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“Quiet Cats” trouble John Calipari’s editor Eric Lindsey may have given the 2012-2013 Kentucky basketball team their most appropriate nickname today when he titled his weekend notebook entry “Quiet Cats concern Cal.” On a nearly weekly basis, it feels as if a new nugget of information comes out about this team from Calipari. This week’s focus? Talking. Or the lack of talking in this case.

Much has been made on the amount of coaching and yelling coming from Calipari’s end, especially during games when the Rupp Arena crowd gets a front row seat for the action. Calipari has always been a vocal coach, but he has been as vocal this season as we’ve ever heard him in his time at Kentucky. Calipari’s increase in chatter has perhaps come about due to the lack of communication from his own players. Calipari is anything but pleased with this early defining characteristic of his young team.

Ryan Harrow offered an explanation for himself and his teammates, noting that they are not used to communicating at the level in which they are being asked. had a few interesting sound bites from both Harrow and Calipari on the topic. 

Harrow said the team’s lack of communication derives from a lack of individual extroverts. This team has a bunch of quiet players, Harrow said, who have always gotten the job done by playing rather than talking. 

Calipari has said communicating on the court isn’t about leadership; it’s about helping each other out. When a player doesn’t talk, it’s because he is worried only about doing his job and not helping someone else, Calipari said.

“Don’t talk, you’re selfish, bottom line,” Calipari said.

Calipari noted that he spends way too much time this season running up and down the court yelling at his team to talk, rather than to run plays. “That’s a great strategy,” Calipari joked. “The coaches should not be coaching a game saying, “Talk!” That should not come out of my mouth, and I’m saying it 140 times in the first half and probably the same in the second.”

The ironic thing about this young team is that before the season even started, they were described as a team full of players with personality. Media members, both local and national, seemed almost excited because this team came off as the kind that would be fun and easy to cover–giving plenty of sound bites in interviews. Last year’s team on the other hand, though undeniably lovable, kept their interviews and commentary about the season/team very business-like. This team was expected to more closely resemble the group with DeMarcus Cousins and company.

No one is questioning the expected personalities of these players, but the translation to on-the-court communication has been anything but seamless. Julius Mays has showed moments of leadership as one of the oldest and most experienced players on the court. But as Calipari said, at this point it’s not even so much about leadership as it is about helping each other out by communicating. This team may not have a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist type of vocal leader who pulls them in tightly before games, clapping and dancing, rallying the troops around him. They can probably suffice without such a leader. This team will struggle though, and Calipari will be the first to tell you, if they don’t find ways to become effective communicators in the basketball sense on the floor–both during practice and games.

“I’m not cracking at all,” Calipari said. “This is part of what I do.”


Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

30 responses to ““Quiet Cats” trouble John Calipari”

  1. tdogg40330

    I was glad to see Noel get a technical Saturday, the team as a whole showed a lil
    more fire. Calipari will have these boys ready before long.

  2. CatSinceBirth

    Cal to some degree seems to be losing this team. He at times embarrases even me the way he runs up and down the sidelines barking at the top of his lungs(and I’m 400 miles away). You can easily hear his voice over the announcers. These guys are playing like they’re scared to death. Even after a pretty decent game Saturday, he still slits their throats. I seriously doubt that Kyle Wiltjer will even be back next year. Now, Goodwin acts like he could even care less. He and Alex seem to always have the same expression anymore. Seems like Cal might have a case of “burnout”. He’s even sniping at his assistants. “Come on Cal, cut the guys a little slack occasionally”. He’s probably worrying about how he’s going to structure the roster next year in order to accomodate everyone.

  3. Monty

    If you spend every press conference discussing how little this team talks and that they lack desire or focus…and then have to say that you’re “not cracking”……YOU’RE CRACKING

  4. Joe

    #2, you are an idiot.

  5. mudcreekmark

    It is a shame that two different stories on UK football recruits on this site has to quote LCJ. I swear if the Courier Journal would put up some stands over here in Eastern Kentucky I would quit buying LHL all together. Herald Leader is a joke. They are so bias in their left wing agenda that they have turned 70% of the state against them.

