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January 27, 2013He doesn't normally do it.
Up three with 3.1 seconds left, coach John Calipari elected to foul LSU when it inbounded the ball rather than let it attempt a game-tying three-point shot.
"I'm not one to usually do it, but the way that game was playing, he would have made that three," Calipari said. "There ain't no question he would have banked it and that three would have gone in. So that's why I decided to do that."
Archie Goodwin, under instruction to foul before an LSU player went into his shooting motion, fouled LSU guard Anthony Hickey with two seconds left.
Hickey, a 53.8 percent free throw shooter on the year, missed the front end of the one-and-one. UK sealed the win with two free throws of its own on the subsequent possession.
Calipari noted that his change in strategy could have been second-guessed.
Whatever you do, if you win, you're a genius; if you lose, you're a goofball," he said.
Noel moves into tie for No. 2 on blocks list
If Anthony Davis hadn't come along yet, Nerlens Noel would be a in a tie for the Kentucky single-season blocks record.
Noel recorded six blocks in UK's 75-70 win over LSU, giving him 83 for the year. That's tied for second-most ever in UK history, along with Andre Riddick and Melvin Turpin.
Noel has reached that mark faster than either of those two. He's played in 19 games so far; Riddick played in 34 and Turpin played in 31.
Noel said he's "come a long way" with his shot-blocking ability this season, especially in terms of staying disciplined and on his feet through pump-fakes.
"I think I've done a better job at it," Noel said. "Just every day in practice, coach Cal makes us do a couple drills that really help us with that."
Through 19 games, Davis had 89 blocks on the way to a school (and NCAA freshman) record 186.
"Nah, no chart," Noel said, asked if he was keeping track of his progress compared to Davis'. "I'm just playing my own game."
Cats need amnesia
The Cats need short-term memory loss.
Or, at least, the ability to move on from mistakes without any carryover to the next play.
"You have to have amnesia," Calipari said. "You miss a shot; amnesia, forget it. You turn it over, amnesia. You can't let it affect the next three plays. That's what we're doing."
Calipari said he's been addressing it with his team, but he still sees mistakes pile on top of one another.
"What happens is, they make a mistake, do you see their heads go down?" Calipari said. "And then they go up, give (up) an offensive rebound and a basket. That's what 18-year-olds do."
Calipari set to auction off game-worn sneakers
Calipari started the game with a new look. He wore a suit and sneakers as part of Coaches vs. Cancer weekend.
At halftime, he reappeared with his old look, wearing dress shoes.
"Just not comfortable wearing (the sneakers)," Calipari said of the switch. "They were new."
He will, however, sign and auction them off on his website to raise money for the American Cancer Society, he said.