Following three consecutive losses for the Kentucky Wildcats, fans are growing restless. Thoughts of the 2012-13 season are crawling to the forefront of the collective minds of the Big Blue Nation, and quite a few individuals have (wrongly) taken to social media to criticize the players directly.
During the John Calipari Call-In Show, Coach Cal told fans to direct that negative energy toward him, not the 18 and 19-year-old players on the team.
“Are people being negative? If you’re being negative, be negative towards me. Don’t be negative towards the kids,” Calipari said. “If you’re going to be mad, be mad at me.”
Calipari followed up by telling Tom Leach that he “wasn’t cracking,” and said the recipe to turn things around and get the fans back on board is easy: Just win the next one.
“Here’s what it is, and I’ve been doing this a long time, you’ve gotta win a game. We lost a couple in a row, you’ve gotta win a game.”
And with the team heading to Auburn to take on the No. 1 team in the SEC, he knows it’s not going to be easy.
But the team needs it.
“We’re going into a top-ten, top-five, whatever the heck they are, on their court,” said Calipari. “It will be a hard game, but you know what? It’s exactly what’s called for. It’s exactly what we need thrown at us.”
Calipari said he’s excited for the challenge, but his Wildcats are going to have to earn it if they want to pull off the upset.
“Road game, a bunch of young players, hostile environment, against a really good team that’s playing well on offense on defense,” said Calipari. “I’m excited about it. I know it’s going to be hard, and if you want to win it, they will not give it to you.”
One way to not only pull off the upset, but get started on a hot streak going into postseason play? Develop similar habits to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, both on and off the court.
“Getting them to change some of the habits they have. We’ve got a guy like Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) in the gym at seven o’clock in the morning. Never misses a weight training, never misses a class, never late for anything. Who’s our best player right now? Shai. Guys, take it from him. If you’re disciplined in other areas, you’re disciplined on the court,” said Calipari.
After taking a day off from practice, the Wildcats got back in the lab this afternoon to get things fixed.
Back in the lab to get our craft right. pic.twitter.com/l8LpO42w20
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 12, 2018
One big victory on the road against Auburn could stop the bleeding in a massive way.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that may be the only option at this point.
Let’s get it done.