video: UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown talks about recruiting the home state of Kentucky
- What role did Drew Barker’s mother play in his athletic development?
- Calipari will be keynote speaker at Iba Awards June 3 in Tulsa
- D.J. Eliot understands coach Mark Stoops “very well” can bring new ideas to UK defense
- Swiss Cat Part 2: Larry continues his adventure in Switzerland
- Brumbaugh understands junior college talent, feels he can bring JUCO players to UK
- Volleyball training, personality will both help Marcus Lee at Kentucky
By LARRY VAUGHT
LEXINGTON Ã¢â‚¬â€ Kentucky may not have learned a lesson in Maui, but it apparently learned a way to get inspired during halftime.
The Wildcats vowed they would not have another listless performance like the one they had in the Maui Invitational title game when they lost 84-67 to Connecticut. Yet at halftime here Tuesday they led Boston University only 40-33.
The second half, well that was a far different story. The passing was sharper, the effort better and the shot selection outstanding. Kentucky went on a 12-0 spurt to open the half and a 28-5 run in the first seven minutes to bury the Terriers 91-57 and set up showdowns ahead with North Carolina Saturday and then Notre Dame next week.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All I can say is that must have been one heck of a halftime speech,Ã¢â‚¬Â Boston coach Patrick Chambers said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am going to have to ask him forÃ‚Â a copy of that. We played pretty hard for 20 minutes, then their talent, strength … We were hoping to hang. That spurt in the first five minutes was just crushing, absolutely crushing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Freshmen Terrence Jones, who had another solid game with 18 points and 10 rebounds despite going over 13 minutes in one first-half stretch without a point, said UK coach John Calipari didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say that much at halftime.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Coach Cal told us all we did, and didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do (in the first half),Ã¢â‚¬Â Jones said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We put it on ourselves to try and play harder for him.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The team wore black socks in honor of CalipariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mother, who passed away Sunday. However, what made the biggest impact at halftime was what the Wildcats heard in the Boston locker room.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We wereÃ‚Â upset, Coach was upset. We heard the other team talking and screaming like they were up 20 points at halftime when we were up seven,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lamb, who had 13 points and five assists, said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“They were banging on lockers and everything. We all got upset. We got a 30-point lead, which is what Coach said to go do. They were in there banging on lockers like they were going to beat us. Coach Cal told us we were 30 points better than them and we wanted to prove him right.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Jones readily admitted the Cats heard the TerriersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ halftime celebration.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like it, either,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Boston probably didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like seeing Kentucky going 8-for-9 from 3-point range to open the second half or the defensive pressure it increased. The Cats moved the ball, ran the court and maybe for a few minutes did put a smile on CalipariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face.
Assistant coach John Robic did CalipariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s postgame press conference. He said the halftime message was to go back and do the things the Cats had worked on the past few days after losing to Connecticut in the Maui Invitational.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We still didn’t really communicate very well (in the first half, and we did a much better job of that in the second half,Ã¢â‚¬Â Robic said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thought defensively we picked it up. We shared the ball, made the right plays in the second half, and that’s something that we stress also. And you can see that by the 21 assists. That was something that we really worked on.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We were a little leery going into it because we thought we were a little selfish in the last game, that we would pass up shots. But we were happy with the distribution and the shots we took tonight.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Jones thought RobicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worry about passing up shots was accurate and that players did that in the first half.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think we were more nervous about playing selfish. We passed up a lot of shots in the first half,Ã¢â‚¬Â Jones said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just felt like everybody was trying too hard not to be selfish. Nobody played excited until the second half and then we played the kind of basketball we can.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The second half everybody played hard, drove, passed and knocked down open shots. That is the team we can be all year. That is how we play our best. Everybody was involved and having fun. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what our team should be about.Ã¢â‚¬Â