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Calipari: Arkansas still defends but now has ‘breakdown’ offensive players


John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky coach John Calipari says Arkansas is figuring things out and has plenty of talent to challenge his team Thursday night.

“They still defend, they still play hard, but you have a couple breakdown players who can go get them (buckets) when they need them. And all of a sudden, you’re talking about a team that’s playing confident. From where they were early to where they are now, you might as well not even watch early tapes,” said Calipari earlier this week on the SEC coaches network.

He says senior Anthlon Bell is a difference-maker for the Razorbacks.

“A guy that’s been through the stuff, because I think again, Arkansas is going through what we’re going through. They got a lot of young guys and it’s just hard. I mean, winning time for us: We’re up 20 against Mississippi State, we’re up 12 against Auburn; we lose one and we should’ve lost the other. Think about that. Historically, my teams, if you get up 10 it’s death for the other team. That’s not the case right now,” the UK coach said.

“And most of it is young guys not understanding winning basketball at that crunch time, that juncture of the game. But that’s what we gotta work on and that’s why it’s a process, and the only way you get through it is experience. But veterans will help you win games as you’re learning and growing that way.”

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