Calipari and his retro defense helps push UK to complete win

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Quade Green came out with a medicinal eyewear fashion statement Saturday afternoon.

John Calipari went for awhile with a totally retro defensive look for the University of Kentucky.

Those oddities went a long way in lifting No. 8 UK to a tough 93-86 win over a really good Virginia Tech team.

Many would argue that it was the most complete game UK had played this season, and against its most difficult opponent outside of Kansas.

UK took the same number of 3s as Virginia Tech (22) and made one more than Va. Tech (11). UK did an excellent job forcing turnovers (19 for Va. Tech) and it scored 36 points off those miscues.

With UK having a tough time early, it went to full-court pressure, which keyed a 9-0 run that got the Cats up four points before the first five minutes had passed in the game.

That's where the retro Calipari look came in.

"That's my old press from 10 years ago," Calipari said. "When you've been doing this 40 years, you can go reach back in the basket 20 years ago and come up with something you used that still can work.

"That's what I worked on last week. It was okay for three days' work. Now we're going to have another four days and try to add some stuff to it."

Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams thought UK's zone, the pressure defense, the second-chance points inside led to numbers that his team simply couldn't overcome.

"Well, 25 percent of the time we gave them the ball and 60 percent of their points came off of our turnovers or second chance shots," Williams said. "I'm not trying to be sarcastic, it's just really hard math to overcome. If 60 percent of the opponent shots come off of offensive rebounds and turnovers, and then on the flip side, in essence we shoot 60 percent. It's just bad math, so you're constantly fighting uphill. I thought that was the game. It is the game, but I also think that that is why they're eighth in the country."

And then you throw the talent gap in there.

"If it's a talent contest, they win every game," Williams said.

The other thing that stood out from UK going to 9-1 in this contest was Green and his look. The point guard suffered an injury to his right eye in the win over Monmouth a week ago. The result of that was Green on the floor against Virginia Tech with some ultra-cool sunglasses that folks courtside spent the afternoon trying to describe.

His teammates were calling Green the "Terminator" and a few others I'm sure. He looked old school rap, and also could've been mistaken for Bruno Mars.

Whatever the alias, with Green's success rate against Va. Tech, he might keep the dark glasses on for every game the rest of the season.

"Oh yeah, all season," Green said. "I need them, cause I can't get poked in my eye again. I'm scared about that."

And why sunglasses instead of just goggles or something -- other than the unmistakable cool factor?

"The light messes with my eyes too much."

The sunglasses certainly didn't mess with Green's shooting or passing. He scored 17 points in a variety of ways, hitting 6-of-12 from the floor, 2-of-5 from 3-point range, passed for five assists and had just one turnover. All that, after not practicing all week.

Don't be surprised if the eye protection-fashion statement sticks with Green, who is generally considered one of the "coolest" guys on the team.

"I say we all get glasses. Cal, all the coaches," said Kevin Knox, who finished with 20 points himself. "He can keep them if he wants to. If he can knock down shots like he did, he can have them on for the rest of the year."

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