  6. gjg

    Wiltjer will end up being the leader of this team. He is the best passer on the team and potentially the best shooter. If he is not on the court, they don’t have their best team out there. Archie may have the most pure talent on the team, but team-wise he has some growing to do. One thing I really liked this week was Noel and Cauley-Stein having limited minutes together on the court. When they are both out there, the defense gets so imbalanced…

  7. gjg

    #5 – please leave your political commentary out of here like you would leave your cowshit covered shoes out of your house…

  8. Test


  9. kes

    5. STFU This web site is owned by a dem. if you dont like it, LEAVE!

  10. uk#1

    This will be a very challenging season for Cal and the Cats. Several themes to watch.
    a. last year’s team benefited greatly from having upperclassman, primarily Miller. One does not get the sense that the freshmen have many upperclassmen to look up to.
    b. last year’s team also benefited from having NBA guys floating through campus during the lockout. My recollection was that these folks upped the environment and set a different tone for the college guys. They saw the strength and ethic of the NBA guys and used them as mental measuring sticks.
    c. one wonders if the posh environment (housing, personal chef, facilities, etc.) gives off a sense of entitlement. I recall Donovan restricting his team’s use of Florida’s facility a few years back for such reasons.

  11. Stevie

    #9, STFU. It is the job of us with common sense to help the rest of you idiots. Don’t bite the hand this is trying to educate you.

  12. lonnieb


    Do you not remember Cal with Jones and Cousins and Jorts……I thought they were all gonna cry have the time….by the end of the year they will be right…
    They are used to being the man and doing whatever/however they want…..that shit dont fly at the elite schools….they will figure it out

  13. KY Realist

    Cal doesn’t have an Anthony Davis or 6 nba players. so, he is stressed. He can’t just roll the ball out there. He has to try and coach. He has 4 NIT births (pre wes buying him players) that prove he is an inept nimrod.

  14. lonnieb


    He only had 5 five star players ever prior to coming to uk…dipshit

  15. gjg

    #10 – I believe that Miller was the difference last year. And I hadn’t though about the pro guys floating around last year – good point. But I sure hope the sense of entitlement isn’t a factor. Facilities help bring them here. That and a burning desire to get to the NBA…

  16. Lee Ho Fook

    i live in louisville. the cj is a huge liberal rag as well, so no trade there. dont let the enlightened college kids bug you. one day when they have money, then they will wise up. until then, momma and daddy pay their way, and they would starve to death outside the womb. 7 and 9, mind your manners. good evening, and Go Big Blue !

  17. KY Realist

    14) That is because he didn’t have his pimp (uncle wes) on the payroll until the end of his memphis tenure. He sent more guys to prison than the nba until wes started pimping cow.

  18. Ky realist is an idiot troll

    #17 wow. i sometimes am just blown away by how stupid and pathetic some people who post on a UK website who are obviously fans of another school can be. Why do you bother. Its amazing. Suck it loser

  19. James K

    Haha, Cal looks like he is taking a crap in that picture.

  20. kes

    11. FU i would match my education and assets against yours any day

  21. kes

    11. read your sentence dumbass, you cant even construct a sentence “this is trying to educate you” WTF?

  22. mudcreekmark

    7,9) I didn’t throw off on this site. I was just saying, it is a shame that we have to rely on LCJ reporters to give us news from our own back yard. I wasn’t trying to bring politics into the conversation just pointing out the obvious. If you don’t think the LHL is bias then I guess Fox News in “Fair and Balanced” too. Please think for yourself. Just because your grandfather and grandmother were democrats or republicans doesn’t mean you have to be.

  23. Old cat

    Somewhat agree with 2. Maybe the guys can’t communicate for having to yell over coach. I haven’t heard him say a good thing about these kids in forever. We all need praise every once in a while.

  24. Won Hung Lo - In Japan

    Won Hung Lo like Coach Cal haircut.
    Why Japanese barber not cut Won Hung Lo hair that way? I tell him but he not know Coach Cal.
    Won Hung Lo make many UK fans already in Japan though.

  25. Rae

    Every guy is different, even 5 star recruits. Some are more stubborn than others. Cal can’t force them to listen, and it is very difficult for an introvert to become an extrovert. This might just be a bad mix of individuals with so much potential who just don’t connect. And clearly draft stocks aren’t falling yet, so what reason do they have to try if all they are concerned about is “me.”

    Maybe Camp Cal will give this team a makeover of sorts and bring out the connections we’ve wanted to see.

  26. Santa Claus

    Keep in mind one important thought, the players were very stressed out last week with finals going on….I sure hope they are up for the Louisville game on Dec. 29th…Go Cats!

  27. CatSinceBirth

    #4, you are the idiot. Those four words is all your posts ever say.

  28. jwmsix

    You cannot live on last year as long as Cal. He needed to be in Lexington getting this group ready and he would have known their work habits.

  29. Really?

    26) Really? Who on this years roster is concerned about grades? Most of them will be in the NBA next season. Highly doubt that Finals had them stressed out.

  30. stevenscourt

    Introverts typically are demotivated when negative attention is directed at them. Introverts react better to encouragement. Camp Cal should be all about developing team and individual skills. Cal should do what he does best, coach. He is losing this team with his constant criticism of players.