By LARRY VAUGHT
Give freshman Tyrese Maxey credit for quickly agreeing with what coach John Calipari said was a huge problem in Kentucky’s stunning loss to Evansville — a lack of toughness that showed up in a lack of aggressiveness and giving up two late offensive rebounds in the 67-64 loss.
“Yeah he’s right. We have to get those rebounds down the stretch, I have to make those free throws,” Maxey said. “Like he said, we just have to be tougher defensively, stand in front of our man, and not leave the corners. We have to get rebounds, we have to stay aggressive. It’s a tough one but we will bounce back.”
Maybe. But the talk is a lot easier to do than the tough play itself even though Maxey has never been one to back down and I don’t see him ever doing that.
Evansville certainly didn’t back off against the nation’s No. 1 team playing at home.
“They just came downhill at us, and like Coach Cal said we weren’t tough enough to stand in front of our man and get tough rebounds late in the game,” Maxey said.
The freshman, the star in UK’s opening game win over Michigan State, says UK will remember the loss but has to put the game in the past while getting back to work.
“We can’t dwell on it, and we can’t let it be the reason, can’t let it be our season, we have a lot of games ahead and am looking forward to our game next Monday (against Utah Valley State),” Maxey said. “I mean losing period is disappointing, whether you were ranked number one or not ranked. We all hate to lose, I know that for a fact .”