Kentucky faced a physical game from Auburn Saturday in Rupp Arena and UK coach John Calipari is expecting more from Florida Tuesday night. The Cats go into Gainesville trailing Florida by one game in the SEC race. The Gators are rated a 91/2 point favorite.
Before heading to Gainesville Monday, Calipari said again his team is getting better. "We're improving on all areas, it may not show in this game because this is a worthy opponent, a well coached team, a tough team, a physical team. I'm watching them, they bang and bump and grind and their guards really attack. I mean if you're in a cool mode, you're gettnig killed in this game."
Calipari said some players are still doing what they choose to do rather than what the team needs them to do. Freshman guard Archie Goodwin has struggled over the last three games, playing only 17 minutes against Auburn. He said he loves big games like this and he's not frustrated. "If I let things like this frustrate me, then I know I'll never be the player that I want to be."
Florida coach Billy Donovan is concerned about his 3-point defense. In the first 18 games, Florida defended the 3-point line at 29.7 percent. The last three, it’s 41.2 percent. “Our close-outs have been a little bit shorter than normal. We have not gotten out there,” Donovan said. "That is an area where we need to do a better job. We need a greater sense of urgency, understanding our personnel [and] understanding who we’re closing out on. Those kinds of things are important.”
Kentucky and Florida tipsoff at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday. The game is televised by ESPN.