Now UK head coach John Calipari wants his young team to crank up the actual volume when they're communicating on the court.
"I told them, how fun is it when you're out there by yourself and no one will speak?" Calipari said of the Wildcats' inconsistent first-half performance that led to a modest 42-33 lead at the break. "How fun is it playing? You don't have any fun. You have to talk. You have to be together. That is the thing about unity and team. These guys are still learning. We've got a ways to go.
"We've just got to get more energy, more talking, more vocal, and we've got to make them. There is not an option here. If you're not talking, you're out. I'm putting somebody else in."
Fourth-ranked Kentucky (4-1) is once again integrating several freshmen into the program, meaning Calipari is spending an inordinate of time in November going over issues that come naturally for more-experienced squads. But the UK boss is also once again loaded with talent, as evidenced by Tuesday's box score.
Four freshmen scored in double figures for the Wildcats, led by swingman James Young with a career-high 26 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field and a 5-for-10 night from beyond the 3-point arc. The Detroit native became the third different UK newcomer to score more than 25 points in a game this season, joining Julius Randle (27 versus Michigan State) and Aaron Harrison (28 against Robert Morris).
Young, who Calipari has frequently referred to as "the best shooter in the country," had been struggling with his jumper entering the game. He was making only 36 percent of his shots from the field and had missed 21 of 28 attempts from 3-point range in the first four games, but the UK boss spotted a flaw in his form that was corrected before the UT-Arlington matchup.
"He was leaning," Calipari said. "The tape shows that he was leaning his shoulders back. You lean your shoulders back because your legs aren't under you, and you're trying to get a little more oomph on your shot, and when you do that, you're basically fading away. You're not going to be an aggressive consistent shooter on fadeaway shots."
"When Coach Cal showed me that, I was mind-blown. It was so easily fixed," Young said. "... That's why I love Coach Cal."
Randle followed with his fifth-consecutive double-double to begin his college career, posting 22 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four assists and two blocked shots. The power forward from Texas joined Jim Andrews, Dan Issel and Cotton Nash as the only other Wildcats to begin a season with five straight double-doubles.
Freshman point guard Andrew Harrison scored 15 points and dished out six assists, while freshman center Marcus Lee scored 10 points and blocked three shots in his second collegiate start. The Wildcats, who also got 14 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein, just narrowly missed having a third double-double as freshman center Dakari Johnson scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds in only 13 minutes off the bench.
Kentucky shot 51 percent from the field (35 of 69) and held a 12-plus rebounding advantage (46-34) for the fifth-consecutive time to open the season. But the latter didn't come easy. The much-bigger Cats were actually out-rebounded 21-17 in the first half before being challenged by Calipari in the locker room.
"They outworked us on a bunch," Calipari said of the Sun Belt opponent.
Texas-Arlington (2-3) got 24 points and 10 rebounds from senior forward Brandon Edwards. Senior guard Reger Dowell added 20 points for the Mavericks.