How to watch Kentucky basketball this weekend
— It was the start of a journey for Kevin Love, who has been a fan favorite since his freshman season.
Now, it’s the start, after three days of travel, of a marathon in Kentucky, the basketball state’s premier basketball city.
Love and his family have been flying from Georgia to Kentucky for the last two days.
They were joined by a dozen other family members, and many fans who had been waiting in line for hours.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun,” Love said.
“I haven’t had that feeling in a while.”
Love, 24, is one of the top high school prospects in the world, having averaged 23.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his first season with Kentucky.
He’s averaging more than 22 points and 7.4 assists per game, but his shot is coming at a slower pace.
Love is averaging just 14.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists this season, but he has improved on his 3-point shooting, shooting 39.3% from the field, 37.2% from 3-pointers and 41.1% from beyond the arc.
“Just trying to find my rhythm and stay away from the big guys, that’s kind of my downfall right now,” Love told ESPN.com.
“They’re going to be able to hit you and score you and give you the ball, but I’m not ready for that.
I’m just trying to be patient.”
Love’s biggest challenge will be to find his rhythm, but it’s also the biggest challenge he’ll face as he tries to regain his scoring touch after shooting just 30.8% from behind the arc in his rookie season.
The Wildcats will play six games this week against teams that have averaged at least 50 points per game this season.
“We know it’s going to take some time for Kevin to get it all together,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
Caliparu has been trying to get the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Love on track for a while.
“He’s got a lot more basketball left in him,” Caliparius said.
Love had a career-high 31 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a loss to Indiana on Nov. 10, but Calipararius said he was concerned that Love might not be able play at the same level as he was in that game.
“There are certain things that he needs to learn,” Calparius said of Love.
“When you’re coming off a season like he’s had, he’s just going to have to continue to work on those things and make sure he’s doing those things.”
The Kentucky Wildcats beat the Indiana Hoosiers 99-93 on Saturday, but the game was marred by a number of fouls that led to turnovers and a couple of missed free throws by the Hoosier guards.
The Hoosirs have averaged a league-low 27.6 turnovers this season and have allowed an average of 26.6 per game.
In the Wildcats’ loss to the Hoops, Kentucky shot 49.3%, but the Wildcats were just 12 of 29 from the floor.
Calpari said the Wildcats needed to do a better job defending and limiting shots.
“We’re not a good defense at all,” Calpacari said of the Hoose’s offensive struggles.
“Our defense is just not good.
We need to be better defensively, but we’re not.”
Kyrie Irving, who missed all six of his shots, finished with a team-high 19 points.
Kyrie finished with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists, and he scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, including eight straight to lead Kentucky to a 93-83 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.