Cal: Will to win, effort are UK priorities

After a 64-50 loss at Notre Dame, Kentucky Coach John Calipari made a will to win and competitive spirit as Job 1 and 1A for his team.
“I’ll help them with all the other stuff,” he said Friday.
“. . . A will to win and competitive spirit is what we’re fighting for right now. When our fans watch these kids play, either they fight like heck and you cheer. Or they aren’t going to fight like heck. They’re going to get beat to balls. They’re going to get beat to offensive rebounds.”
A deficient competitive spirit complicates a coach’s job in getting a team to improve, Calipari said.
“It’s hard for me to evaluate if you don’t compete,” he said. “Because I really don’t know. Is our pick-and-roll defense bad or did you just not compete?”
The schedule further complicates UK’s goal to improve. The Cats play Baylor Saturday afternoon. That will be UK’s second game within 48 hours.
“I wish we had nine days (to prepare),” Calipari said.
The UK coach looked forward to the period between Dec. 5 and 15 when there is only one game.
“Then we have time to really get this right,” Calipari said.
The UK coach cautioned against the assumption that the improvement his previous teams made assures that all will be good with the 2012-13 team.
The current Cats must bring a love of practice, work and improvement, he said.
Said Calipari: “I don’t have a magic wand.”