UK basketball isn’t off to the start fans are accustomed to seeing from their basketball team. After losing more games (3) in their first eight than they lost all of last year, Calipari has taken his players to camp.
Lest you be confused, this camp involves early morning sprints instead of roasting marshmallows, and the only scary stories are the ones about losing early in March. This is Camp Cal, and it’s actually a term given to the break between semesters that allows coaches to hold longer practices. The team’s been meeting early in the morning for conditioning before practicing twice that day.
This emphasis on practice, Calipari has also stressed that his players should be getting more personal time in the gym, coincides with a lull in the schedule. While most teams take the week off for finals, UK will go nearly a month without playing a midweek game. Not only are they playing fewer games, but they’re playing lesser opponents too. Since losing to Baylor on December 1st they play four teams from mid or low major conferences with a combined record of 18-26. UK has won the first three of those games by an average margin of 32 points.
So, this stretch may not be the most fun for UK season ticket holders, but it should pay off in the long run. Calipari doesn’t have a veteran presence on this team and realizes he needs to be more involved motivating and holding players accountable. He’s also using this stretch of games and practices to prepare for the UofL game at the end of the month. He used the early part of the schedule to see what he had, and is now working to shape that into what he wants them to be. December 29th will determine if his strategy will pay off.
Photo: Flickr/Triple Tri
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