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  • Howland buys Kentucky's issue being youth


    Mississippi State coach Ben Howland obviously buys what Kentucky coach John Calipari is selling about most of UK’s issues this year being due to the team’s youth.

    “I tell you what, they’re pretty good. I mean they’re long. The biggest difference is previous years they’ve had smaller guards” Howland said Monday.” You look at them right now, and they’re playing huge length. (Shai Gilgeous-) Alexander, he’s your point guard. He’s 6-6. So they’re playing a lot more zone.

    “They’re younger than they’ve ever been. This is the youngest team he’s ever had, which he is young every year because of the turnover of coming and going pro. This is the youngest team he’s ever had there, which is saying something.”

    Of course, Mississippi State has a freshman point guard in Nick Weatherspoon who has never played at Rupp Arena.

    “We have to play with more energy in the second half and the first half. I feel like that’s something we can focus on,” Weatherspoon said. “Tuesday we’re going to bring a lot of energy from the beginning of the game. We know it’s going to be an awesome crowd, so we’re going to create our own energy tomorrow.

    “I know a lot of teams play better in front of their crowd. On the road, it’s hard to call plays and things like that. You just have to be focused. I’m starting to learn how to stay focused on the road. That’s something that’s hard for freshman to learn to do.”

    Gilgeous-Alexander says every player has to talk more at this level because opponents “are so smart” and the ones with experience will “take advantage” if a team doesn’t talk.

    “We’ve noticed that in film – we have to talk – and that’s why we break down and we’ll have to fix it for the upcoming games,” Gilgeous-Alexander said Monday.

    Having true freshman point guard Quade Green back from his injury helps that.

    “He’s definitely a really big vocal leader for us and I did feel like we were more connected than the South Carolina game. But I feel like we’re getting better each and every game in terms of being engaged and talking to each other. We’ll get to the point where it’s second nature,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      No mention of the "connection" issue.