Cal: Less is more for Poythress, Willis, UK team

Kentucky Coach John Calipari shared with reporters Monday some advice he’d given Alex Poythress and Derek Willis: Less is more.

Instead of working on (and fretting about) many facets of their games, Poythress and Willis should seek to master one specific skill. Then, the players can move to another skill, he said.

Poythress, who expects to play in Tuesday night’s Blue-White Game, the skill to concentrate on improving is rebounding, Calipari said.

“Lead the nation in rebounding,” the UK coach said as if speaking to Poythress. “Be a beast . . . Focus on one thing.

“Then we rebuild the rest of the stuff.”

Of course, Poythress is continuing a comeback from surgery last December to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He declined to put a percentage on how close to 100 percent he is in the recovery.

Poythress defined “beast” for reporters.

“I know, by far, I am the strongest on the team,” he said. “Just use my strength to my advantage.”

Calipari suggested that there was no need for concern about Poythress’ rehabilitation. Poythress missed three or four recent days of practice because of a bruised knee.

“He’s doing fine,” Calipari said. “He’s got to get back in there. Demonstrated performance is going to build his confidence and self-esteem.”

The skill to concentrate on for Willis is shooting, Calipari said. Willis and Calipari said the shooting is much improved.

“When he lets it go, you think it’s going in now,” Calipari said. “Don’t do a thousand things. . . . Don’t show the whole repertoire. Build from there and expand your game.”

Calipari expanded the less-is-more theme to the team. He said Kentucky players should concentrate on two main areas:

— Playing with more competitive fire.

— Improving the assist-to-turnover ratio.

“That’s all we’re working on right now,” Calipari said.