The Kentucky Wildcats had a rough week in Las Vegas, losing to Utah on Wednesday night and following that up with a 71-65 loss to Ohio State on Saturday night.

After the loss, coach John Calipari was asked about his team’s struggles in the final 4 minutes of the game, when Kentucky was close, but couldn’t quite get over the hump against the Buckeyes.

Coach Cal said a lack of ball movement in the final minutes of the game hurt the Wildcats on Saturday (via 247Sports):

“We fought. We tried. Thank God we had Nate (Sestina),” Calipari said. “I think we put ourselves in a position where we had a chance to win, we just wouldn’t pass the ball. We’re still, we’re opening up the courts to drive people because everybody will collapse and they did collapse and we tried to shoot it anyway.

“I mean we did — I called my last timeout to make us pass that ball where E.J. (Montgomery) threw — I called a timeout to say, you’re going to pass this ball. So we came down three straight times with guys wide open and shot it into a guy (who was) 6-10. We’re still learning. But if this is who we are, we’ll be fine. Nick didn’t play great, E.J. played okay, we just got to get those guys going a little bit.”

There are still reasons for optimism at Kentucky, as this is a young team that is learning to close out games.

A tough matchup against Louisville looms large, but this team could still hit its stride in time for SEC play.