By LARRY VAUGHT
Kevin Knox appreciates coach John Calipari taking the blame for UK’s 80-67 loss at Florida because he chose not to have the team scrimmage as much before the game as it had been.
“Just because we didn’t scrimmage doesn’t mean necessarily that we gotta go out and play the way we played,” Knox said. “But the scrimmaging did help us out a lot, just getting to know each other better on the court, playing with different lineups, getting a feel for each other. I think that really helped.
“I think we should have (gone) a little more scrimmaging, but that’s not a reason or excuse to why we played that bad.”
He’s right. Maybe the scrimmaging would have helped. But scrimmage or not, there was no excuse for the lack of passing or non-existent defense.
“The rest of this season, everybody’s going to give their all. Florida definitely came out on top. They were hitting a lot of shots and we didn’t really play that well, but that’s how we’re going to get the rest of the season,” Knox said.
“We just gotta be able to come in mentally prepared and just make sure that we come in and play hard every game because now it’s win or go home. A lot of teams’ seasons are on the line so we gotta be able to come out and play hard like our season is on the line.”
Kentucky plays the Georgia-Missouri winner Friday at 3:30 p.m. EST in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. Knox likes UK’s chances.
“I think we’re in good spot just because I think we can improve as a team. On Saturday when we lost at Florida, we didn’t really give our all. Players weren’t really playing their best, but if we get everyone to play their best this team is really hard to beat,” Knox said.
UK “didn’t really give our all.” Ouch.
Then I know UK fans didn’t want to hear “players really weren’t playing their best” in a game where UK fell behind 32 points.
“We played a lot of games this year, a few games where we just went out and just played all of our best games and everything and we haven’t lost yet. From now on, we have to play like that because it’s win or go home,” Knox said.