Nov 21, 2012; Lexington , KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) shoots the ball over Morehead Eagles forward Maurice Lewis-Briggs (3) at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

John Calipari warns Kyle Wiltjer to Step it Up on Defense or Take a Seat


There a lot of things that may have made John Calipari upset in his team’s effort against Morehead State. But what stuck out the most to him were the players that “tried” instead of “did”. Kyle Wiltjer in particular was called out by coach Cal.

I told Kyle, ‘This isn’t last year. You want to be on the court, you have to guard somebody,’ ” Calipari said.

I don’t have any worries because if he doesn’t guard, he’s not playing; it’s real simple,” Calipari said. “I said it to him in front of the team, ‘If this is what other teams do to us, the minute I see it, if you don’t stop the guy, do something to stop him, then you’re out.

Wiltjer’s defense has been suspect since he stepped foot on campus. There is no question that the 6’10 sophomore can score with the best of them, but he routinely lets players blow by him and he is slow on rotations, leaving opposing players wide open on the perimeter. Willie Cauley-Stein doesn’t score like Wiltjer, but he has shown the ability to get out and guard players much smaller and quicker than he is. Coach Cal is not afraid of letting Wiltjer have a seat on the bench.

But Kyle wasn’t the only player that Calipari had choice words for. He had a message for the team:

We’re in the mode where we think it’s OK to try,” Calipari said. “What about (the other team)? ‘They tried harder.’ ‘I know he tried harder than me, but I did try.’ That ain’t getting it. That’s what happens when you get a bunch of young guys.

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And no, there hasn’t been any word on Ryan Harrow. Sit back, relax and enjoy the game tonight.


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