Why is Kentucky fouling so much?

Nick Richards got called for a charge on this play against Florida Saturday, one way teams are trying to get him in foul trouble. (Vicky Graff Photo)


It seems like in way too many recent games Kentucky has had multiple interior players in first-half foul trouble forcing coach John Calipari to juggle who he puts back into the game with two fouls.

Assistant coach Kenny Payne admitted Monday that “we’ve been lucky” on deciding which player to put back in the game in hopes he does not pick up a third foul.

“We do it by committee. We try to go to a zone at times to leave a guy out there with two (fouls). It’s not one particular thing. We’re all racking our brains,” Payne said. “Cal is racking his brain over, ‘How do I play a guy with two fouls without him getting his third in the first half?’

“It’s just one of those things we have to deal with.”

It could happen again tonight at Texas A&M as Payne noted that recent opponents have all focused on getting UK’s bigs into early foul trouble.

So why is Kentucky fouling so much?

“I think the major thing is they get a little tired and then you see them relax a little bit, and then they end up reacting to something and then they get their hand in and they’re not showing their hands defensively, or they’re not moving their feet,” Payne said.

“So, we’ve addressed it. We’ve talked about it. We’ve talked about how important it is to play without fouling. Lately it’s been the strategy of all teams – get Kentucky in foul trouble.”

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