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By LARRY VAUGHT
Willie Cauley-Stein said he had his big game against Vanderbilt because teammates were playing so well that it made his job easier.
Kentucky coach John Calipari said Friday that’s exactly what he had been trying to tell his team.
“That’s what we’ve been begging from guys. I need my point guard to play that way. But, I need Archie [Goodwin] and Alex [Poythress], Kyle [Wiltjer] and Jarrod [Polson]. We need them all. Julius [Mays]. We need them all to play that way so that, ‘everybody, just do what you do, we’ll be fine.’ What’s happened is, you’ve got a couple of guys that don’t want to show for a game and expect this guy, that guy, and then throw him the ball and put it on him. Or, ‘I don’t want to take the shot so I’ll give it to the worst guy on the court shooting the ball because I don’t want to.’ We can’t play that way,” Calipari said.
“And, that’s why I said, when somebody came in and watched us and said, ‘Your team looks tentative.’ The guy that came in and said, ‘Man, I love the energy in the building.’ The same guy came then two or three weeks later, ‘Yeah, they look tentative.’ Yeah, after getting smoked twice and you’re this young and you start questioning yourself, you’re going to be tentative and that’s why we did the stuff we did.
“Again, I’m not changing the path, trying to get better. This is not life or death or you’d die all the time. This is not the end-all game. It’s a big game because it’s the next one on our schedule but, guess what? After this one, the next one’s a big game because it’s the next one on the schedule. But, like I said, there are a lot of teams out there right now trying to find themselves.”