Saturday was a tough one to stomach for the Kentucky Wildcats.
They had their worst offensive half of basketball in the John Calipari era, scoring just 18 points in what turned into a 69-60 defeat at Missouri.
On Sunday, Calipari posted a message to fans asking for patience with his young team, as they continue to endure the growing pains of a freshman-heavy team.
“BBN, I’m trying to do everything in my power to help this young team come together,” said Calipari. “I’ll be honest, after being in the office last night and again this morning watching tape, we played well enough defensively to win that game forcing 20 turnovers.
“These are good kids who are just understanding how bad they need each other. They’re just so young, but we’re going to get this.”
Kentucky played very well on defense for a good portion of this game, including a first half in which they limited Missouri to 28 points. That’s even better when your realize the offense struggling so bad led to some breakdowns on defense and free-throws for the Tigers, yet they could only muster up 28 points in that half.
The second half saw more breakdowns and free throws that allowed Missouri to stay ahead for good, but as bad as the offense was, it was still a solid performance on defense. At least Kentucky has that to build off of, because not much else good came from that debacle.
The Cats won’t have any time to sulk though, as the 18th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers come to Rupp Arena on Tuesday, and Calipari wants to see a packed crowd.
“We need you Tuesday to be at your best from the tip to the finish,” said Calipari. “If we’re going good, ride it and push us to make the lead unbearable. If we’re struggling some, encourage us and bring us back. The last eight minutes of the game, do not sit down! We need you more than ever now!”
“To our students, let’s pack the place. We need your help. Student tickets are still available by going to the UK ticket office starting at 9 a.m. on Monday.”