Fans should expect to see a new-look Kentucky team when the Wildcats visit Arkansas on Thursday.
Coach John Calipari promised “changes” after Saturday’s 75-70 loss to unranked Auburn, Kentucky’s first loss to the Tigers since 2000.
“I’m not worried about it,” Calipari said. “I just want to make some changes to see if guys will respond and fight.”
Here were some of Cal’s other thoughts on the game (via CoachCal.com):
Auburn… “You have to give Auburn credit now. I mean, they had a packed arena, those kids got down 12 and never stopped. They made big plays and free throws down the stretch. I mean, you know, they’re like a typical team that’s jacked up to play us. Got to give them credit.”
Derek Willis (career-high 11 rebounds)… “I was so happy for him. Rebounded with two hands. If you ask me, he moved by all the other bigs. That’s my opinion. Now he has to be consistent with it. He rebounded, he tried. I was just proud of him.”
Second-half collapse… “We have a 12-point lead. I’ll go back and look, we have to make winning plays. We don’t. My freshmen – first of all, like Isaiah (Briscoe) fouling. I’m yelling the whole time, ‘Give him space, don’t foul, give him space.’ And he pushed up. Did exactly the opposite of what I said. Foul, two points, OK.”
Freshmen… “I’m expecting them to be 23-year-old, winning basketball players who are 19 and aren’t ready for this. But they’re going to have to grow up fast if we’re going to take this thing to where it needs to go.”
Moving forward and physical nature of game… “They’re going to have tomorrow off. We’ll come back Monday and the other thing is we gotta go back to football practice. All this stuff about the rules – like we’re not going to put hands on, we’re not going to hip-check, it’s done. So they didn’t have the stomach to continue it so we’re just going to back to like I did in 2013 where I just said, ‘Put on the football helmets and let’s go.’ The games, they’re physical again.”