If you were expecting a UK team that was selfish with the ball, passive and lazy...you were probably shocked to see the Wildcats take on Auburn today in Rupp.
Maybe it was the fact that WCS came out with no headband but as soon as he and Jarrod Polson took the floor this Cats team had a different look to it. The duo off the bench brought immediate energy to the floor. It wasn't just energy, it was lock down defense by Polson and Cauley-Stein running the fast break like a 7' point guard. Poythress, who had been hindered by foul trouble as of late, showed impressive baseline driving ability and had a highlight reel behind the back dish to WCS for a jam. The same Wildcat team that has struggled with physical play all year fought back instead of withering away. Yes, they still had their fare share of breakdowns and freshman moments. However, there were still far fewer than usual and for the most part, the Cats played like a team from start to finish.
As Kentucky prepares to travel to Florida to take on the Gators, one would imagine that the physical game by Auburn was exactly what the Cats needed to get them fired up. The atmosphere in Gainsville will be hostile and this young team will need all the fire and hustle they can muster to come away with the W. After the game, Cal made a point of addressing the work ethic of Archie Goodwin. He also made a point to mention that he has to buy in to the team concept and stop putting so much pressure on himself. Goodwin's jumpers have come up short, in the literal sense, and that is often a sign of low/no confidence in his shooting ability and backs up Calipari's assessment. With the rest of the Cats seeming to be getting it or at least starting to, there couldn't be a better Tuesday than this next for Goodwin to "get it" too.
Game Super-Summary: WCS is a BEAST, Polson = Harrellson, Auburn tries to Punk UK...fails. Final Score UK 72-Auburn 62.