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Cal: Cats “probably need to get beat” to get better

It’s Monday afternoon and the Cats are number one again, a fact which is simultaneously comforting and foreboding when you look ahead to the rest of the schedule. With less than two months ’til tournament time, what must Kentucky do to reach championship form? John Calipari thinks they need to get beat. Cal went on 790 the Zone in Atlanta with Barnhart and Durham this morning to talk about how the Cats can improve (listen to the interview here):

On his team getting tested the way they have been and if he thinks that will help them:

“My team as you know we’re starting three freshman and two sophomores and what happens is every experience for these guys is new. That’s why I liked what Alabama did to us. They basically, one of their players said ‘our coach told us to be aggressive, hit ‘em, and rebound.’ I don’t know what hit them means but they hit us. What happens is every game we play is a different kind of experience. We played Arkansas and they pressed us. We needed that a whole game. We played other teams that played us a whole zone. It’s all a new experience. I have a point guard who has made great strides in Marquis Teague but you just don’t know. You just don’t know yet. The same with Anthony Davis. Anthony wasn’t ready for the body to body contact. Anthony missed three dunks. How can he miss a dunk when his head is near the rim? Well when that body is on you and shoving you into the cheerleaders it’s harder to dunk. You have to figure out how I hold my ground, how I bend over, and hold position as they get physical. All this stuff is new to my team. I like our will to win down the stretch. In all these close games you’re gonna start getting nipped. You know what I told them last night Tony? We met at my house. I said ‘we probably need to get beat so you guys will understand that you cannot let a team come in and kick sand in your face and accept it.’ You can’t do it.

Cal echoed this thought during his time with the media this afternoon, saying the Cats have gotten away with too many ugly wins and needed to lose one so they won’t accept being pushed around. While an undefeated SEC season sounds prettier than Keeneland in the spring, losses cultivate character and resiliency that are invaluable come March. After a few close calls and several scary road games on the horizon (@ Vandy on 2/11, @Mississippi State on 2/21, and @Florida on 3/4 to name a few), do the Cats need a loss to grow a pair? If so, which “W” would you be willing to sacrifice?

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.

68 Comments for Cal: Cats “probably need to get beat” to get better



  1. Scott
    5:05 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    First..go big blue



  2. Walter Sobchak
    5:06 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    but i don’t want them to get beat…



  3. Mr Obvious
    5:06 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I would much more be willing to sacrifice a win to Florida. Stallings and Stansbury have both been very negative in the past as far as UK is concerned. Donovan at least tries to stay classy.



  4. zmoney7276
    5:06 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’d give up Mississippi State at Starkville. Good team and I kind of like Rick Stansbury…



  5. blue cat
    5:09 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    If we have to loose a game please don’t loose to the comodes



  6. 4andDone
    5:11 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is just trying to get them to buy into playing hard the whole game… right now I think they have the attitude they can turn it on any time they want and win…someone will sneak up on us and we will not be able to recover if we are not diligent with our effort and focus.



  7. Zeek
    5:13 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I hate when people say that a loss is good. No it’s not, that is weak. A loss is never good. You go out with the mind set to dominate at all times and never except failure. If a team is ranked #300 then your goal should be to make them cry, not to play down to their level.



  8. D
    5:15 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’m calling two road losses (see 1978, 2010). One blow out & one tight loss. Not to whiny Vandy though.



  9. ZombieLibrarian
    5:17 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    If those three are my choices, than it’s MSU, no doubt. Donovan and Stallings are both pretty good coaches and both pretty big turds. I like beating East teams, even if we don’t have divisions any more. At least Stansbury is a KY boy, as well. But I do dislike Renardo Sidney. Hell, lets just win every game through the NCAA championship and not worry about it.



