By LARRY VAUGHT
LAS VEGAS — Falling behind by 17 points, rallying to tie the game and then still losing 69-66 like Kentucky did against Utah Wednesday night is not the perfect way to get ready to play Ohio State in Vegas Saturday afternoon.
Kentucky coach John Calipari joked he would “stay under the cover for two days” after the loss before saying Thursday the team would do some videotape work and then maybe have a walk-through.
Then he explained why UK could not have a long practice in Las Vegas.
“My son plays at 4,” Calipari said.
His son, Brad, plays for Detroit Mercy and will be hosting Northeastern at 4 p.m.
“We will be on the court from 3-5 but we will probably be off at 4 so I can watch him (Brad),” Calipari said. “My son plays tomorrow. I am going to watch him play. We will get our work done.”
Calipari didn’t back off his Thursday schedule when asked by Lexington Herald-Leader beat writer Jerry Tipton how he thought UK fans would react to a short practice so the coach could watch his son play. Instead, he said he would be watching the game on his phone.
However, Calipari did admit one thing that anyone who watched the Utah game — or other UK games this season — know.
“We have got to get better. We are not very good,” the UK coach said.
Point guard Ashton Hagans offered no excuses for UK’s upset loss.
“Lack of discipline on both ends of the floor,” Hagans said. “We have been here before a few times. Just another day in the office
“We got a big one on Saturday. We have to put this one in the past and go back to practice.”
Attendance for the game in T-Mobile Arena was listed at only 5,507 — and most of those were Kentucky fans. Hagans appreciated how the fans responded when UK was 17 points down with 12:11 to play.
“It just shows how much BBN loves our team,” Hagans said. “They helped get back in the game. They were on their feet when we needed them and lifted us up.
“I just want to stay thank you to the fans and come back Saturday and do the same thing.”