There are many benefits to the quick roster turnovers that have been a staple of the Calipari era at Kentucky, last night provided a look at some of the costs. Notre Dame, having won 65 of the last 66 nonconference home games, came out in front of a frenzied crowd and played with more poise and effort in thoroughly beating the Cats 64-50 in South Bend Thursday night.
After the game, Calipari admitted it was difficult coaching a new team every year and lamented that his team didn’t compete, execute, or play together. After trailing 53-35 midway through the 2nd half, they rallied to close the deficit to ten with just under 3 minutes left, but that was as close as they got the rest of the way. Julius Mays led the Cats with 16 points, and Nerlens Noel added 10 points and 7 rebounds, but the rest of the team only combined to score 24 points. Kyle Wiltjer and Archie Goodwin combined to shoot 3 of 14 and score 6 points.
Ryan Harrow, back after missing the last two games, played nine minutes and scored 2 points.
The Cats have another test coming up Saturday at Rupp Arena, facing off with Baylor in an elite eight rematch from a year ago, at 12:30 on CBS. Baylor has also had a difficult start to the season having lost two out of their last three, including a home loss to College of Charleston last Saturday. Many thought Baylor would be the most talented in the Big 12 combining senior guards Pierre Jackson and AJ Walton with three top 60 recruits, headlined by 7’1 center Isaiah Austin. However they have been somewhat of a disappointment, and will be hungry for a win Saturday.
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