Liggins bounces back from sub-par game in bench role

Junior guard DeAndre Liggins was not in UK’s starting lineup for the first time this season; instead, freshman guard Doron Lamb started in his place.

According to UK head coach John Calipari, the change was simply about trying something new in the hope of finding more success.

“It’s like I have done this with just about every guy on the team,” Calipari said. “If I look at it and I say, you know what, we are going to try something different, we try it. But (Liggins), of all the kids I’ve coached, I don’t know if anybody’s tried to please me more than him.”

Liggins said he found out at during Friday’s practice that he would be moving back to his role as a bench player, a role he fulfilled last year.

“Me not starting gave me a different perspective of seeing what was going on and what they were doing to us,” Liggins said. “And what player I was getting in and guarding.”

Calipari approved of Liggins’ performance against South Carolina, saying he displayed “great energy,” which was the complete opposite of the way he played on Tuesday against Mississippi State, Liggins said.

“Last game I had no energy, I was out of control, my body language was bad,” Liggins said. “I think I was a little bit tired, a little bit stressed out, but I hurt my team in that game.”

Asked by a reporter why he was feeling stressed and tired, Liggins responded: “I don’t know, maybe classes, practice—a lot of things going on—I’ve got a newborn son, so I’ve got a lot of things.”

Regardless, Liggins said that he, along with his teammates, want to put their personal lives aside and play their best basketball down the regular-season stretch and heading into the postseason.