If you’re like me, you were wondering why Kentucky didn’t call a timeout after Seton Hall’s three to go up by one at the end of the game. Afterwards, John Calipari reminded reporters that only players are allowed to call timeouts in live ball situations.
“That last play, we talked about, if they make a shot, here’s what we’re doing on our end. And Nick, you’re going to be in the middle. If they make a shot, this is how we’re doing it. Nick ran the sideline, but the issue was, I probably should have called a timeout. You can’t call a timeout because the players have to call a timeout. They’ve gotta call it anyways but again, that inexperience, not being in that situation, that’s something we haven’t worked on.”
Cal said the plan for the last play was for Nick to set a screen in the middle of the court, but that didn’t happen and the play broke down.
“Nick was supposed to be in the middle of the court setting a ball screen on the run so we could get something at the rim or something wide open. Nick ran a fly over. If you watched, I tried to push him into the middle of the court. I was on the court. ‘Go to the middle of the court!’ And then probably should have just — me personally — should have just screamed timeout because then we’re broke down then. Should have just called it. But again, even if I called it, a player would have had to hear me and make that call.”
You can see Cal screaming at Nick to move into the middle in this clip:
Seton Hall TAKES DOWN No. 9 Kentucky ? pic.twitter.com/kFfqRZAPKu
— ESPN (@espn) December 8, 2018
“Those of you that know me know I don’t like calling timeouts with nine or ten or twelve seconds to go,” Cal added. “You’re better off doing it like we did which was drive it down and Keldon makes a three verses a scramble defense. And that’s what we tried to do with nine seconds to go, instead my man went down there and didn’t run a screen but again, we’re just an inexperienced team.”
Hopefully this is a lesson Kentucky doesn’t have to learn again.