By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today
LEXINGTON — John Calipari is already making adjustments to his practice schedule and hopes the five-day break will give his team a chance to get healthy.
“I’ve had to change practice because we’re practicing with seven and eight guys,” he said following a stunning 67-64 loss to Evansville Tuesday night. “That makes it hard. So, I’ve got to figure out a way (to structure practice).”
Forward EJ Montgomery has missed the past two games because an undisclosed illness and Calipari admitted that point guard Ashton Hagans has been slowed because “his leg is bothering him.” He had 3 points on 1-for-8 shooting from the field, four turnouts, four fouls and three assists in 24 minutes of play.
“He hasn’t really been practicing,” Calipari said. “By not being able to really get after it, that’s his game. So, we got to figure out whether we shut it down completely.
“And I was trying to say, let’s get through this game and take some time, and probably should have had him take the game off. But, you know, we will see. We got a lot of stuff to figure out, to be honest with you.”
Hagans struggled against the Purple Aces and scored just three points. Hagans missed seven of eight shots from the field, including three treys and committed four of the team’s 13 turnovers. Although not at full speed, Hagans collected two steals and dished out three assists.
“That wasn’t Ashton,” Calipari said. “That wasn’t the Ashton that I know. I think when you, you’re not competing every day to bring that out, you’re not going to play that way. That’s on me, not on them. But again, Evansville deserved to win the game in every aspect. They out-rebounded us, they out-toughed us, they made more threes, drove us for layups. I mean, they deserved to win.”