Most Recent Posts
- John Calipari says only way to end freefall is for players “to do this together”
- Kentucky senior Jon Hood named to SEC Community Service Team
- Future Cats Trey Lyles, Karl Towns, Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis all will paly in Jordan Brand All-American Game
- John Calipari hopes “cooler heads” come together to change one-and-done to two-and-done
- Kentucky fourth No. 1 preseason team to drop totally out of AP top 25
- John Calipari says Cats have to be scrappier, play more physical and share the ball a lot better
- Kentucky QB Patrick Towles will work out with QB guru George Whitfield over spring break
- John Calipari says great players make 2-on-1 look simple and UK “makes those look harder”
By LARRY VAUGHT
Once again on the SEC coaches teleconference today, Kentucky coach John Calipari was asked how the one-and-done rule had changed college basketball. His first three years at UK, Kentucky fans thought Calipari had the one-and-done deal figured out. Now after the last two seasons, some are not so sure any more.
Here’s his answer:
“Well, I’ve said for years it should be two years. If you’re going to let them go out of high school then let them go whenever. The baseball rule won’t work in this environment because there’s no minor-league stuff, so my belief is it should be two years.,” Calipari said. “And if the NBA and the Players Association, who would make that decision, come together and say, ‘OK, you take a year off their rookie contract.’ Instead of having four years, make them three years. Make them stay in school an extra year.
“And then you get with the NCAA and say, ‘Hey, how do you take better care of these kids? How do you pay for their insurance so they don’t have to pay themselves? How do you do the stipends and all the other things?’ It may be they have the opportunity for every one of the kids on our team to get a loan if they choose to – to be able to do stuff to make them normal college students, yet also understand they’re unique in what we’re trying to get them to do.’
“So there are things that can happen. What’s happened with the one-year rule is I don’t think it’s good for high-school players who – the top 150 players all think they’re going to leave in a year. I think it’s hard on the college players because by the end of the year this isn’t five, eight years ago. They’re all on the Internet — all the things going — I think it’s a tough deal. So hopefully cooler heads come together between the NBA and the Players Association, and if that happens, the NCAA does their part to make sure that this all works.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
On today’s SEC coaches teleconference, Kentucky coach John Calipari was asked what one thing his team needs to improve most. Enjoy his answer:
“Well, there’s two things. I can’t give you (one thing). There’s a lot of different things, but the two things in the bigger picture: You got to sustain your defensive effort. You got to be scrappier. In other words, we all got to be playing the ball. We all got to do it for the entire shot clock. We all got to have discipline because at the end of the day we are a defensive team that’s a good offensive post-up team,” he said.
“And then on offense we just got to share the ball more. Very simple stuff to talk about, but we got four days to really ingrain let’s get back to these things that we have done at different points of the year that we now say, ‘Let’s do it for 40 minutes.’ If you do, you will have a ball playing. Scrappy as heck, diving, crashing.
“We’re going to be more physical in practice. The games have gotten more and more physical. Hands up and be physical. Put your hands up in the air on a drive and be physical. Put your hands up in the air in the post and be physical. We’re going four days of that. The teams that have played that way have had a big advantage.
“So we’re going back to that, but the flip side of it is, look, we got to share the ball. We got to share the ball to create good shots for each other. I said it: We got the game to six (at Florida) and we took two of the worst shots with people open that I could have told you throughout the year the last game. So those are the couple things that we’re zeroed in on.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
It’s not hard for Kentucky coach John Calipari to explain why Florida is No. 1 — and at the same time point out what has been wrong with his team way too often this year.
“They play off of one another,” Calipari said of the Gators after they beat UK Saturday. “The best play of the game was Scott (Wilbekin) threw it to one of the bigs and the big threw it back to him and he scored. That’s just two guys knowing each other, playing for each other. For me, that was the best play of the game.
“That’s the kind of stuff we’re not getting right now. The great ones make a two-on-one look simple. We kind of make those look harder.
“But I’ll say this: We’re better. We got hit in the mouth, a bunch of adversity, and the guys went in the locker room and came out and tried – and really tried to play and gave themselves a chance. Didn’t have enough to finish the game, especially against a team that good. You can’t spot a team 24 points, in their building, No. 1 team on Senior Night, and think you’re going to win. How about this? And we had a chance to, which is crazy.”
Remember that last week Kentucky coach John Calipari said he was waiting for the “light to come on” for his team and believed it would? Well, he’s still waiting after Saturday’s loss to Florida.
When does he think it might come on?
“Well, drove it in the second half. Do you understand, guys? I mean, I didn’t think we had any kind of fight. And they were more timid,” Calipari said after Saturday’s game. “Like, you can’t on drives—you can’t start the game shooting 3s. You can’t on drives think you’re going to get bailed out by fouls. You’re not.
