UK Men's Basketball

Calipari wants Cousins to lighten up

Freshman DeMarcus Cousins gave Kentucky Coach John Calipari plenty to smile about in the second half of Monday's 72-70 victory over Miami (Ohio).

Calipari only wishes it would put a smile on Cousins' face, too.

"DeMarcus Cousins did things he's capable of when he has a smile on his face instead of a frown," Calipari said of the big man's double-double.

Calipari lamented the negative emotion and "bad body language" that Cousins has already shown in his two-game UK career.

"I told him, 'If you don't look like you're having fun, I'm taking you out,' " Calipari said.

Two fouls sent Cousins to the bench after only four first-half minutes. He did not score a point nor grab a rebound.

When asked why he looked unhappy, Cousins said, "Those two fouls. That kind of brought me down. I was thinking of the last game, which I shouldn't have been doing."

Against Morehead State in UK's opener on Monday, Cousins fouled out in 18 minutes.

Calipari acknowledged how Cousins is a player who wore his emotions on his sleeve. In high school, he had a reputation as a player who could lose control.

"Sometimes his body language isn't right," the UK coach said. "That passion and emotion and enthusiasm is contagious. And negative 'physicality' is contagious, too."

When asked why he didn't smile more, Cousins got an incredulous look on his face.

"There's nothing to smile about when you're out there playing," he said. "You're out there trying to win."

Teammate Patrick Patterson took a bottom-line approach. Noting Cousins 10 points and 10 rebounds, Patterson said, "As long as he's playing well, I'm fine with him as he is."

Miller scores

Kentucky made only three shots from beyond 5 feet in the second half.

John Wall's game-winner was one. The other two belonged to Darius Miller, who snapped out of a funk with nine points to go with five rebounds.

"My teammates got me a lot of open opportunities, so I just tried to take advantage of it and capitalize on it," Miller said. "I just tried to keep going with the open shots, and knocked them down."

Miller hit a three-pointer from the left corner and foul-line jumper. That made amends for a scoreless opening-game against Morehead State for the former Kentucky Mr. Basketball.

"I told Darius I was really happy to see him play that way," Calipari said. "Great."

Quiet double-double

Patrick Patterson had a double-double: 17 points and 10 rebounds.

It wasn't enough to satisfy Calipari.

"We need him more assertive," the UK coach said. "We want him to want the ball more. ... He has to be the catalyst. He's the veteran guy."

Patterson took eight shots, only one more than the seven in an exhibition game that annoyed Calipari.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader