By LARRY VAUGHT
With Nerlens Noel out, would it be best for Kentucky to make up for his defensive absence by playing zone defense, something coach John Calipari does not like to do?
“Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. We’re prepared for it. That’s not why we did all this time, but we’re absolutely prepared to play it and play it for long stretches if we want to,” Calipari said Friday before practice for Saturday’s game at Tennessee. “Again, were the defensive numbers all based on Nerlens? We’ll we’re going to find out cause our defensive number weren’t the issue. We were turning it over, no aggressive play. You know, ‘you make the play.’ We’ve just got to have guys out there ballin’.
“And if we’re going to make turnovers with aggressive guys, we’re making them with unaggressive guys. So might as well have attacking guys out there trying and going at it. Doesn’t mean we don’t grind it out and play how we’re playing, but I just want to see guys that want to create contact. Not running people over. We got a couple guys (with their) head down. But I’m saying, create. Here you go, you got a gap. The guy’s coming. Don’t run it and flip. Create that contact. We’re working on it.
“Look, this is a great opportunity. One guy’s misery is another guy’s opportunity. And that’s for all these guys. They have their own picture they want to paint. Let’s paint it. You can look at this in one of two ways. Like, OK, can we be better? Well, let’s see. Why not chase it? Got seven games left.”