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Coach Cal talks Lofty Expectations and Takes a Shot at Fair-Weather Fans


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John Calipari’s in the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in eight years.  In familiar territory, Calipari took some time on his call-in show to remind fans of what they’ve become accustomed to, rare territory for other college basketball programs.

Next to Wichita State Friday night in the bowels of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, when the Shockers entered the locker room after the win: “They were hooting and hollering and screaming and nuts.”  When his team entered the locker room, “We were like ‘ugh. We gotta be better than this.'”

The same thing happened Sunday.  When they heard Michigan enter their locker room after defeating Louisville: “They sang their school’s fight song.  I’m serious, they were screaming and hollering.”  After Kentucky’s win: “I’m like good job guys.”  To which they responded, “Thanks coach, when do we leave?”

That attitude is something Calipari and his players have come to accept along with great expectations.

“You win your league.  You win the league tournament.  You got a run going.  You’re in the Sweet 16 and it’s like ‘we gotta do it (win the title) this year.’  That’s Kentucky.”

Calipari describes the process through a metaphor that the Michigan program can relate to.

“We’re trying.  We’re one of those programs that tries,” Cal said.  “This is a process and what you hope, you’re trying to land the plane, and it’s bumpy and you just hope you don’t run out runway.  Maybe the nose touches the fence, but you’re down.”

The lofty expectations don’t bother him, but he’s bothered by his agitators.  You know what kind of person he’s talking about.

“You weren’t cheering all year. You were complaining all year,” Calipari said. “I hope the bandwagon’s moving so fast you can’t grab onto the side.”

Cal likes what his team has accomplished.  Only time will tell if they can achieve their ultimate goal.

“This has been unbelievably successful.  Now we gotta finish.”

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

37 responses to “Coach Cal talks Lofty Expectations and Takes a Shot at Fair-Weather Fans”

  1. bdmnky81

    I doubt Cal is the kind of guy to get irked by any criticism. Im pretty sure if you have a valid suggestion, he would listen. Hence whyvhe welcomes old players and coach Hall. Im pretty sure he is talking about the goobers on here that scream the sky is falling the minute we lose. Hellfire, there are still people who whine about him sticking with the twins, despite the fact the twins winning us a helluva lot more than they lost us.

  2. 4everblue

    I’m with Cal here, I’m tired of all the moaning and complaining and by people with NO coaching experience who think they know how to coach a team better than Cal. I like my team and I like my coach. Better enjoy it while he is here because it will likely not be this good again.

    1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      I agree, mostly. However, Coach Hall said on KSR that he wished Cal would use a zone at least some of the time, especially a 1-3-1 because he said it’s effective and easy to teach. This was after many fans had been calling for the same thing. Even Cal finally had to admit it was needed, at least in spots.

    2. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      And also, I’ve never coached or played football except in PE and the yard and the street, but everyone with half a brain knows Kyle Shanahan should have run the ball when they were on the Pats 23.

      I think Lachlan McClain said it best once: he believes sometimes a coach can’t see the forest for the trees, and that’s why you get a boneheaded call like that from a coach like Shanahan. It should have been SO basic to RUN.THE.BALL. because even a total non-athlete like me knows that passing was stupid in that situation.

      Another factor: coaches can be stubborn, and Cal often is IMO. He’s done a great job, but he takes his foot off the gas too early with a lead. He did it against UL and KU in 2012 and nearly got us beat, and did it against Wisconsin in 2015.

    3. donjohnson

      For all the zone people I hope they realize now that learning man to man the right way was the right call…though it drove us nuts. Teams with the better athletes should ALWAYS play man to man

    4. TBW3011

      You shouldn’t ALWAYS do anything. That was a big part of many fans complaints.

    5. catsarerunnin

      Totally agree Don. Zone is usually used because of a lack of athletic ability. To me Cal finally using a full court man to man was the “reboot”.

    6. 4everblue

      Good to know you know when a team needs to run the ball. My point was aimed at people who think they know about coaching these kids. If you’re out there and you are smarter and a better coach than Cal, go somewhere a let your actions speak for you…..or STFU!

    7. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      Or against teams who have trouble hitting from outside.

    8. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      4everblue, even the best coaches make mistakes, and it’s not wrong to state your opinion on that. That’s all I’m saying. After all, if we weren’t allowed to, there would be no KSR, ESPN Radio, etc.

  3. runningunnin.454

    And you know who you are.

  4. catsarerunnin

    No bandwagon fans here on KSR….

