By LARRY VAUGHT
What kind of message did building a 24-point lead over No. 1 Tennessee and eventually winning by 17 points send to college basketball about Kentucky?
“We are just doing what we do in practice every day. We listen to our coaches and that’s what we do, we are just doing what we do in practice,” Johnson, who had 13 points in five minutes in the first half, said. “Got a big win, you know.”
Johnson said PJ Washington, who got UK’s first seven points and finished with 23, has to be the team’s first option every game.
“I mean you can always go to him and I was definitely fine with it,” Johnson said. “I started off hot and he got it going, and I was just like take it and run with it, and do what you have to do man. We believe in everything he can do, and we trust him out there to do what he has to do.”
Kentucky had squandered some big leads in games this season, including Tuesday when it ended up losing at home to LSU. Calipari said the LSU loss is why went Tennessee went on a 13-0 run to cut into UK’s lead that his team didn’t wilt.
“We lost to LSU. So I hit them right after the game with LSU and just said, ‘Hey, that was a tough loss, but you know what, we needed it. Because our team is changing, we’re not the defensive team that we have been. We have individuals changing how they were playing when they were successful. We need to get it back. We need to go back to what we were,'” Calipari said.
“And you know what, sometimes you got to get knocked in the head to know that. So the loss to LSU probably helped us win this game. ”