After the embarrassing loss to the Tennessee Volunteers, John Calipari wasn’t so sure if his team would fight for their chance to play in the post season. Wednesday night the Kentucky Wildcats came out to a new into video before they took on the Vanderbilt Commodores in Rupp Arena.
In the video each player, even Nerlens Noel, attempted to hype up the crowd by saying things like, “let’s fight like Wildcats” and “tonight is the biggest game on our schedule.” I don’t know who was behind the video, although it does sound like a trick Calipari would use to motivate his team. After all, it is practically a new season–a season without Noel.
Not sure if it was the video, but the Wildcats did show some fight. Vanderbilt tried a couple times to make runs with their outside shooting and each time a different player would come up with a big play, helping them win 74-70.
Cauley-Stein said seeing UK’s new “Let’s fight” intro video before the game made him tear up, got the team fired up.
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) February 21, 2013
Willie Cauley-Stein had a career night with 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Two of those blocks came late in the game which sealed the victory. The seven-footer looked comfortable in his new role as the go to big man. He is very athletic and showed that he can make plays when needed.
Archie Goodwin also showed some fire as well. He added 16 points and six rebounds, three of which were offensive rebounds that he used to make easy put-backs. Goodwin could be the key for Kentucky if they want to make a run.
Kentucky still looks really young, I don’t mean in age, but the way they allowed Vanderbilt to hang around. They must learn to go for the knockout and play smarter on defense.
Calipari said after the game, “They played with confidence today, and that’s all we’re talking about. We’re just saying, you’ve got to go out and shoot shots you have, make plays you can make.”
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