Cal: UK ‘in flux’ with team identity unsettled

With the regular season about to enter its final month, Kentucky Coach John Calipari spoke of his freshman-dependent team as unsettled.
“We’re getting better,” he said Monday. “But we’ve been in flux the whole season. We have not been able to say, ‘This is who we are. So let’s just get better at what we are.’”
Consequently, Kentucky has struggled, relatively speaking, with a 15-6 record (6-2 in the Southeastern Conference) going into Tuesday’s game against visiting South Carolina.
“it’s put us in positions where we’re not as confident in each other,” Calipari said. “They don’t believe in each other as much as they should. We just have not been together like that.”
When a reporter noted that the season was in February, Calipari said, “All I know is we’re getting better and now hopefully we’ll start growing. But I don’t know.”
When asked about what team identity UK was capable of achieving, Calipari said, “It’s still developing. So I don’t know.”
Calipari pronounced 7-foot freshman Willie Cauley-Stein ready to resume playing on a full-time basis. He missed four games because of a “minor procedure” on his left knee. He got his competitive feet wet by playing four minutes in Saturday’s victory at Texas A&M.
An increased role for Cauley-Stein will mean fewer minutes for someone.
Calipari noted how Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer deserved to play more minutes. So, he added, Ryan Harrow and/or Archie Goodwin “probably” would play fewer minutes.
“And Nerlens (Noel) deserves to play,” he added. “He needs to be on the floor. You can’t say, ‘Well, I’m going to take 15 minutes from Nerlens.’ (It) ain’t happening.”
As if speaking to Harrow and Goodwin, Calipari said, “What that means is, ‘All right, you aren’t getting it done. You aren’t getting it done. You’ve got to step back.
“But Willie’s also got to perform. He’s got to play like he’s capable. And he’s fine to go.”
Earlier in the day, the SEC named Noel its Freshman of the Week for a third straight week.
No player had won that award more than two consecutive weeks since John Wall won it four straight in November-December of 2009.