Less than a minute into the game, Calipari had Darius Miller ready to come in for Terrence Jones after he failed to block out on a rebound. A few minutes later point guard Marquis Teague made his third turnover and took a seat.
"I just felt our shoot around was just so-so, and I felt at the pregame, when I talked to them before they went on the court, I didn't like the stare I got from two or three of the guys," Calipari said. "So at the beginning of the game, I knew what was happening. And I just told them, I said, hey, I took guys out, I sat Terrence (Jones) out, and you know, you've got to be ready to play every game. You've got to figure it out.
"Here is what the deal is. Noon games, hard to play. So? Guess what. In New Orleans (for the SEC tourney) when will we be playing? Noon. Okay. Then, in the NCAA Tournament, probably noon. We play early games. So be ready for it. You can't use that as an excuse, it's an afternoon game."
Calipari said his team finished the game so well down the stretch that "I wasn't going to get upset with them" over what he felt was less than a zealous start. However, part of him was almost hoping the sluggish start would lead to UK's first SEC loss.?Or at least that's what he said.
"The other side of it, I looked at my staff and I said, ‘You know, I'd like to let this one go.' The way they started, to prove a point. I'm about to let this one go, and then I said, ‘I can't. I just don't have that in me.'
"But, believe me. I said to my staff, because you've got to learn a lesson from it. But their will to win; their ability to execute down the stretch and defend and take everything up a notch, you know, is pretty amazing."
Senior Darius Miller doesn't think Kentucky needs to lose to learn.
"I still think the same way, I'm not trying to lose. I don't really think he (Calipari) is either," Miller said.