By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky beat Transylvania 94-66 in its first exhibition game Friday night and never really was threatened by the Pioneers from start to finish. Kentucky had seven players in double digits and dominated every phase of play.
Kentucky coach John Calipari had a long answer to start his postgame press conference when asked about what he liked about his team’s play.
“I thought the group I put in at the 16:00 mark really played and played together and was aggressive. And when they started the second half, they weren’t like that,” Calipari said. “So we’re still exploring. I mean, we had seven guys in double figures. You know, you had a lot of people doing some things and it just — the straight line drives, it was kind of like the Bahamas first game, we had 21 straight line drives; this team.
“And what Transy does, and (coach) Brian (Lane) does a good job of, they were going to make us use the clock and they were going to make you play for 30 seconds, and we had some guys that were not able to play the full 30 seconds either on a switch. Or how about it went inside with two seconds to go, they throw it out to 3-point shooters and guys that had fallen asleep and they made them.
“It’s a great lesson. This will be a great teaching tape. You know, we rebounded the ball. PJ (Washington) went in in the second half and did what I wanted him to do which is go get five, six rebounds a half. Go get two or three offensive. We need those. We need those extra baskets.
“But again, it’s a lesson. Didn’t make a shot. Missed every — you know, great thing for Tyler (Herro), I told him, ‘You have to get your shot before you catch the ball. This isn’t high school. I catch it and do I have a shot. You know before you catch it to go get a shot, and I think it’s good for him. He went 1-for-8. Now, understand, why did I go 1-for-8. You know, what it was? Some of them, I wasn’t ready, or they were too tight for me because I wasn’t ready to shoot it. I thought he had two that he should have let go they then bounced and made it a tougher shot. But this is all new.
“Immanuel (Quickley) is better than he played. I thought Ashton (Hagans) played pretty good. (Reid) Travis did what he did and Nick (Richards) played well in the second half — or first half, not so well in the second half. EJ (Montgomery) did some good stuff.
“Last thing, guys, and I told them why I did it: We pressed the whole game, not to try to steal. I wanted the condition. Let’s see where we are conditioning. And so you press, and you’re all over the place, and then they hold the ball for 25. That’s great conditioning, and we broke down a ton because of it.”