  5. jayiron11

    There are a lot of of low basketball IQ fans in the KSR comment section. These whining people who talk smack about our players like Briscoe. These same people who critique Cal and players when they don’t have the athletic ability to dribble between their legs, nor the ability to watch a game and have any concept what type of defense or offense is being played until the announcers tell them. These same people will talk smack if UK doesn’t win it all. I despise that type of UK fan

    1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      My guess is that the majority are actually UL trolls.

    2. runningunnin.454

      I think a lot of them can “dribble between their legs”.
      They can also probably drool from their mouths.

    3. donjohnson

      I actually don’t think it’s all UL. I have some friends that are the exact same way as the negative people here. Because we get good players we should win every year…..regardless of any other circumstances

  6. AGSlater

    Silly bandwagon trolls. You know who you are. Cal saying this now. We will see how the UCLA game turns out. You know if they lose the young excuse will come first then he will say wait until the nba draft. We will represent well. We all know the draft is more important to him than tourney

    1. catsarerunnin

      How’s UL doing?

    2. 4everblue

      All you have to do is post one negative word and AG is waiting in the lurch.

    3. AGSlater

      Ummm arent you the lurch that comments on any negative post? You were referring to yourself?

  7. bdmnky81

    Dang it guys, you said UL troll three times and look who showed up…….

  8. 4everblue

    Take dUKe ,who I hate with a passion, who did not make it into the sweet 16 with arguably the best talent in the country. Do you think there are dUKe fans ridiculing K, saying he can’t coach, calling for his job, questioning how he coaches? Doubt it.

    1. catsarerunnin

      No but we can dream.

    2. AGSlater

      For sure. Guarentee it. Just like Packers, Patrots, yankees, red sox, Lakers, etc. Their is a high majority of the fans no matter how much sucess complain. Its the nature of being a fan. Crazy or not. Different fans have their own way of fandom

    3. maximumscott

      Shut up Slater. Youre the fan he is directing it towards. My how your tome has changed since Uk is playing better. LOSER

    4. AGSlater

      Not really. Still think ucla will beat them by 10+. Just saying

    5. catsarerunnin

      Slater that’s “Fandumb” for you.

    6. TBW3011

      Who’s calling for Cal’s job? And I don’t even think there are “Duke fans” in general.

    7. bharlan24

      We’re smarter than the average Duke Fan. Krazyzewski has 5 banners , nuff said.

  9. 4everblue

    I already know what someone is going to say….But K has won 5 titles. K has been coach at dUKe for 37 years and has had the best talent in the country every year even before the one and done thing, this year he had crazy talent . Not to mention he has had by far the easiest path to the championship game every year. I would love to see what his record would be if he had to take the path Kentucky is dealt every year.

    1. AGSlater

      I agree. Its just that UK had a bunch of titles in the 40’s and 50’s which a very small fraction of living people could remember. Duke has won their titles more recently. The 2000-2010 era really hurt uk with no final fours. As long as Cal is here UK is going to have the toughest draw bo matter what the seed.

    2. catsarerunnin

      Yes titles before 1960 shouldn’t count. Sorry New York Yankees.

    3. AGSlater

      didnt say count. Read

    4. WeareBBN

      dUKe had talent but alot of it was injured most of the year. Their biggest down fall was lack of a quality point guard this year.

  10. Angelo

    Cal can outsmart Steve Alford… And Gabe and Willis can use ten fouls to smother Leaf.

  11. BluKudzu

    Cal is 30-5, we now know he did it in one of the nation’s toughest conferences, he won both the regular season and tournament.
    Say what you will, this team has accomplisted a lot, and although we will never know, but I think if they could have avoided injuries and the flu, their record would be even better.
    Everybody has something to say, good, bad or indifferent. That is their prerogative. But, this has been a great season, no matter what happens next.
    Talk about “not seeing the forest for the trees.” I think some of the folks that post on here have the problem, not the coach.
    That is a shame.

  12. loml12498

    Please don’t compare UM to Wichita State in their locker room celebrations, Coach Cal.
    I love you but Michigan has had a tough road and no one should question how they celebrate. They still have class and good sportsmanship on their side. After seeing Wich St’s coach’s wife at uk game I don’t think it’s fair to put mich in that bunch.
    But I do agree that the people who complain about uk all year, and are calling for Cal’s blood after a loss don’t have a right to open their mouths now. They shouldn’t get to even watch the games! Can we have Wildcat police out patrolling for this…?:)