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Kentucky needs a leader, but does this team have one?


Kentucky’s got a lot of problems right now, but the most glaring to John Calipari is leadership, or rather, lack thereof. In the wake of his team’s 85-74 loss to Texas A&M — their third straight — Calipari said that for his team to turn things around, someone must stand up and take charge, and it can’t be him.

“Not right now,” Cal said when asked if there’s a leader on this team. “They need it from me and you can’t have it from [a coach]. You guys know how I am. This has got to be an empowered team and you’ve got one guy playing well (Reporters: “Shai”).”

Kentucky was down by as many as 23 in the second half, but managed to cut that deficit to single digits late in the game; unfortunately, yet again, it was too little, too late. Calipari admitted that he’s tired of waiting around for one of his players to take control.

“Been in this situation a couple of different times at Kentucky. You know every team we play is giving us their best shot. When we get this, we’ll bust through, but it’s getting old right now and it’s getting — each week that goes by, it gets harder and harder to get this thing where you want it to go. At some point, you’re right — you’ve gotta have somebody step up and say hey, enough is enough.”

The worry is, that guy may not exist because they’re all too wrapped up in their own failures.

“Right now, I’m not sure we have that guy and the reason is, it’s hard to talk when you’re not playing well. It’s hard to talk when you’re saying, the guy won’t fight until the game’s down 14 and it’s hard to be that guy to say anything in those meetings.”

With six games left in the regular season, there’s still time for someone to step up, but the clock is ticking.

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.

27 responses to “Kentucky needs a leader, but does this team have one?”

  1. rainman

    Cal needs to sit down, he has every one of them looking over their shoulder!

    1. 4everUKblue

      I think they’re looking over their shoulders because they were lost.

    2. bosch8184

      All for TV, just putting on a big show. Part of the sales job. Totally counterproductive.

  2. bosch8184

    What times does Matt go on the air to insult all the UK fans who’ve been right about this team all along?

    1. Skeps

      Lol. That guy still does that?

    2. catsarerunnin

      Yes I really get insulted by Matt Jones…

  3. Mc12

    They lack heart and basketball IQ. They are soft on the glass and their offensive sets are terrible. I think getting embarrassed can maybe help with effort but a lot of this is developed behavior from generally being the best on the court throughout high school and expecting to be drafted by going to UK. If they play with effort and lose it is what it is. If they jog on defense and seem bored how do you change that? Obviously there is a bad mix of players and his positionless approach is gonna be a one year experiment. It sounds good but at the end of the day you need people that can pass, shoot, rebound, and protect the rim.

  4. big cat

    REMOVE the players’ last names from their jerseys. First thing to do to a selfish team…strip their INDIVIDUAL identit

    1. big cat

      *identity

  5. sincitycat

    Darius Miller and Dom Hawkins won’t you please come home.

  6. KYjellyRoll

    Pj looks like he’s having a hard time being engaged, diallo played harder and smarter after he sat for a while. Richards is too timid for his size, much of it comes from being young and being bullied. Knox is rarely assertive. When he is, he’s a great player. Vanderbilt is pure hustle with little offense. Green and shai compliment each other on the court, but obviously both can’t be in for 40 minutes. This is all small things that can be fixed, but these kids gotta show heart 94′ for 40 minutes, not 20. Not for the last 4 minutes.

  7. 3 fan

    No leader and none coming. This is 1,000% recruiting

    1. chris43

      Recruiting?!? Last I checked this is the #2 overall class. Now could it have been evaluated wrong??…..quite possibly. We’re a very young team and have no shooters which makes it tough. When you add in that some of these guys don’t hustle….this is the result! If we only lose Knox and Diallo I think we have a chance of being a really good team next year. Now if we end up losing Knox, Diallo, Vanderbilt, and Alexander…who knows…could be another long season.

  8. bigbluenation90

    We need a leader! Brad calipari is the answer!

  9. ilovekaturday

    We need to go with experience and Bradley has the experience and the jump shot and he’s a coaches son give him a chance what’s the worse that can happen I mean we suck right now

  10. ilovekaturday

    Do you guys think diallo could shoot it in the ocean

    1. bigbluenation90

      Malik monk ain’t walking through that door!

    2. ilovekaturday

      Keep calm pj Washington is coming back

  11. jahanc2uky

    Insert Gabriel! Start yelling at these guys and start acting like you have been there..

  12. KYjellyRoll

    Shai seems to be the only one with a desire to compete. The rest are seriously acting like it doesn’t matter until the final 5-6 minutes they’re like, “oh no! We better get it in gear!” Then it’s too late and you have a group of guys wondering what happened. Go cats

  13. CombatMedic_98

    NOOOOOOO is the answer!

  14. bigbluenation90

    I think Brad could be our leader if he could log in some more minutes

    1. ilovekaturday

      He’s elite

  15. Jpcat15

    It is a flawed team. Hard to play when you don’t have someone to throw the ball to in the post that can get you a basket.

  16. RC

    I roasted Cal last week for not calling TO, which was completely his fault. However….
    If you listen to his comments from last night you can hear how exhausted he is by this team’s refusal to embrace his coaching.
    I have a 19 yr old son, freshman at college, who’s a great kid but he struggles at times to work hard. And he doesn’t accept “coaching” very well. If you’ve ever parented a teenage boy then you should understand where Cal is coming from.
    Sometimes-despite your best efforts, and punishments, and their failures- kids just don’t listen. Sometimes you can’t move the needle. This is one of those seasons.

  17. RC

    I’ll also say- before you try to argue that he should bench (fill in name here) that Cal is actually using the bench as a tool. Unfortunately we have 8 kids who are very similar & you can’t bench 8 players. Hami has sat a lot. So has PJ. So has most everyone except SGA & Knox. The bench is only effective if your reserves play the way you need them to. We don’t have that luxury.

  18. Alleykat16

    It looks like they need to work with Richards hands I remember old 3rd baseman Matt Williams taped table tennis paddles in his hands and did grounds ball to better his grip I believe they need to do something like that with him to soften his touch of the ball just thinking out loud