By LARRY VAUGHT
If you need a reason not to give up on the Kentucky basketball season after UK’s loss at Arkansas Saturday, let John Calipari explain why it’s still not impossible for his team to make the NCAA Tournament despite big road losses at Tennessee and Arkansas after the season-ending injury to Nerlens Noel.
“We’re brand new. So we’re still trying to figure out (without Noel). There are other teams – you’ve got a lot of teams getting beat right now, and they’re mostly road games. Some getting beat at home. Some on three-game slides, four-game slides. You’ve got that across the country, but we’re so new we’re still trying to figure out what’s the best way for us to play,” said Calipari after Saturday’s loss.
“What do we do defensively? We went a little zone today. We broke down at one point. We didn’t really communicate. But we’re still there.”
Now here’s the part to give you hope for Thursday’s game at Georgia and Saturday’s home game with Florida.
“Again, we’ve got a 7-footer (Willie Cauley-Stein) that can play and block shots. We’ve got shooters (Julius Mays and Kyle Wiltjer). We’ve got enough players and enough athletes to do this – and really make a run – if we choose to. But you must fight. You must have a will to win,” Calipari said.
“And winning must be important, not just how you played. And you must want to be coached and challenged and pushed, from not only the staff; from within. You’ve got to accept that. That’s part of this. This team, we could go the next game and play out of our minds – and I’ll be really happy.”