Given the way he played in the first half, the circumstances seemed fairly dire when it became clear Julius Randle wouldn’t be able to finish his first game against Louisville.
Randle looked like the best player on the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Behind the star forward, Kentucky took a 41-36 halftime lead and appeared on the way to the résumé- and confidence-building win it so badly needed.
Then Randle started to hobble around. Coping with cramps, he went back to the locker room. Knowing Randle’s importance, his coach encouraged UK’s medical staff to be aggressive in treatment.
“They gave him like three bags of IV and the doc was squeezing it in to try to get him in, because I was saying, ‘Get him back,’ ” Calipari said.