“And so we’re still learning. But again, we’re not there yet. But let me just say this: My whole vision of this team is we’re going to get it and it will start this week when we’re in our tournament. Let’s start down there. Let’s do what we’re doing 10 minutes in the game, 12 minutes – let’s do it for 40 minutes and all commit to it. And if we do, the light goes on, we like it, this is fun, let’s do this.
“You know, it was fun coaching them when they were defending. And the guy that really did it was Alex. See what Alex did is it wasn’t his man; he was coming from the weak side, and we don’t have a whole lot of guys doing that – like, anybody other than maybe Willie. And guys don’t think it’s their responsibility. Those are the plays that change the game and gave us our chance to win the game.”
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Kentucky Basketball Postgame Notes
#1/1 Florida 84, #25/24 Kentucky 65
March 8, 2014
Stephen O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Fla.
Team Records, Notes
Kentucky falls to 22-9, and 12-6 in conference, while Florida improves to 29-2, and 18-0 in Southeastern Conference action.
Kentucky still leads the series 94-36 including a 33-24 record when the game is played in Gainesville.
Today’s contest concludes the 2013-14 regular season. UK has clinched the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 12 in Atlanta, Ga. UK has a double-bye and will not play until 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 14.
Kentucky is now 6-14 all-time against teams owning the Associated Press’ No. 1 ranking. UK is 1-2 when Florida is the nation’s top-ranked squad.
Today’s attendance was 12,604.
Kentucky’s starting lineup was sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle and James Young. UK previously used that lineup for the first three games of the season and again for a 13 game stretch in the middle of the season. UK is 11-6 with that lineup as the starters.
Alex Poythress was the first sub off the bench for UK. It was his team-leading 17th time this season as the team’s first substitution.
Young hit a 3-pointer at the 17:50 mark in the opening half to extend UK’s 3-streak to 891 consecutive games. It is the third largest streak in the country.
UK trailed 49-28 at halftime. It is the largest halftime deficit of the season for UK. The Wildcats are 4-7 overall and 2-5 in conference this season when trailing at the break.
Florida’s 59.6 field goal percentage and 60 percent from behind the arc marks the best shooting performance by a UK opponent this year.
First Half Facts
A 5-0 spurt in between media timeouts gave the Gators a 17-8 advantage into the second media break with 11:46 remaining in the opening half.
Trailing 44-22, it marked the largest deficit the Cats have faced this season.
Second Half Facts
A 15-0 run by Kentucky brought the game all the way back to a two possession contest on a hook shot from Dakari Johnson to make the score 53-47 with just over 12 minutes to play. The run tied the most consecutive points scored by the Wildcats this season.
Leading 72-60 with 3:49 to play in the game, Florida scored seven consecutive points to pull away and take a 19-point lead with 1:45 remaining.
Andrew Harrison tallied eight points and five assists.
Logged a career-high three steals.
Had four assists before halftime.
Dished out five assists, his most assists in a game since Feb. 4, vs. Ole Miss and seventh consecutive game with at least three assists.
Dakari Johnson recorded nine points and five rebounds.
Has scored at least eight points in each of the last three games.
Julius Randle led Kentucky with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Notched his team-leading 26th double-figure scoring effort of the year.
Logged his 18th double-double of the season. He has seven in the last eight games.
James Young knocked down three 3s in the first half.
Posted his 22nd double-figure scoring effort of the season.
MARK LONG, AP Sports Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Patric Young scored 18 points in his final home game and No. 1 Florida routed 25th-ranked Kentucky 84-65 on Saturday, becoming the first team in Southeastern Conference history to go 18-0 in league play.
Fellow seniors Casey Prather (15) and Scottie Wilbekin (13) also reached double figures for the Gators (29-2, 18-0), who have won 23 straight and 32 in a row at home.
Coach Billy Donovan called timeout with 36.9 seconds remaining to get his four seniors another standing ovation.
They certainly deserved this one.
Young, Prather, Wilbekin and fellow starter Will Yeguete have now won 113 games in four seasons, four shy of tying the school record held by Walter Hodge.
The latest one seemed a lock early but was in doubt for a while in the second half.
Julius Randle, who had his right knee treated during the first half, led the Wildcats (22-9, 12-6) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. James Young added 14 points, and Aaron Harrison chipped in 10.
With Florida’s ranking, the finale for four popular seniors, history at stake and the opponent, it was the biggest home game in school history. Single tickets to the nationally televised matchup were going for as much as $500 on the street, and there even was a successful marriage proposal on the court beforehand.
The Gators delivered, especially early.
Florida made 14 of its first 21 shots. Young, who scored 14 points in the first half, did most of the damage inside. Michael Frazier II, who made a school-record 11 3-pointers Tuesday at South Carolina, got hot again from outside.
Frazier’s consecutive 3s pushed the lead to 19 and had the O’Dome rocking.
The Gators were up 22 after Dorian Finney-Smith’s third 3 of the half and led 49-28 at the break.
But Kentucky coach John Calipari must have delivered some kind of halftime speech. The Wildcats opened the second half by pounding the ball inside, getting Randle more involved.
