Coach Cal says that first half disaster against Notre Dame was in part because one of his players got lost on the game plan and was giving up too many easy threes.
He didn’t name the player, but some writers speculated it was Cam’Ron Fletcher, who did not play in the second half, when UK made its amazing comeback.
Cal’s plight reminded me of a similar situation I found myself in while coaching a teenage boys’ team a few years ago.
I wanted to use a half-court zone trap against a team we were due to play the next day.
We worked several hours practicing the zone trap and I thought we were going to devastate our opponent with it the next day.
Game time came and four of our five players used the zone trap as we had practiced for so long, but one player started off playing man to man. I called a quick time out and got in the kid’s face. Play resumed and the kid got lost again. I called another time out, benched the kid and our zone trap helped us win the game – and eventually the league championship.
As for UK, I think Calipari signed a couple of players who are not yet measuring up, including Fletcher, Jacob Toppin and Lance Ware. Granted, it is probably too early to throw these guys under the bus. But don’t be surprised if 1-2 of these guys end up in the transfer portal before the season ends.
Dontae Allen is another story. I am working on an article about him which may surprise many UK fans.
(Ken Mink is a former Herald-Leader sportswriter, journalist for 60 years and the author of 26 books. He is a native of Vicco, near Hazard).