As has been reported elsewhere, Tubby Smith, hoping to cure his team's penchant for turnovers, has taken a page from the football coach's handbook by having his players carry a basketball with them at all times, even to bed.
The result? The players have noticed.
Smith and his staff even took the step of having three balls at practice. Every time one was tossed away for a turnover, one of the balls was taken out of play. Once all three are gone, the players will run sprints the rest of practice.
From my limited experience, running sprints is ample incentive to stop doing whatever it is you were doing. And heck, our players could use all the wind sprints they can get, right?
Kentucky is averaging 17+ giveaways a game, way too many if you have hopes of besting some of these tough SEC teams.
While it's slow going, the attention to spcific fundamentals has been good for this group. First it was defense, then offense. So long as the players themselves can absorb and learn from their own mistakes, things could start turning around in a hurry.
The move to insert freshman point guard Derrick Jasper into the starting five was clearly a boost, and the players acknowledged as much verbally, if their improved shooting on Tuesday didn't already.
With winnable but stiff tests against Indiana this weekend and Louisville the next, it's time for the Cats to get over those growing pains and start to play like a top-25 team. The holiday season slate is chock full of cupcakes, and going on a run from here till SEC time would both salve the wounds Big Blue Nation keeps picking at and set the Cats up for a return to the polls and to something resembling UK hoops normalcy.