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Cats working on communication

By HAL MORRIS

LEXINGTON — One of the things Kentucky coaches liked in the second half of Tuesday’s win over Boston University was better communication.

Point guard Brandon Knight knows the Wildcats will need to talk the whole game Saturday when they head to North Carolina.

“It contributes to the environment of the team. When you’ve got everyone talking, the other team is looking at you like, ‘These guys are crazy. They’ve got everybody talking and everyone’s bouncing.’ So it kind of contributes to the swagger everybody has and also to the overall execution. When you’re communicating, you’re executing,” said Knight.

“Some guys don’t like to talk, but you’ve got to learn once you get on the court you can’t have that attitude.”

Knight said he’s trying to work on his communication skills on the court.

“I’m trying to  do my best to talk as a point guard,” he said. “I know I can’t be in a shell. I’ve got to talk and let guys know where they need to be and what we need to be doing. So I’m trying to talk more and more. I  think I’m getting better at it.”

Freshman Doron Lamb said he’s also trying to pick up the vocal part of his game.

“I’ve never had to talk really. This team, they’ve got me talking a lot. I’m starting to talk more on defense and offense,” Lamb said. “I can do it, I’ve just never had a coach to tell me to talk, but I’m going to start talking more now.”

Kentucky assistant John Robic said some players are just naturally quiet, and Lamb is one of them.

“You had some kids like that. Last year, Eric (Bledsoe) was the same way as Doron. It’s just your makeup,” Robic said. “You have coaches that are that way. Some are quiet and some are more vocal. But what the kid can do is really play. And he has a great feel for the game.

“But he’s trying to talk, and we’re on him. His teammates are on him  because it’s something that will elevate everybody’s game and make us a better team.”

Lamb, the first player off UK’s bench, said the last time he was not a starter was in the eighth grade of AAU basketball. But he said coming off the bench is fine with him.

“I don’t really care. I get starter minutes, and I play a lot and I’m a big part of the team,” he said. “When I get on the court, I just do my job.”

Robic said the Wildcats as a whole are getting better at communicating.

“I thought we got better at it last game, both offensively and defensively, and that’s important,” Robic said. “It’s not just your point guard, it’s everybody. You’ve got to relay calls to each other. You’re not going to be able to hear sometimes, so you have to rely on each other and trust one another.”

Lamb said the key for UK on Saturday is to work together and communicate to combat the hostile UNC crowd.

“It’s probably the hardest team we’ve played so far. It’s the first away game, and everybody thinks it will be hard for us because it will be sold out and everybody cheering against us,” he said. “So we’re going to have to go in there together, play as a team and just talk on defense and rebound.”

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