John Calipari, as he’ll do every week from now until the end of the season, was on Monday morning’s Southeastern Conference coaches’ teleconference. The topic for the day: buying in. Coach Cal said he’s got a great group of guys who want to do well, want to please and want to succeed, but not everyone has bought in.
Kentucky, wearing special Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniforms, played like it was elite on Tuesday in the rematch with Tennessee. The Cats flew past the Volunteers from the opening tip, nailing their first 11 shots in a 69-44 rout of their border-state rival. Kentucky moved to 8-0 in the Southeastern Conference, 22-1 overall.
Coincidentally, just as the No. 1 Cats (21-1, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) have begun to figure out how to play through the physicality, the two teams that jumpstarted the style of play will face UK in a pair of rematches this week. Kentucky hosts Tennessee on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU before heading to Columbia, S.C., on Saturday to face South Carolina.
After watching his team get outrebounded, “outhustled” and “outworked” in the second half of doubleheader nightcap, a hot and irritated John Calipari said this letdown loss simply came down to toughness. One team (Baylor) had it. The other (Kentucky) didn’t.