One year ago John Calipari took his team to within one game of going to the Final Four. Now he has a much different team in his second season coaching the Cats and the road to the Final Four begins in Tampa Thursday.
Things are turned up a notch when you reach the NCAA and it's different for John Calipari. Calipari knows his team is peaking, he says he's concerned with what his team is doing, not about Princeton. But with three freshmen, he can't be sure of anything. "They can get off kilter at any point. What I know is we are playing as well as we have played all season.What I'm comfortable with is they are playing better than they have in their careers; that I'm comfortable with. How they will respond in this situation I have no idea."
The Cats have really turned it up, winning six in a row and playing lights out in the SEC Tournament last weekend. It's a team that's matured and grown together. "It was tough bringing it all together with new guys getting chemistry and executing each play and knowing each others game but right now we know who to go to at the right times" says forward Terrence Jones."
Princeton has a veteran team, the Tigers who come in with 25 wins, see that as an advantage but Kentucky, with a ton of athleticism, is a heavy favorite to move on to the next round. Princeton coach Sydney Johnson knows what he's facing. "They're very well coached and that should come as no surprise. They get out in transition and they're very good in the half court. We realize it's a challenge."