  10. ukeith26
    5:23 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I wanna lose to MSU as long as we get them back during the SEC tournament



  11. catcrawler
    5:25 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’d say they will definitely get pushed around down in Starkville. Sydney can pretty much push anybody around as long as he gets his lardass down the court in time. Moultrie is a beast. :/



  12. 4andDone
    5:27 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Tennesse will be our toughest game left on the schedule…Vandy can control the tempo, but they basically are softer even than CAL thinks we are…Florida is streaky, but has very soft defense… MS STATE will be an interesting conflict of styles…they are a half court team with Sydney, and a more uptempo when he is on the bench… Sydney will not be able to play more than 20-25 minutes…



  13. John
    5:27 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    lol @ “loose”. Nice Ky education right there!



  14. blue cat
    5:28 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Stalling is a super turd



  15. Jimmy
    5:31 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    bullshit, this makes no since at all. losing does not help win games, huger, the will to keep fighting, not wanting to give up, doing all you can to win the game. coach said it best, you play to win the game. you don’t lose to win. STUPID



  16. Bender
    5:32 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Take your pick Miss. State or Florida. Just not Vandy at their house please!!!!!!



  17. tdogg4033011
    5:37 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    run the table !!! 19-0



  18. mwgocats
    5:38 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    no



  19. blue cat
    5:38 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    In order to win they must stop these sloppy passes. Old men like could pick them off



  20. KyBlue All the Way
    5:39 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Vandy would be a huge wake up call, although I don’t want them to lose there. I see Mississippi State or Florida as the greatest threats for a loss.



  21. Ricky P
    5:39 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    On my “muthers” birthday you want to talk about losing? A good loss is only an excuse after you lose when you say…”oh yeah, that loss did us good”. Rock on CATS…don’t lose another game the rest of the year.



  22. Blowb
    5:40 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Has anyone looked at UGA’s shooting percentages? How will this team score against our defense? Their top 2 scorers both shoot right around 42%. Also, they give 22 minutes a game to Marcus Thornton who is shooting 23% from the field. TWENTY-THREE PERCENT! He’s 6’7! Honestly, if the Cats give up 50 points to these brick-layers they will be running sprints from Rupp to Danville.



  23. Hoss_Cat
    5:43 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Below is a link to vote for one of several NCAA Coaches who are for a certain charity. The winner gets 100,000 donated to his charity. Calipari’s is for flippin shoes. Anyone who votes for Cal over Paster, which is A CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL needs to beat with ball bat.

    http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/infiniti/2012/? dcp=oin.75708807.&dcc=0.252091255&dcn=1



  24. Hoss_Cat
    5:44 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Below is a link to vote for one of several NCAA Coaches who are for a certain charity. The winner gets 100,000 donated to his charity. Calipari’s is for flippin shoes. Anyone who votes for Cal over Pastner whose charity is A CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL needs to beat with a ball bat.
    http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/infiniti/2012/? dcp=oin.75708807.&dcc=0.252091255&dcn=1



  25. ktmiln2
    5:45 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    23. Yeah screw shoes. Who needs those?

    Perspective. Get some.



  26. St. Paul Raiders
    5:45 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Listen to interview, Cal mentions SEC coaches needing to promote each other and the other teams in the league. Hey Kevin Stallings!!



  27. Mike
    5:47 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Come on coach…we are getting tired of hearing that we have 3 freshmen starting and it is all a new experience to them and we probably need to get beat to get better….20 games into the season and it is a “new experience” to them…please.



  28. St. Paul Raiders
    5:47 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    23- Yeah Cal is totally heartless. I guess being recognized by the President for raising all that money for Haiti doesn’t mean anything.



  29. Hoss_Cat
    5:48 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #24 I didn’t see that you freakin dumb a$$

    I certainly believing choosing shoes over a childrens would send you to he11 in a hand basket!



  30. ktmiln2
    5:48 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    28. Apparently we need to be beat with a ball bat



  31. Hoss_Cat
    5:50 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #29 Never said anytihng about freakin haiti did I? nor would i, that was a great charity. That was dealing with peoples lives. I love Cal as our coach, but a charity to help children who are dying trumps any other charity far as I’m concerned. Choosing Cal in this vote is wrong.



