By LARRY VAUGHT
Nerlens Noel had seven points, nine rebounds, seven blocks, two assists and one steal in 31 minutes in Saturday’s 74-46 win over Portland.
So how did coach John Calipari felt he played considering he had a deep leg bruise that he seemed to favor at times?
Calipar: “He did all right. He started limping. We took him out. If you want to play, fake it, don’t limp, play. He went back in. I said, ‘You’re an energy guy, you’re not a skill guy. You’re not an up and under swing, hook guy, that’s not who you are. You’re an energy guy.’
Get on Willie (Cauley-Stein). Willie one handed it, came down and lost the ball. Why didn’t you grab it with two, crab dribble it, dunk it. It’s harder, that’s why. So he comes back the next play, grabs it. Compete against the guy you’re going against.
“That’s what this learning experience is for this team. They’re getting better. But I’m not backing up. I’m holding them accountable on every possession until they’re ready to say, ‘C’mon, let’s go.’”