After struggling against Yale and UCLA, Kentucky forward Jacob Toppin was relegated to coming off the bench the last two games (Florida A&M and at Missouri). In those games, he played a total of 32 minutes and scored just four points, all against FAMU.
But Kentucky head coach John Calipari gave Toppin the starting nod on Saturday against Louisville and the senior responded in a big way. He scored 15 points in the first half on his way to a career-high 24 points as the Cats topped the Cards 86-63 on Saturday at Rupp Arena.
Toppin made 10 of 15 from the floor and four of six from the line on his way to his career-high effort. He added seven rebounds and two assists in the game.
UK head coach John Calipari knows that Toppin has had to change the way he’s thinking both on and off the floor.
“We’ve done a lot of work and it’s not been on the court,” Calipari said. “You have guys feeling the weight of the world. I can’t do this for you and you’ve got to get in a different frame of mind. Then, it became, where do we go with this and how do we do this. So, he did some things, he talked to some people and I watched him practice and I loved what I saw.”