LEXINGTON, KY (WAVE) - Calipari and the Cats are looking to rebound from a loss in Tuscaloosa to open SEC play. Their first shot at that comes Tuesday night when Texas A&M comes to Rupp Arena.
After trailing by as many as 11 in the second half, Kentucky battled back to bring the game within one point late. But they’d fall short after a Herro last-second three-pointer missed.
Calipari on Tuesday said their conference schedule is as tough as any in the country, but he sees it as an opportunity for growth.
“We have as tough a schedule as anyone that has left," Calipari said. "The bad news is you have as tough a schedule as anyone that’s going to be playing. The good news is, you have an opportunity to beat good teams.”
Calipari said the team watched film from the game against the Crimson Tide Tuesday morning before practice. One thing he wanted to emphasize to his team was the execution of little things.
“Young kids don’t understand, every possession matters as you wind down that clock,” Calipari said. “You can’t give them easy baskets. They’ll make tough baskets, live with it. But you can’t give them second shots, you can’t miss one-footers.”
Wildcats guard Immanuel Quickley said the team views close games like the loss at Alabama as lessons, which will help them later on.
“The more close games, the better,” Quickley said. “That means we’ll just be ready come March. All of the March games will be close because all of the teams are good. So that’s what we want.”
Tyler Herro said he’s thankful the team’s schedule is more packed in the spring months, as opposed to earlier when the Wildcats played just one game per week at times.
“Finally we don’t play one game a week,” Herro said. “We can come back and have a good practice.. and hopefully bounce back on Tuesday.”
Kentucky will look to get back to .500 in the SEC Tuesday night, in the hopes of claiming Calipari’s fifth SEC regular-season title, and the program’s 49th overall.
“It’s on now,” Calipari said. “We just went through camp, we should be conditioned, we did start slipping. Now we have to refocus and get back on track.”