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Calipari fed up with defense, threatens to play Malik Monk less

Things are gonna change, or else.

Valparaiso v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Kentucky finally got back in the win column by beating LSU, but it was far from encouraging to watch.

The once dominant Wildcats let a Tigers team that seemingly everyone has crushed trim a 25-point lead down to six in the final seconds of Tuesday’s win. It saw LSU, who was averaging just 74 points per game, reel off 58 points in the second half alone.

Needless to say, John Calipari was not pleased with the defensive effort, especially from one Malik Monk. The freshman guard once again failed to even grab one rebound, the second-straight game that’s occur ed.

It just begins to reflect the lack of defense Monk has been showing, and it’s not going to keep up under Cal’s watch.

“If he’s not going to rebound the ball, he is going to have to be in there less.” said Calipari. “You're going to have to be in there less. It's not hard in the equation. There were two or three opportunities, again, and I took him out. You didn't get the ball, you're out. It's just making an effort to make them go get balls.”

But Monk was far from being the only thing wrong with this team. Allowing LSU to finish the game on a 31-14 run is a team effort, and it’s something that had Cal’s blood boiling.

“Some of those problems are personnel. They either got to step on the gas or they got to step back,” Calipari said. “Not being mean, I'm just being real. It's that time. Either you step on the gas and get this right or you got to step back.”

Cal also said if he has to, he’ll shorten the rotation to just six guys. He’s playing 8-9 guys per game, but he’s tired of his team having no defensive presence.

Kentucky has now given up an average of 54 second-half ppg over their last four contests, two of which have been losses. If this keeps up, more losses are coming, including an early one in March.