The loss at Texas A&M was about as bad as it gets. Kentucky’s start to the second half was disheartening. A team that showed flashes of greatness could do nothing right. Despite it all, John Calipari refuses to quit on his team.
“I’m not cracking. This doesn’t faze me,” he said after the 85-74 loss at Texas A&M. “I’m not mad at them. They’re young. I’m not frustrated. I get tired. You know now I’m not 35 anymore; I’m 46. I get tired, but I just gotta help them figure it out.”
A lot went wrong for Kentucky. You could pinpoint fundamental mistakes, mental errors and much more. This is how Calipari summed up their second half collapse:
“We let go of the rope. I just told them after, ‘I’m not cracking.’ I’ve been through this. I’ve coached 30 years and all I’m thinking about is, ‘How do I get these guys to play two halves the way they played the first half?’ And we’re still not there offensively, but we need a team full of guys performing and we didn’t have it.”
Many people will give up on this team after the embarrassing second half. John Calipari will not.
“I’m not cracking. I’m not wavering. I hate losing. I can’t stand it. I liked our first half….and then we let go of the rope. And then when things got funky, we just let go.”
Why is he so confident his team can still turn it around before March?
“They have to want this to happen, and I believe they do. I believe they’re embarrassed by their play. If I didn’t; I told them, ‘If I want this more than you want this, please tell me so I can take my wife to movies and dinners.’ They want this. They want it for each other, it’s just a tough deal.”