A three-spot from today’s UK basketball media opp previewing Saturday’s game against LSU.
1. Competitive spirit. John Calipari’s theme on Friday was much the same as his theme has been for the entire season. This team needs a competitive spirit to compete. Everything else, at this point, remains secondary. Until this young group starts fighting for loose balls, playing with more physicality and shows more desire, the Xs and Os don’t mean a whole lot. It has to be frustrating that on January 25, Calipari is still preaching the same sermon he gave on December 25, November 25, even October 25.
2. Kyle Wiltjer is the example of change. The sophomore has obviously upped his game, of late. Calipari said he asked Wiltjer in front of the team why the change. Wiltjer said he was tried of and embarrassed by the way he had been playing. Now, said Calipari, Wiltjer is “an animal” in practice, screaming after dunks, screaming after other player’s dunks, trying to get teammate Alex Poythress to scream when he dunks.
3. Willie Cauley-Stein iffy. Calipari said that the freshman forward did not practice on Thursday and did not know if he would be practicing today. Cauley-Stein has missed the last two games after undergoing a “minor” procedure on his left knee last week.