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Calipari: “Whatever this team needs, I’m going to do it”

Earlier this week, John Calipari told reporters that he’s been harder on this team in practice than any team he’s coached at Kentucky. His demeanor during the game told a different story.

“I’ve never clapped or cheered as much in a game,” Cal said. “More than all of last season. Whatever this team needs, I’m going to do it.”

Cal went into more detail on his radio show, telling fans that he’s trying his hardest to be a cheerleader instead of a critic during games because he’s knows this young group could easily panic.

“I had more positive comments and claps in this game than all of last year. I have been very tough on these guys in practice. Not screaming, yelling, kicking — no. I have raised the bar. These practices have been bears. I’ve held them accountable. If I need to stop a guy and tell them, you’re not doing that, that’s unacceptable, I do it. So, when we get in the game, I’ve got to be positive. I’m not trying to beat anybody down, I’m trying to get them to play well. They have to learn.”

Kentucky’s errors in the first half are glaring — they missed their last 15 shots — but like Calipari said, for now, let’s focus on the positive.

“Right now, I’m having to teach them, they think shootaround means shoot hooks,” Cal said. “No, shootaround means getting ready for a war you’re going to play and getting your mind right. And you’re trying to do it in 30 or 45 minutes. Right now, we need an hour with these guys because they’re not paying attention. We’ve got to do it again, do it again. But that’s okay, it’s where we are. They’re not doing it because they’re mean. They’re not doing it because they’re trying to be disruptive. They’re doing it because they don’t know. They don’t know. And that’s part of what coaching a bunch of young kids is.”

“But when we got it going today, it looked pretty good, didn’t it? ‘Why don’t they play like that the whole game?’ They’re 17 and 18 years old, that’s why they don’t play that way the whole game.”

Baby steps.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

5 responses to “Calipari: “Whatever this team needs, I’m going to do it””

  1. Hugh Meeruh

    1. The best teams are in the best shape of anyone else on the floor
    2. The best teams can press 20 minutes the first half
    3. The best teams can press 20 minutes – the second half.
    4. The best teams out-rebound all 20 minutes of said 1st half; and 2nd. half.
    5. The best teams hit all of their free throws.
    6. The best teams shoot above average percentages.
    7. The best teams shoot above average from the 3.
    8 The best teams win the boards, creating outlet passes and fast break opportunities.

    Bottom line: If you are in shape, and play great D, offense will come. Fast breaks and dunks are low hanging fruit earned from fast break courtesy of the D tree. And – you have to hit the free throws.

    1. 4everUKblue

      Show me a team who presses 20 minutes the first half and 20 minutes the second half. Wait…show me a team that presses 20 either half.

  2. Rembrandt

    We won. Utah Valley State is a veteran team, so I expected a bad first half. I’m not saying I expected 21% shooting. That was scary. Cal wasn’t kidding when he said we have a long way to go, but who could possibly be surprised when a team starting five freshmen struggles early in the first game? Our team rallied in the second half and showed some courage and learning potential. This first game doesn’t tell me much. Our next two games will.

  3. 4everUKblue

    As Cal said, we have a long way to go. He has always been honest with his assessments and I trust he will do whatever it takes and whatever they need.

  4. catsby90.1

    Playing zone defense is one of the things it’s going to take