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John Calipari on why he didn’t play Dontaie Allen more in the second half

Dontaie Allen
UK Athletics

If you’re wondering why Dontaie Allen didn’t play more in the second half, John Calipari has a “reason” for you.

Allen played 15 minutes in the first half but only played eight minutes in the second. He scored 8 points on 3-of-5 shooting in the first half.

“At the end of the day, we were running stuff for Dontaie, and he wouldn’t shoot the ball,” Calipari said. “That’s why I took him out the one time. We ran two things for him, and he had shots, and he wouldn’t take them. I’m like, ‘Look. You’re in there to make shots.’ That’s one thing. But look, Dontaie wasn’t the issue.”

Not only did Allen play well in the first half, but so did sophomore forward Jacob Toppin. He totaled 8 points and 5 rebounds while playing eleven minutes in the first half.

Collectively, Allen and Topping combined for 16 points of Kentucky’s 25 points in the first half, but both played limited minutes in the second half.

“Well, you know one of the things we talked out, do we — Lance [Ware] too, how about throwing Lance in there? What you’re trying to do is, I’m not trying to — I want to win every game I coach, but the other side of it is, I’m not trying to take anybody’s heart away. So you can sub them when three, four minutes and go.

“We didn’t start the half that badly, so that wasn’t the case. It isn’t like you’re subbing quarterbacks. He played a bad quarter, so I’m going to play this other quarterback. You don’t coach that way. What you do is you sub them in. You go out the other way, and again, Dontaie got great looks in the second half. Got great looks. Got fouled. But they were going at him defensively. In other words, whoever he was guarding they were going. Did the same thing to BJ, which is why I took those guys and went with Jacob and the other guys.”

When you’re struggling to score points and you finish with 59 for the game, playing your best shooter might be a good place to start.

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