Final Four: If Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is hurting, he's not telling anyone
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist celebrated with Anthony Davis after the Cats beat Louisville. (Victoria Graff / April 1, 2012)
The Kentucky freshman took a hard spill late in the second half of Saturday’s 69-61 win over Louisville and an initial report on CBS-TV said he would not be back because of a quadricep injury. However, he was back on the court for the end and smiling and celebrating the win that put UK¿into Monday’s national title game.
“It is all good,”¿Kidd-Gilchrist said. “I did not hurt nothing. It is all good. I am good. I will be fine.
“We are going to be playing for a national title. That’s my goal. That’s my dream. I¿love this feeling. I was so happy after the game. That’s why I celebrated a little more than normal. I just want to win this so bad.”
Would Kidd-Gilchrist not want anyone to know he was hurting if he was?
“No, it’s not that. I am fine. Really. I am fine,” he laughed and said.
Louisville freshman Chane Behanan would expect nothing less from Kidd-Gilchrist.
"Gilchrist is his own breed," Behanan said. "He is like a pitbull. His motor never stops. He just keeps coming at you and attacking."
That’s one reason Behanan will be rooting for UK¿in Monday’s title game.
"I'd like to see them bring it (the national championship) back to Kentucky," Behanan said. "I'm happy for them. I have a lot of friends on that team, especially the freshmen."
Rebounding: Louisville whipped Kentucky on the boards, a point that Kentucky coach John Calipari had no trouble explaining.
“One, our guards are not rebounding like they need to. Second thing, I was on Darius (Miller), ‘Come on, get in there and rebound,’” Calipari said. “Without Michael in there (because of foul trouble), other guys have to step up. The other side of it was Terrence (Jones) wasn't rebounding. In the second half he got four rebounds the last 10 minutes which basically finished off the game.”
Louisville outrebounded Kentucky 40-33.
“They're a great offensive rebounds team. Some plays you had to go after the ball with one hand. They was tipping it away and grabbing the ball. We needed to come down with more rebounds,” Davis, who had 12 of UK’s rebounds, said.
Film work: Calipari didn’t plan to have his team stay up Saturday night watching film of the win over Louisville.
“I will show them about 15 clips of it, of stuff that I like. I'm not going to show them much that I didn't like because I want them in the right frame of mind,” Calipari said. “I'll tell them to go to bed. We'll worry about whoever we're playing later. I'll know by that time what game I've got to watch. The tape of tonight's game I'll watch, but I won't watch it live.
“We're worried about us playing at our best. We did not play at our best tonight. We played good, but that wasn't our best. You know what, so maybe Monday is our best. We're just worried about us. We don't know who we're going to play.
“I will say this. We must play tougher than we played this game. If we don't, it's going to be a hard game for us to win because I think toughness is going to be the factor in the game. Talent, all that other stuff, whoever we play is going to be an outstanding team. So we're going to have to play tougher than we did this game.