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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari said freshman Aaron and Andrew Harrison “are trying” to do what he wants but still have a “ways to go” with their execution and body language.
“But it’s not just those two. Julius (Randle) has got a ways to go. When you rebound, stick, rebound, bang, and then they say, ‘Man, he played hard,’ but then you’ve got to watch defensively, you’ve got to watch running the floor,” Calipari said. “Alex (Poythress) has gotten better, but got a ways to go. I mean, we’re a team that is behind – Dominique (Hawkins) is probably closest to what we’re looking for of anybody on the team, but it’s not where we need to be right now.”
Calipari said players have to know where other players are on the court to become a special team.
“If you don’t know where everybody is and if people aren’t talking, you’re not comfortable, you kind of get … you go back because you’re afraid to go out, because you don’t know if people have your back,” the UK coach said. “That’s where we are a little bit right now to. So, look, there’s a lot of fronts that we’ve got to work on. We’ve got to work more on the press. But the whole point comes back to your effort, if you want to know, again, what’s success, it’s just ‘I’m giving my best, I’m doing my best.’
“You have to feel good about that. If you’re not doing your best, if you’re standing around, if you stop playing … for most of these kids, they were always bigger and stronger and longer and faster, you didn’t have to outwork the other guy. If a team’s effort level is far beyond yours, it will smash a talented group. Just will. A less talented team that just fights like crazy will beat the tale tend team. So we just – my job right now is to get these guys to understand how hard they gotta play, what it’s gotta look like, and we’re just not there.”