Jan 29, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Mississippi Rebels forward Murphy Holloway (31) goes up for a dunk and is guarded by Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) during the game at the Tad Smith Coliseum. Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Mississippi Rebels 87-74. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Does this Team have a New Mean Streak?


The Kentucky Wildcats displayed something that we haven’t seen from them all season long in the win over Ole Miss: a mean streak. Kyle Wiltjer, Nerlens Noel and even Alex Poythress showed moments of new aggressiveness. Wiltjer knocked Marshall Henderson to the floor and then emphatically dunked the basketball. Alex Poythress grabbed a rebound, knocked an Ole Miss player to the floor and then emphatically dunked the ball. And Nerlens Noel owned just about every shot in the paint on the defensive side.

What can we attribute this new mean streak to? Before the Ole Miss game, John Calipari stated that he wanted his team to get mad and trash talk with Ole Miss:

Oh, I’d like us to lose our composure,” Calipari said Monday. “That’s what I’m looking for. Like, lose your composure. Get mad. Get angry. Be mad to be great

Luckily, his team took his advice and won handily going down the stretch.
The Wildcats are traveling to Texas A&M tomorrow to avenge an embarrassing loss in Rupp Arena that came early in conference play. Here is what Nerlens Noel had to say about the upcoming trip:
We definitely owe them something.  We’re a different team from last time.
That sounds like a team with an axe to grind. This comes not a moment too soon as Joe Luardi still has the ‘Cats penciled in as a 10 seed in the NCAA tournament. All of that could change if Kentucky’s new attitude can translate to a much-needed winning streak through conference play.

Just look at what Poythress does and the reactions from his teammates.


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