GREENSBORO, N.C. (FOX 56) – When Kentucky has played their best basketball this season, everyone contributes towards the win. Six players have put up 20 points or more at one point this season for the Wildcats.
Antonio Reeves led the way for Kentucky with 22 points in their NCAA Tournament opening win against Providence.
There’s only one basketball, so scoring isn’t the primary role for some of the key pieces on this UK team, hoping to beat Kansas State and advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2019. Players playing within their role has been the formula for success, John Calipari said ahead of Sunday’s matchup.
“I’m telling them, be a star at your role. Be an absolute star at what you do for us,” Calipari told FOX 56 Sports. “Who was a star at his role last game? Oscar. He got 25 rebounds. Most in 53 years when they started “The Waltons” and “Little House on the Prairie.” I mean, it was 53 years ago. He was a star at his role. He only had eight points. He was a star at his role.”
Players like Chris Livingston have been the example of sacrificing scoring, but providing a spark through hustle and defense that ignite key moments in each game.
“How about you’re a star defensively? How about you’re a star at getting 50/50 balls? How about you’re a star scoring baskets when we need it? How about you’re a star defensively, you go block a shot,” Calipari said. Livingston had six points and six rebounds in the win vs. Providence.
“Less is more. Less is more right now because it is all about let’s play our best, and that means clear mind, play with joy, have fun with each other. You’re looking at me. I’m a cheerleader right now telling the staff all you have got to keep saying, Be positive. Keep being positive.”
Kentucky takes on No. 3-seed Kansas State on Sunday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 2:40 PM Eastern Time.