Kentucky is just one day away from beginning it’s college basketball season in the Bluegrass Showcase against Morehead State. In the press conference previewing the season opener yesterday, UK Head Coach John Calipari said he had both of his hands and feet on a figurative panic button because of how the team’s last preseason scrimmage went, pointing to a common issue for inexperienced teams — getting out of high school basketball routines.
“We’re not trusting how we’re playing. You would say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t they? Haven’t they seen the history of what’s happened for the kids?’ Yes, but, ‘I want to do this.’ So, they’re fighting it a little bit. We’ve got good kids. We’re asking guys to do stuff they’ve never done before, which means they’re going to be a little uncomfortable,” he said.
Creighton transfer Davion Mintz attributed the team’s rough scrimmage to being tired of playing each other, as he said they are ready to face an opponent that is not themselves.
“We wrecked the car yesterday just to get it back rolling for Wednesday. It’s just one of those things where I feel like it has to happen, and it was a humbling experience. I think we’re just fine. I think we’re tired of playing each other. That was like the biggest problem for the flaws yesterday,” he said.
Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr echoed Mintz’ comments, saying the team’s energy level in their last scrimmage was too low and that they’re ready for a new opponent, starting with Morehead State.
“Yesterday’s scrimmage wasn’t the best, obviously. But we’re not thinking about the second, third or fourth game. Right now, we’re thinking about Morehead State. That’s our next game. That’s what we’re focused on. We’re going to give our all, and like we’ve seen yesterday, we have to be ready from the jump. That’s the biggest takeaway,” he said.
UK coach John Calipari also mentioned that Kentucky will be without sophomore forward Keion Brooks Jr. for the first week of games, as he has been nursing a calf injury. Also, the team’s Friday night matchup against Detroit Mercy has been postponed due to a staff member on the Titans testing positive for Covid-19, so we will not yet get a battle between Calipari and his son Brad. UK did however announce last night they are working with Detroit Mercy to reschedule.