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Kentucky coaches to players: “Go prove people wrong”


Given Kentucky’s struggles right now, you might think the last thing they need is a road game at No. 10 Auburn; not according to this coaching staff. Today, assistant head coach Kenny Payne said tomorrow’s game is the perfect opportunity to see what this group is made of.

“If you’ve been around Cal long enough, you realize opportunity. This is a great opportunity to go into a hostile environment with a bunch of young players, freshmen and sophomores and go steal one. That’s the game plan. Go take one from them. They’re not going to give it to us. Without a doubt, they’ve been one of the best teams in this conference. They’ve only got two losses in conference. Everything would say we’ve got our hands full; so, go prove people wrong.”

Will losing three in a row be the slap in the face these players need to rise to the challenge? Payne hopes so.

“They’re getting a lesson there are no excuses at Kentucky. There is no, ‘My stomach hurts, I don’t feel good, I’m fighting the flu, I don’t have it tonight.’ There is no, ‘The referee gave me a bad call.’ There is no, ‘I was open and he didn’t pass it to me.’ The end result of all of this is, we brought you here to be winning basketball players, and that’s why you’re here. That’s your DNA or you would not be in this program.”

This staff is well-versed in dealing with freshmen, but after the first three-game losing streak of the Calipari era, Payne said they’re not backing off on holding players accountable for the mistakes, even if it hurts their egos.

“You have to hold these young people accountable. You have to make sure that you love them, that you — and, I hate to say the word — hit them in the face or hit them with reality. That means challenge them. Get after their butts. When you’re not playing hard, when you’re tired, that’s not acceptable, and we’re going to get after you for that…We’re going to challenge you as a freshman to think like a senior.”

Claw back vs. a top ten opponent or shrink further into the shadows? Tomorrow night will tell us a lot.

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.

13 responses to “Kentucky coaches to players: “Go prove people wrong””

  1. secrick

    They don’t actually have to win to make me feel better, don’t get down by 20 points and make it a blow out and if you don’t win but play hard and make a good game out of it i’m ok with that.

    1. 4everUKblue

      Totally agree.

  2. Realme

    If the past few games have taught us anything, it’s that it’s perfectly reasonable to expect a win tomorrow.

  3. dollaz

    Just tell the team to quit flexing please

  4. sbueck

    Yeah, go kids!! Prove to people that 18 year old’s with no real game plan can win. Time to figure it out kids, Cal is tired of waiting… You have to be accountable too coach, for teaching them how to play basketball.

    1. secrick

      B. S.

    2. 4everUKblue

      Uh oh a new troll….friends of the other new trolls.

    3. BigBlueNationDude

      4ever just purchased new knee pads. Just in time for Cal

    4. sbueck

      I was a UK fan before you could wipe your own nose. Just get tired of watching the basketball version of the Bad News Bears and want to turn on the Cats and see some decent basketball.

    5. terwilliger

      sbueck preach it brother. This bunch of kids we have this year don’t know anything. They don’t know basic fundamentals, let alone how to play as a team. And they aren’t going to magically figure it out. They have to be taught.

    6. KYJelly

      There’s only so much you can teach. You can’t teach Knox to have a killer instinct, you can’t give Hami a basketball IQ. You people who think Cal can’t/isn’t coaching are delusional

  5. luke_emberton

    I seriously doubt this team has the heart to wanna prove anybody wrong

  6. chrislarkey

    Why does Cal have to teach them how to play basketball, isn’t that AAU and all the years they have played