"That's just Anthony.?He is loving Kentucky and knows this is a great opportunity to reach his full potential and get better on and off the court," Hale said. "He is going to be the same exact Anthony he always is. I can see him growing up, really enjoying college life. He's becoming a young man, young adult. But everything else is the same and I think it will always continue to be that way with him."
"He was trying to post up a lot. I am happy to see him learning to be more of a post player. When the got the ball, he took advantage and went inside,"?Hale said. "The bad thing is he was letting Zeller push him around too much to get position. In the second half, he did a lot better job beating him to a spot and playing more physical.
"He got way more physical and Zeller was not as comfortable with that. I think he learned some valuable lessons. That was a huge test for him to measure up against Zeller and Henson. Now he sees all he has got to do to play with guys like that and what he has to do better."
Hale said he had never seen Davis' parents, Erainer and Anthony Davis, happier than they were after the North Carolina win.
"I have never seen them as happy as they were at that game. His mom, dad and grandma are all huge fans and were always the first to congratulate me, the team and the coaches after our games. They are very supportive, but they are loving Kentucky," Hale said. "After that win, they were going crazy. They could not stop looking at the highlights. They were so excited.
"I was around a lot of the players after the game. They said it was just like March Madness out there. They want to see them again, too. They want to play the best, so their thinking was why not play them again in a bigger moment like the Final Four."
Why not? The last few Kentucky-North Carolina games have all been special and with it looking more and more like the UK-Carolina series might take a little hiatus, wouldn't it be fun to see those two powers have an April rematch with the national title at stake.
Of course, there are a lot of games to be played before then — and Hale hopes to see the Cats several more times. He won't be in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday — "we have our own game Saturday" — but he's already got plans to be back for the Jan. 17 game against Arkansas.
"I will be back many more times," Hale said. "I am coming down all I?can. I?hate I?won't be back until January, but I?do have my season to worry about, too. I?would love to be there every game to watch Anthony, but I?can't. However, whenever I?can be there, I guarantee you I am coming because there's going to be a lot more to see from him."