  32. ktmiln2
    5:50 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    29. Who are the shoes mainly for? You do realize that a decent pair of shoes can keep kids out of the hospital/healthy right? And if personal opinion depends on whether or not a person goes to hell, then I certainly don’t want anything to do with that religion.



  33. the dykster
    5:51 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    7) Sorry, but a loss can be good. It can rekindle the fire. Just ask the ’96 championship team. I remember them as a great team, but they started coasting down the stretch. Miss St. beat us in the SEC tourney finals but the Cats cut down the nets that really mattered. Yes, they may have won it all anyway, but you could definitely see a sense of urgency after that loss. Hate to say it, but I definitely want a loss or 2 before the tourney. No way do I want to go in as the #1 overall seed.



  34. wildcat_fan
    5:51 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #28 yes apparently you do you black hearted p.o.s.



  35. Han
    5:52 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I get tired of the “we need a loss” crap you hear from fans and coaches.

    Yeah, losing hurts and reminds you what it’s like to lose, but every one of these guys has lost a basketball game some time. Darius, Eloy, Doron and Terrence remember last year. MKG saw his perfect season ruined last year. Anthony was on a terrible HS team. Even if they were somehow undefeated in high school, they’ve been beaten in AAU or even pick-up games.

    You shouldn’t have to get beat to teach your guys to play with a killer instinct.

    If we have to lose another game, let it be on the road before the SEC tourney. Preferably, though, we win out.



  36. ktmiln2
    5:52 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Comparing which charity is better is stupid in the first place. Vote for who you want but don’t act like someone is less than you because they choose something else.



  37. Hartline
    5:53 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’d say they are both worthy charities and you are not the judge of what is good or not.



  38. Hoss_Cat
    5:54 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #29 As if you wouldn’t have voted for Cal if his charity would’ve been been to support free cigarettes for Kentuckians



  39. ktmiln2
    5:54 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    37. Thank you.



  40. ktmiln2
    5:55 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    38. I don’t care who you vote for. But someone not voting for the charity you think is better does not make them a bad person. At least it’s a charity.



  41. Hoss_Cat
    5:55 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Of course there should be charities for shoes, but you’d seriously choose shoes over dying children if you had 100,000 to donate?



  42. ktmiln2
    5:58 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    41. You know those kids they give shoes to have a lot more problems than just shoes, right? It’s not as simple as they get shoes. But I’m not the one to judge which is better. I’m just happy if people give something to someone deserving.



  43. Hoss_Cat
    6:01 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #42 I agree with you on that. It’s just, i hate it cuz a lot of the time free stuff is given like that, a bunch of people who are just too sorry to work are the first ones in line. You’re right though, those who can’t and the children who need them definitely are definitely a good charity.



  44. phk
    6:02 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll give Donovan a W. Last game would have been perfect if but for the home winning streak. These boys need to take a punch in the mouth to learn to play at their full potential every game. Playing down to the competition is just showing laziness. Last year’s team showed real character in March after all the road losses. The 09-10 team didn’t have many losses and never really showed that killer instinct needed to win a champ. Quite frankly we WILL lose a few road games in the SEC playing the way we are, but that will just show us whether this team can build the chemistry needed to battle come March.



  45. Hoss_Cat
    6:03 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #42 plz know I was thinking you’d vote for Cal no matter what his charity was for just cuz he’s our coach. Sorry for thinking wrong



  46. KSR1080Fan
    6:05 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Donovan was making “negative” SEC scheduling comments today at his press conference.

    This guy on Twitter has the notes:
    @PBPjasonlieser



  47. Sammydog
    6:07 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know if the team psychology is overly confident or not. If so a loss could take some air out of big heads. However, our team does not seem cocky like Cal’s 1st team. They do tend to play down to their opponent at times and seem to believe they can turn it on in a pinch. I think close games on the road can be as valuable as a loss.



