Kentucky Coach John Calipari would like to see more effort from Karl-Anthony Towns and Marcus Lee.
In assessing Towns' play against Ole Miss on Tuesday, Calipari said, "He sprinted 10 times in that game. Eight of them were in that first four minutes. How did he play?"
Towns scored seven points as Kentucky zipped to a 12-0 lead inside the first three minutes. He scored four points the rest of the game.
"Didn't play (hard)," Calipari said. "Started fading. Didn't play as aggressive. Didn't run as hard.
"It's all about effort and energy. But these guys are young."
Calipari said it was easier for a player to pace himself rather than play hard for a sustained period.
"Jog, stand straight up and shoot a fadeaway," Calipari said of the telltale signs. "You just can't win that way."
Lee played only one minute in the Ole Miss game.
"Marcus Lee is an energy guy," Calipari said. "If he starts the game and he's not clapping, bouncing, showing an effervescence that he has, I'm not playing him."
Calipari said he told Lee that.
"There's no reason for him not to go in clapping, bouncing, blocking, running, flying, dunking," Calipari said. "That's who he is. If he's not into that, then I'm not playing him."
The sporting cliches about toughness and playing with pain do not apply to Texas A&M strongman Kourtney Roberson.
An irregular heartbeat caused Roberson to miss an exhibition game last season and caused him to sit out the second half against Hartford last weekend. Doctors have twice shocked his heart into a regular rhythm in outpatient procedures, once in high school and once in the fall of 2013.
"He said he could go," Coach Billy Kennedy said of the Hartford game. "Then he said he wasn't sure. Then he said he could go. I said, 'No, you're not playing.'"
Kennedy said he takes a better-safe-than-sorry approach with Roberson.
"I'm going with what the doctors tell me," he said. "If there's any question, I'm going to go with the side of safety, for sure."
A&M players wear heart monitors during practices and games, as do Kentucky players.
UK is UK
Calipari lamented that ESPN talking heads interpreted a close game against Ole Miss as a negative about Kentucky, while other top-ranked teams supposedly showed resolve in similar games.
"They played teams that were, like, 5-9," Calipari said. "You didn't see stories on Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, First Take, on SportsCenter after their wins."
Instead of questioning what was wrong with the other ranked teams that won close games, the story line was "the strong survive!" Calipari said. "That's just Kentucky. That's what it is."
One question: Calipari has time to watch all those shows?
The UK coach smiled and said a friend, Joey Palumbo, told him about the reaction on the ESPN shows.
When asked what he learned from the road game at Louisville, Towns said, "We're not liked in that many spots."
Towns was asked if Calipari would "crank up" the intensity in practices after the Ole Miss game.
After a moment's reflection, Towns said, "I expect him to crank it up every day, even after a win."
Texas A&M anticipates a bright future in basketball. The Aggies signed four players rated by ESPN among the nation's top 64 recruits.
The class consists of center Tyler Davis, forwards D.J. Hogg and Elijah Thomas and shooting guard Admon Gilder.
ESPN and Rivals.com rank the A&M class third nationally. ESPN rates Kentucky and Arizona No. 1 and No. 2. Rivals.com reverses the top two.
With only two seniors on this year's team, Kennedy spoke of 2015-16 as a breakthrough season.
"We really have a chance to make the step we're ready to take and ready to make," he said. "A definite NCAA team that can compete for a national championship. Not a borderline team like we have been the last couple years."
■ A&M is 0-6 against No. 1 teams. The only other time the Aggies played a home game against a No. 1 team was a 59-54 loss to Kansas on Feb. 15, 2010.
■ A&M students are not back yet for the spring semester, which is one reason why tickets are available.
■ Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg will call the game for CBS.