“We knew the game would be physical, and it was, and a couple guys struggled with that,” Calipari said. “And it’s a great lesson. You’ve gotta play people before they catch it. You gotta play before you catch the ball. You have to stay down. Either you meet them or they meet you. And for these young kids, it’s a great lesson.”
Much of Calipari’s frustration appeared to be directed at freshman forward Karl-Anthony Towns, who finished the game with four points and one rebounds in a team-low 12 minutes.
After Towns took an ill-advised step-back jumper then conceded an offensive rebound and a basket on the ensuing South Carolina possession in the first half, Calipari called a 30-second timeout to remove Towns from the game. He spent much of the timeout loudly explaining the error to Towns.