  48. KSR1080Fan
    6:10 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Boehiem and Huggins are 1 and 2 in the East for that charity challenge. Coach Cal and Samaritans Feet #3



  49. CATSCATSCATS
    6:18 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Calipari likes to hear himself talk. Next story please.



  50. ar ar ar
    6:24 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #47 – You read that wrong. It’s for Sanitarians Feet. They don’t need many, just clean ones.



  51. GapToothDanny
    6:39 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    The free cigarettes are where now?



  52. serdi
    6:44 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    at Vandy and at Florida



  53. REAL BLY
    6:46 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is sandbagging….we win out…maybe lose to Florida or whatever…we win SEC…BANG!!! NCAA RUN!!!



  54. MJ4UK
    6:50 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    @ Vanderbilt unless someone brings string to tie Jenkins hands behind his back



  55. Hoss
    6:51 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Giving to a charity means so much less when it has to be pimped out, sold or basically forced down the donator’s GD neck.



  56. bung
    7:14 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    we get free cigarettes? awesome…



  57. Realist
    7:17 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Love the cats but too many flaws right now. You are starting to see signs of improvement though. Cats lose all 3 on the road. Refocus headin into the SEC tourney and don’t lose again my friends.



  58. bung
    7:18 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    e s pee in charity thang has Cal in the East region…u got a map?



  59. Realist
    7:21 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #46 Donovan is stating the facts. No team should have to do that.



  60. bung
    7:21 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    i dont want to lose….ever…i want mt to run and assist and tj to play both halves…and mkg, darius, and ad to continue being unbeatable…



  61. Doubledump
    7:24 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    That’s A smack in the face to miller, he referenced the Alabama game saying he starts 3 freshman and 2 sophomores. Miller started.



  62. Bledsoe's Biceps
    7:58 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    33) I’ve never bought into that argument. Even without the loss in the SEC tourny, I think the 96 team still wins it all. Once the NCAA tourny starts, every team knows it is win or go home.

    I have never believed a loss is necessary to motivate a team. This team lost at IU. Wasn’t that enough motivation? How many losses does it take? Cluelesspee had many losses, but he couldn’t motivate the team. This is just Cal spouting coach-speak. He can use a close loss as motivation and I think he does. I prefer that option and go undefeated the rest of the way.



  63. Dave in Kabul
    8:06 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I want them to win the last game.

    I’ve never heard of Stansbury downplaying UK. He’s usually very complimentary.

    I hate the word “resiliency.” Sounds like a word that a half literate chimp would use.



  64. bung
    8:15 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    gosh…think how good we woulda been if we had lost to wva and u a con…course i spose a good fast break offense woud shoot 59 3’s in the half court…



  65. Blueburg
    8:45 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    15 Obviously you were not a follower of the team last year. Those road losses in the SEC definitely helped that team. We are teetering on a loss especially now that we’ve got the target of #1 hanging on our back again. Coach is right.



  66. Nick Nolte
    9:02 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    How long you be shaving points Marquis??! How long??!?!



  67. Rixter
    11:01 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s step back in time.. to a mere 3 years ago. Think Billy Clyde Gillispie…can you imagine 3 years ago saying ‘sure, we’re number one in the country, and we’ve won 20 of 21, but we have too many flaws’???

    I’m afraid a lot of you are so worried about every problem, every close game, that you’ll look back on the season and realize that you missed it. You were so worried that you didn’t enjoy one second of a great season.

    LIGHTEN UP, BBN!



  68. Don
    11:39 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    We may lose, but losing never helped anybody. All that does is hurt their confidence. Why lose to somebody we hate, that would suck, and we hate everybody left on our schedule. If they are too hard headed to get what it takes now, they will not get it by losing.