After his team handled St. John's attempt to slow the tempo Thursday night, Kentucky Coach John Calipari said he expected an up-tempo game in Saturday's high-noon showdown with North Carolina. But, hopefully, not too up-tempo, he said.
"It'll be up and down," Calipari said before adding, "If it's too much up and down, we'll get killed."
Although UK beat St. Jonn's 81-59, Calipari lamented how the Red Storm played more aggressively at times, which was reflected in 17 offensive rebounds and a near standoff on the boards. UK held a 48-43 advantage.
"If we play like tonight (against North Carolina), (I'll) be a very sad coach after the game," Calipari said. "We have to play better."
Calipari noted that Kentucky did not show the kind of improvement he hoped for on offense.
"We haven't figured out each other yet," he said of a UK team mostly dependent on freshmen and sophomores. "It's going to take time. This team will be a much better team in March."
Freshman Anthony Davis blocked a career-high eight shots, one shy of a UK record. Maybe better still, he did not swat the rejections out of bounds. Mostly, the balls stayed in play, which fueled UK fast breaks.
"I'd like to take credit for that," Calipari said. "In reality, that's him."
Davis said keeping the blocks in play was no coincidence.
"It's a conscious thing," he said. "That gives us a chance for a possession."
Davis acknowledged that he was not aware of Chris Mills, so far the only UK player to ever achieve a triple-double.
"I don't know what the guy's name is," Davis said.
A reporter asked Davis who had the game's best dunk.
"Terrence," he said in reference to Terrence Jones' emphatic put-back dunk of a missed free throw late in the first half. Then someone reminded him of the one-hand dunk off a fast-break lob pulled off by Darius Miller in the second half.
"I forgot about Darius' dunk," Davis said. "I think it might have been Darius'."
UK tweeted out congratulations to its No. 2 man in the athletics department. Boise State on Thursday named Mark Coyle its athletics director.