Kentucky used a 15-0 run to cut the lead to 53-47, quieting the arena and giving the Wildcats confidence they could pull off the upset.
But Wilbekin responded with a huge 3 with 12 minutes remaining. Prather followed with several driving layups, none bigger than the one that turned into a three-point play and pushed the lead back to 17.
Florida coasted from there, and shortly after the final horn, Young announced to the crowd that they would cut down the nets. The Gators opted not to do that after they clinched the SEC regular-season title last week, but wanted to do it Saturday.
It was a fitting end to what was an emotional day for the seniors, who have national title expectations.
They were honored at midcourt before the game and presented with framed jerseys. They had to notice the sign that read, “Hey Kentucky, this is what Senior Day looks like.”
They topped the first celebration with the net-cutting ceremony.
The conference played an 18-game conference schedule from 1967 through 1991, and then expanded the league slate last season with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M. Only two SEC schools have managed a 17-1 mark: Kentucky accomplished the feat twice (1970, 1986), and LSU did it in 1981.
But no one had gone 18-0 until now.
No. 1 FLORIDA 84, No. 25 KENTUCKY 65
KENTUCKY (22-9): Cauley-Stein 2-3 0-0 4, Randle 7-11 2-5 16, Young 3-6 5-7 14, Aa. Harrison 3-7 3-4 10, An. Harrison 3-14 2-2 8, Polson 0-1 0-0 0, Poythress 2-5 0-0 4, Johnson 3-4 3-7 9. Totals 23-51 15-25 65.
FLORIDA (29-2): Yeguete 2-4 1-2 5, Prather 5-5 5-9 15, Young 8-13 2-4 18, Wilbekin 4-7 3-4 13, Frazier II 3-8 0-0 9, Hill 1-1 6-6 8, Finney-Smith 3-6 2-2 11, Edwards 0-0 0-0 0, C. Walker 1-1 0-0 2, D. Walker 1-2 0-2 3, Kurtz 0-0 0-0 0, Donovan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-47 19-29 84.
Halftime_Florida 49-28. 3-Point Goals_Kentucky 4-10 (Young 3-4, Aa. Harrison 1-3, An. Harrison 0-1, Poythress 0-2), Florida 9-15 (Finney-Smith 3-4, Frazier II 3-7, Wilbekin 2-2, D. Walker 1-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Kentucky 27 (Randle 10), Florida 32 (Yeguete, Young 7). Assists_Kentucky 10 (An. Harrison 5), Florida 20 (Hill 7). Total Fouls_Kentucky 22, Florida 19. A_12,604.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Earlier this season Kentucky coach John Calipari thought he had Alex Poythress moving forward. The last few games, though, Poythress has had trouble scoring and doing the same things he was earlier.
“We’ve got to get Alex playing back to how — an aggressive, ‘We need you to do two or three things on offense. Rebound and defend and go block shots. If you’re open, shoot the ball. One-dribble pull-ups. Don’t try to pass cross-court scoop pass. Don’t. Just give it to the guard. It’s not your game.’” Calipari said.
“We’re trying to narrow in guys so they can play in a confident way. You’re competent at these things, and it’s going to make you confident.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
Willie Cauley-Stein knows a win at No. 1 Florida Saturday would change the perception of what Kentucky’s season has been like.
“I mean, they’re the No. 1 team. We’re searching for a big win, and it would definitely be a big win if we could pull it off,” Cauley-Stein said Friday.
He says Kentucky “obviously 100 percent” believes it can win.
“I mean, it’s a game. You play to win the game,” Cauley-Stein. “I think the team knows what we’ve got to do and what mistakes we’ve got to fix before we go down there and play tomorrow. But for the most part, I think we’re prepared more than you can be. There’s not much more we can do.
“We were searching for a win bad (against Alabama Tuesday). It might have been ugly but a win’s a win. Anybody in the SEC is liable to beat you. Any win is a good win.”
Cauley-Stein, like coach John Calipari, still believes the Cats have a big run left in them this season.
” It’s to that point where our backs is kind of against the wall. Players are going to have to show that they’re players – everybody on the team. It’s definitely a thing that we’ve got to keep in mind when we go in there,” he said.
He thinks it “would be great” to run Florida’s Senior Day and unbeaten SEC record.
“That’s what we go down there for and that’s kind of the motivation of what we’re trying to do,” he said.
He says there are mistakes UK made in an earlier loss to Florida that can be corrected.
“Not give up wide-open shots. There late we gave up wide-open 3s. Make sure we’re putting a body on everybody rebounding. Other than that we played a near-perfect game until those three points,” he said. “I think being a young team you make those mistakes at the end. We’re so young you don’t really know when the crunch time or the winning time is. It’s the last five minutes of the game and that’s when – everything else before that really doesn’t matter.
“You win or lose a game in the last five minutes, and I think we’ve learned that the past year pretty much. The last five games has been a struggle, but definitely watching that game back on film, easily you win if you take care of the things that you’re supposed to do as an individual.”