After coming off a loss at home to #2 Florida the media and Coach Calipari questioned the passion and hustle of the team. In an interview about Patrick Young outrebounding 3 Wildcats, UK point guard Andrew Harrison stated, ” I guess he just wanted it more.” Coach Calipari has expressed his frustrations about his team with the media and wants the team to play 40 minutes instead of 36.
Tuesday Night UK had a chance to redeeem the home loss or leave Coach Calipari and BBN fans hopeless. All the talent in the world without passion along with periods of lack of effort does not make a winning ball team. Coach Calipari understands this concept and apparenty got it through the young team’s mind before taking off to Ole Miss.
Kentucky looked like a different team. Again it was Ole Miss not Florida but the Cats seemed engaged during most of the game. During a period of the game Kentucky could not be stopped forcing Andy Kennedy to go to a 1-3-1 zone after made baskets to stop UK’s attack. The problem was Ole Miss was not making baskets and Kentucky was hogging the boards as well as rocking the rim. Kentucky had a 39-23 advantage on the boards, shot 52.1 percent (25 of 48) from the field and 90 percent (27 of 30) on free throws.
Aaron Harrison finally came out of his 3 game slump pouring in 17 points and 4 assists. Julius Randle had his 14th double double of the year at halftime and ended the game with 25 points and 13 rebounds as No. 18 Kentucky beat Mississippi 84-70 on Tuesday night.
“We know we can do this,” Randle said. “We can do this every game. It’s about
chemistry and having fun out there and today it showed.” Julius also shot well from the line going 13-14 better than his season average 65%. Maybe Julius can step up and be the team’s leader and help the Cats stay focused for 40 minutes, play with passion, but still have fun.
Kentucky hosts LSU Saturday at 4 p.m. and Coach Calipari and fans will want to see the team that play in Mississippi come home and play that way. It’s mid to late February so there’s not much time for improvement but hustle plays, 50/50 balls, and free throws win games in the last 3–4 minutes of a game.