By LARRY VAUGHT
How often does John Calipari preach patience with young players? Try just about every time he talks to the media.
Yet after Kentucky’s win over Georgia Tuesday, the UK coach didn’t mince words about the way freshman guard Tyrese Maxey played. He had seven points, five rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes. Not bad, right? Wrong. He was just 1-for-3 from the field, had three turnovers and got beat on defense. He was 5-for-5 at the foul line but that was not enough to make Calipari feel any better about him.
“He’s just got to understand that this is, we only have so many games. We got — how many games do we got left? 13? So, we got 13 games left. You can’t let a game pass,” Calipari said. “All day you’re preparing to play great. And you’re not just playing, you’re trying to play great.
“I’m not just exchanging baskets. I’m competing. I’m coming up with balls. But he’s fine. I mean, look, he’s one of the best players in the country. All I’m saying is play that way. That’s who you are, you play that way.
“No one holding you back, we’re putting you in position to score baskets, we’re putting you in a position to guard people, block shots, rebound, go do it.”
What Calipari didn’t do was put Quickley on Georgia star freshman guard Anthony Edwards because of what happened two weeks earlier in UK’s win at Georgia.
“Down there he scored on Tyrese a couple times and Tyrese laughed with him like they were in an AAU game. Don’t even go near him,” Calipari said. “Immanuel (Quickley), you got him. And if you don’t have him, then Ashton (Hagans) has him. And that was why, because this ain’t for funsies. He’s trying to kill you, you’re trying to kill him.”