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By LARRY VAUGHT
Freshman Alex Poythress balked Monday at coach John Calipari’s belief that UK is too soft and said he was working on being more physical every day. Calipari didn’t seem surprised that Poythress disagreed with his assessment of the team’s play.
“He’s getting better, but see it’s hard because it’s embarrassing when you say to a guy, ‘You’re soft.’ So when I tell them, ‘You’re not tough enough, strong enough,’ that’s embarrassing. So you got to deal with the embarrassment of it,” Calipari said. “You also got to deal with the ignorance of it. Not that you’re dumb. You just don’t even know how to be physical, how to be tough, how to wedge. So that’s something that I deal with as a coach every year. Not just this year. It’s what you deal with.”
Calipari said more players need to change their mental approach like Wiltjer did a month ago after the coach publicly called him out for his lack of defense.
“Kyle Wiltjer changed his mental attitude toward practice. He loves walking in. He’s changed how he approached practice, his habits in practice, and it’s changed him. Now they’ve all seen it, but here’s what it is — really hard,” Calipari said. “Anything worth having is a dogfight to get. Stuff that’s free and all that stuff, it’s not worth having anyway. So that’s where we are. But like I said, we’re just going day to day, making strides, trying to keep ourselves in the right frame of mind, yet getting them to come to grips and be honest with each other.”