Three things to watch when UK engages in an exhibition with Montevallo tonight at Rupp Arena:
1. Intensity. John Calipari thought there was a lot left to be desired in his young team’s energy and effort Friday night vs. Transylvania. Thus the coach put his team through some long practice paces over the weekend full of practice and expects to witness an energy upgrade tonight. Did his kiddie corp get the message? We shall see tonight.
2. Shine at the line. Kentucky made half its Friday night free throws. It took 22. It made 11. Not good. James Young missed all four of his free throws. Julius Randle was just three-of-five. Willie Cauley-Stein and Marcus Lee were only one-of-two. It’s early and exhibition season, we know. But free throws matter. Late in games. Late in year. Better to start making them sooner rather than later.
3. Protect the perimeter. Transylvania made threes early and often Friday. The Pioneers were just eight-of-28 for the game, but they sank six triples in the first half. Worse yet, they were open for many of those long-distance deliveries.
Calipari after the game: “We left corners, we left shooters. The only way they could beat us is shooting threes. How many games are we going to play this year that that’s what they’re going to do?”
Answer: A lot. Improvement needed.