Tubby's 'Cats play well at the right time.
This year, though, Tubby's Wildcats are not exactly seeing the dividends, generally enjoyed the past several seasons.
"This team is maturing, still growing, still a work in progress, obviously," Smith said following the Georgia game in which Kentucky led by as many as 21, but saw the lead squandered to 6 as late as 2 minutes left. "That's what happens when you have a young team and they think ‘I just need to show up today and everything's going to be okay.' It's just not any fun when you don't play the right way."
An obviously disturbed Smith hopes the Wildcats learned from the hard fought battle against doormat Georgia and hopes it translates into a better performance against a South Carolina team desperate for a big win.
"I hope we learn something from it, that being that we're just ordinary if we don't come with the right attitude and the right energy," the Wildcat coach said. "Then we're just an ordinary group of players."
The problem may stem from maturity. In fact, Tubby insists, translating practice to game is one of the many downfalls of his young kittens.
"I thought we practiced okay," Smith said. "We've done everything we do normally. The attitude just has to be more grown-up and more mature with how we prepare."
Preparation and most of all, if the Wildcats are hoping for any type of run in the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky is going to have to remain focused.
"If you're not focused you're not going to get any effort," the frustrated Smith insisted. " If you're not focused you're not going to play, you're not going to get the effort. It just doesn't happen that way."