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Julius Randle says there is a “tremendous difference” between UK now and loss to Arkansas

Julius Randle photo by Clay Jackson. All rights reserved.

Julius Randle photo by Clay Jackson. All rights reserved.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky plays Arkansas tonight, a team it lost to earlier this season in double overtime on a putback dunk by the Razorbacks. Julius Randle shared his thoughts on the Razorbacks and other subjects Wednesday.

Question: What are your thoughts on the first game against Arkansas?
Randle: “Fast-paced game, really physical game. It was a tough environment to play, but I do remember that being kind of a little bit of a breakout game for us. It was learning how to fight, not stopping, just playing hard.”

Question: Have they have improved since that game?
Randle: “We’re just a better team overall. Just little things. We’ve watched film of how we played at the end and the difference between then and now, it’s a tremendous difference. We play harder. We play more as a team. We care about each other more. It’s little things we do on defense. We’ve made adjustments since that game. We’ve gotten better each game.”

Question: Was the LSU win an emotional breakthrough for the team?
Randle: “You could say so. We needed to win one of those games. Everybody did their job, contributed and we just needed to be in a dogfight. LSU, despite what their record is, is a really good team, has a lot of talent and we just needed a dogfight game like that. Keep fighting, keep fighting, things don’t go our way, keep fighting, eventually break through and we ended up winning.”

Question: Where are they finding passion?
Randle: “For one, we’re all getting better individually. We see we’re getting better as a team and once you see the results things start to become more fun. You may not see the results for a while but you got to stick with, stick with it, stick with it and just keep fighting, keep getting better. We see that we’re getting better. This is the fun part, the last couple games. We’ve got tournament play and it’s what we’ve been working on all year.”

Question: Did the team need an emotional moment like LSU?
Randle: “Sure, I guess. I’ve never played in a tournament-type game but it can’t be too much crazier than that.”

Question: What did he think of Calipari putting the picture of the celebration up in the practice facility?
Randle: “He didn’t tell us anything. It’s just right there, a big picture. I walked in and it was pretty cool. I’ve taken visits here. You see all the guys that have come through, to see them on the wall and you’ve got a picture of all us on the wall, it’s a pretty cool thing.”

Question: What about the team slapping the floor on defense and is that’s done by design or what?
“Heat of the moment. Just having fun. It’s all it really is.”

Question: How much of a difference can things like that make for a team/player?
Randle: “It’s just energy. Energy. We’re feeding off each other’s energy. It makes chemistry within the team. The biggest thing is just energy. You see a teammate slap the floor, you know he’s ready to go. You have no choice but to be ready to go.”

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6 comments

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  1. Gary conder

    Julius Randle is cool Cat!

  2. TheProfessor

    Yes, I see the difference. Arkansas will not need an OT at Rupp to put this bunch out of their misery.

    1. RJ

      Well said……

      1. TheProfessor

        Well, Arkansas at least did need the OT go finish them off.

  3. jeremy

    Bull. They have not changed. Same olé team

  4. Barry

    When is this bunch going to grow up? Here we are at the end of February and they still play soft, silly, and selfishly. No focus, no intensity, no heart, and no pride. They are absolutely no better now than they were in November. This is not what a Kentucky basketball team is supposed to look like. Enough of the Freshman excuses, we are two days from March. Leave you egos in your dorm room, learn how to make a post pass, learn how to box out, learn how to make a free throw, commit to stopping your man and not let him go by for help to guard, play with heart, and win as a team instead of a bunch of one and dones.

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