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January 11, 2013
Kentucky hosts new SEC foe Texas A&M Saturday
After narrowly escaping Vanderbilt Thursday night, Kentucky faces a quick turnaround to the its Southeastern Conference home open Saturday.
But only having 41 hours between games will force the Wildcats to prepare for Texas A&M (11-3, 1-0 SEC) - a first-year SEC opponent - instead of dwelling on the negatives from Thursday's win.
And despite winning a dogfight against the Commodores, John Calipari won't give his team much rest.
"There are some things we have to do (Friday) that there is no question we have to do to get ready for tomorrow," Calipari said.
Most of the things UK will work on are the same things Calipari tried to fix during "Camp Cal," like toughness, rebounding and making the extra effort.
"We didn't rebound," Calipari said. "We weren't physical, (Vandy) blocked us out, we didn't block them out.
"Alex (Poythress) is what he is and we threw that ball to him three times which led into charges. That was us. If you throw it backwards to him he's going to - because the defense is standing there - if you throw it back he runs in and runs people over. We did it three times. That kind of stuff, which was dumb."
The Cats turned it over 16 times against the Commodores. Calipari said the Aggies will try to force turnovers and play physically. Texas A&M is forcing an average of 13.4 turnovers per game.
Calipari also expects the Aggies to play a zone, the same defense Vanderbilt used in the midst of its 18-0 Thursday.
The Cats practiced all week against a zone but when push game to shove Thursday night, UK looked unprepared.
"We didn't put the ball where it was supposed to go on three or four different occasions," Calipari said. "Plays that were easy plays for us to make, we didn't make. Our shooters weren't prepared."
On offense, the Aggies remind Calipari of Kansas, the team UK defeated in the national championship last season.
"They're a post-up kind of team, a la a little bit of Kansas," Calipari said. "Corner cuts and high-lows. Screen-and-fills from behind with bigs and bigs and trying to go from high to low."
But Calipari is putting more of emphasis on getting his team prepared, in hopes of remaining undefeated in conference.
"We're not worried about A&M," Calipari said. "I'm worried about my team. These guys will see A&M tomorrow at the dinner, prior to the game."