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Calipari knows this team is “getting close”

(Via @GoCats2)

You could hear it in John Calipari’s post-game comments from last night… If he has a mental checklist of things left for this team to prove to him before March begins, you can tell that the list is shrinking. Calipari doesn’t always sound excited after wins. Sometimes he takes the cautious approach, and sometimes he throws out a laundry list of things that still need to improve. Calipari wasn’t ready to storm the court over yesterday’s overtime win, but he– along with the fan base– seemed to have seen something from his team’s win last night that pushed him (and his team), one step closer to the finish line.

Calipari has been expending an obvious amount of energy in these games though. A few weeks back he said that he was going to have to coach like he was 35 again to get this team where it needs to be. “Right now, do I look exhausted?” Calipari asked of the Rupp faithful who stayed after the final buzzer to hear his thoughts. “I am.”

One of the final steps Calipari still wants to see from his team is for the team to be “player-driven” rather than “coach-driven.” Calipari knows that a fine line exists between good, great, and special. “We can be good with me doing all the pushing and dragging– but if it’s a player-driven team from within, this team will be special.We are getting there.”

One by one, this young and at times very frustrating Kentucky team has answered questions and crossed more things off of Calipari’s check-list for what it takes to be special. Perhaps the most important step that still remains has little to do with actual basketball skill and knowledge. It’s something that comes from within– the type of thing that is often times hard to define and hard to put into words. It’s the kind of thing that somehow makes Team X beat Team Y in a Sweet 16 game, even though both teams on paper and on the court are dead even.

“They gotta wanna do this more than any of us,” Calipari spoke to the Rupp crowd, but the message was clearly intended for his players. “Are they getting close?” Calipari asked, as the blue-clad fans responded in a resoundingly positive way. “Isn’t it nice to see? Cuz they are getting close.”


Article written by Ally Tucker

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

31 responses to “Calipari knows this team is “getting close””

  1. Brian

    Yeah, right!!! They are getting close because they won and overtime game in Rupp Arena against a future NIT team??? This team is not even close to being a National Champion or Final four contender!!!

    1. harry

      and you know this how?

    2. Next

      By watching them play 27 games?

    3. harry

      may be you should look into coaching as a profession

    4. harry

      since your 27 game evolution has led to this conclusion. Also, fortune teller might be a good fit for you.

  2. Dacci

    ^ You obviously know nothing about basketball. The top 5 teams right now have narrow victories over many inferior teams. Look at Florida, Cuse, Wichita, etc. Please stop posting on basketball blogs if you honestly don’t think we have a shot against those guys,

    1. Next

      Yea those teams win them though. And don’t play every team close and lose every game to good teams, minus U of L. Everybody is aware we have a “shot” of beating any of those teams. What we don’t have a shot of doing is doing it six times in a row. This team has yet to put together 3 good games in a row. Against a terrible SEC.

    2. Issel's two front teeth

      Hahahaha! Next said, good teams minus Louisville! I agree.

  3. Tony

    Close….. Close to what? Getting drilled in the first round, would be my guess !!!

  4. Tony

    I never thought I would see another BS’er bigger than slick rick….. But Cal blows his BS out of the water !!!!

    1. preston

      You are about as ignorant as they come

    2. SF UK Wildcat

      Clearly you have no understanding of the team mentality of basketball or of any sport where your mindset takes you to that next step. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had that mentality on the 2012 team and the other players fed off that. Darius Miller had that same mindset along with 4 years of experience. Winning by 30 is less the sign of a good team than gutting out a win by 1 point when twice it appeared that defeat was eminent. This team has grown and matured. The mentality of the team today would have resulted in a win. I am proud of these guys and their progress. Go Big Blue.

  5. O T I S

    Close to what? NIT

    1. Herpty Derpty

      O T I S = DERP

  6. Bomb

    Where did all of these idiots come from? PEEGS misses you….

    “If a metal beam falls in Assembly Hall and no one is around to hear it because IU will never be relevant again, does it make a sound?”

  7. schwing

    cuz doesn’t mean what you think it means. i refer you to here – if you want to use that in slang in your post, fine. don’t use it when quoting someone who obviously meant “’cause” as a contraction of “because.”

    1. Joe Walsh

      Take your PC Gestapo crap back to the ‘Ville.

  8. harry

    lot of fortune tellers and potential coaches posting here.

  9. Big Rock Hudson

    All we need now is a spanking session in the locker room and we’ll be guaranteed # 9. For the record, #9 is my second favorite number when thinking about my experiences with the UK sports program.

  10. Just Asking

    The constant trolling on this site has basically sucked all the fun out of coming here. Can’t they track the e-mails of these constant idiots and block them?

    1. red headed stepchild

      I’ve begged for this for a long time. I understand that the hits are important to this site but traffic on this site will eventually suffer if Matt continues to allow trolling to the point where it is now.

      All the original posters’ have faded away.

    2. harry

      copy that, where are these trolls coming from tough? and why?

    3. Next

      They’re coming from the fanbase that can actually see what is really going on. And just because they don’t blindly agree with the delusional fans they are called “trolls.” A colossally horrible season followed by a disappointing season will do that.

    4. Glen Logan

      While my site is not free, it does keep the goobers and other filth away

    5. sammydog

      Go to A sea of Blue for a sane and sensible discussion of the Cats. They get rid of the trolls and hold posters accountable for what they say. Many use their names when they post. KSR comment section has become nothing but a flamethrowing repository for fans of other schools or UK fans who are always on the ledge.I come here mainly for the news and occasional amusement at the fratboy sense of humor. I also like Mrs TT posts but the rest is just silliness.

  11. bosshogg24

    The PG needs to pass first not shoot first, 13 shots is too many when you only hit 3. Think winning first not the NBA! Get Julius Randle more shots!

  12. Next

    The only thing “getting close” is the end of the season. My only hope for this season now is to beat Florida in the SEC Championship. That would be a great moment for these players and a big accomplishment for this inconsistent season. Then I hope the Harrisons and Poythress return next season and we will be loaded. We’ll have experience and talent like 2012. There’s 4 more great freshmen coming in plus what we already have. Plus returning Dakari at center. We will be absolutely loaded next season.

    1. harry

      Respectfully disagree to you previous post and this as well. We don’t know how thing are going to fall, whose is say we can’t win at FL or win SEC. If you take 27 game played, I’d say we are on track (my opinion only). Next year is next year and no I’m not delusional.

  13. ksrmoderator

    KSR moderation of this site is weaker than Lipton…

  14. Hendo Blue

    No doubt #9 right around the corner.

  15. Bradsd

    keep the zone up and keep the fast breaks like the LSU game and we are one of the best teams in the country. I think we looked better than FL for 3/4 of the game.