“You have to change your mindset,” Miller said. “When coach says to go, we’ve got to go.”
Miller refuses to believe the Wildcats backed down when the Bulldogs started forcing the issue. Teammate DeAndre Liggins allows Kentucky became tentative and “nervous,” a major reason why the Wildcats have matched last year’s entire loss total less than halfway through the season.
“We’ve got to be committed, hungry and humble,” Liggins said.
True, if Kentucky wants to repeat as SEC champions. What Georgia did on Saturday looked a lot like what Connecticut did to Kentucky when the Huskies rolled over the Wildcats in Maui in November.
Calipari is confident his players will learn to be the bullies instead of the bullied, but they’ll have to do it without center Enes Kanter. The 6-foot-11 freshman was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for a second time last week for accepting above the necessary expenses while playing for a Turkish club team two years ago.
Kentucky could certainly use Kanter’s size and toughness, and Miller said the Wildcats were “mad” when the school’s second appeal was denied.
Calipari reiterated Monday that Kanter will stay in school for the spring semester before submitting his name in the NBA draft, a decision Calipari said the NCAA ruling forced Kanter to make. Kanter will be able to practice and travel with the team.
His presence will make the Wildcats better in practice. The Wildcats know it’s up to them to make sure that translates to games.
“We’ve got to try to win it for him,” Miller said.