By LARRY VAUGHT
He’s played only 30 minutes this season, and has not been in the last three games since going 0-for-2 from the field with one rebound in six minutes in Kentucky’s win over Vanderbilt. Yet Kentucky coach John Calipari insisted again after Tuesday’s win over Texas A&M that he wants to play freshman Derek Willis more, something he didn’t do when UK was up 18 points against the Aggies.
“I wanted to get Derek in a little bit and I didn’t because he’s starting to play better. I’ve just got to find minutes for him,” Calipari said. “I forgot at that point (with the 18-point lead) to be honest with you. It went to a minute and I said it’s too late now, I’m not going to stick him in. But there will be times he’s going to have opportunities. He’s just got to be ready.”
Calipari said Willis has been practicing well and when UK hosts Georgia Saturday, he might get his chance.
“Again, you’ve got to own your performance even if you’re not playing a lot. You’ve got to walk in and say not, well, if you played me more, or if I played like he played. He takes me out and doesn’t take — no, no. You own your performance,” Calipari said. “That’s where Dakari (Johnson) is slowly growing up and he’s owning his own performance now. Arkansas he wasn’t very good. He owned it. He came back and practiced his butt off and was really good, and it carried over.”