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Cal: “They deserved to beat us by fifty today”



At his post game press conference, John Calipari told reporters that he believed Tennessee’s inspired play would have gotten them to victory even if a healthy Nerlens Noel had been on the court.


This is sports and sometimes it happens. They deserved to beat us by 50 points today. They played harder, they played rougher and they executed better. They were stronger with the ball. We just had passive guys who did not want to make plays.


According to the head honcho, the Wildcats had their worst practice in four years yesterday, which Cal attributed to the sheer confusion of playing without Noel. Kyle Wiltjer agreed with his coach about the Cats’ deer-in-headlights look, saying “We have to give them credit. But it was a very lackluster performance on our part.” Lackluster may be a kind word for a game that saw three players foul out, Jarrod Polson have as many rebounds as Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress combined, and another stat-less performance from Ryan Harrow.


However, even if we’d had Nerlens Noel and still lost to Tennessee, you can bet that the Nerlens Noel team would have fought a helluva lot harder than the team we saw today. Like Uncle Julius said, if you didn’t come to fight, don’t play. At this point, it’s almost more important to me to see some fight out of this team than worrying about the numbers in the points columns. Seeing Willie with his hood up on the bench was the most defeated look this team has sported all season, and unfortunately, that emotion is easily contagious among teammates. Teaching our team to take pride in their play and show heart on the court is more pressing than limiting turnovers, finding ANY offensive rhythm, or showing our guards how to take control of a game. The Cats have to learn how to fight without Nerlens- mentally and physically.


Forget the improv coach, forget heart monitors. Give the team some boxing gloves and get them in the ring. Maybe our Cinderella Story is just beginning.



Article written by Kristen Geil

61 Comments for Cal: “They deserved to beat us by fifty today”

  1. BravoBigBlue
    6:33 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink


  2. chris
    6:34 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    where is the post game video?

  3. Roland
    6:38 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Of what?

  4. Mike
    6:39 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    For this team to be so clueless and with the “deer in the headlights” look it does substantiate many earlier reportings that this team does not have any BB I.Q.

  5. davefromdagap
    6:45 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Hell…we made them look like a bunch of allstars. Our team defense is and has been pathetic. We just had maybe the best shot blocker to come along in the last 20 years there to clean up the mess. No blocks, steals, nor rebounds lead to No transition baskets. Which was 60% of our offense to begin with. Somebody..apparently a bunch of folks couldnt have been more wrong about Poythres and Goodwin. Buckle up…..going to be a rough 3 weeks.

  6. Casey
    6:48 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Cinderella? We have team of HS all Americans

  7. Tod Lanter's cousin
    6:49 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    We have to accept these players as the frustrating basketball specimens they are, BBN looks like a bunch of sore losers the year between championships.

  8. Hosier Wlldcat
    6:54 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Face facts. This is not a good team. Face facts. We won it all last year. Face facts. We have one hell of a team coming in next year. Face facts. Who in the NBA would want to draft Alex, Willie, Kyle or Archie? Will they be able to help is next year? I am sure coach Cal is as confused about this group as we are. How ever I am also sure he will make it happen next year with or without them. He is a great coach. I look for three wins till season ends and going out in the 2nd round of the SEC Championship. Hurry up next year!!!! GO CATS!!

  9. Big Blue
    6:57 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Sadly, this year’s team peaked too early, at Big Blue Madness.

  10. Michael
    6:57 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Really pathetic game today. I turned it off. I think the world of Coach Cal, but he has to take some blame because he has 13 scholarship to offer and does use them. He needs extra players to develop, so that when this type of pathetic playing comes from the likes of Harrow, Poythress, and Goodwin, he can bench them. He can’t really bench them for a long extended period because he doesn’t have any “real” quality Division I players to bring in. This is what I see. Am I wrong?

  11. random goober
    6:59 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    The team stunk it up. Poor coaching from Cal and players who are lost. TV Doug Shows sucked as usual. CBS where I live, at least, cut to Marquette v. Pitt early in the second half. I can’t remember that ever happening watching a UK basketball game. CBS with Gottlieb the wallet thief and Lanny Davis’s son Seth – Lanny must pay CBS somehow for this – were GIDDY to cut the game and had a f…in Christian Laettner special blurb at half before cutting to the other game. Today was the second worst day after the worst day being Nerlens injury.

    All that said, I’ll be right here cheering on my CATS for every game for the remainder of the year. I love Coach Cal. I will never quit on any team. I’m stupid that way. I love this team regardless of how unlovable they can be sometimes. Take it day by day, Coach Cal and fellows. GO CATS!

  12. Bubba Earl
    7:02 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    I blame the uni’s!

  13. Syrin
    7:07 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    We have one NBA caliber player on this team, and he just blew out his ACL. Most of our key players have gotten WORSE as the season has gone on. Goodwin is worse, Poythress is worse, Harrow might as well stay at home, and Wiltjer is timid.

    So the question becomes why. Were these players over rated coming in, OR did Cal whip the spirit out of them with his mid season side line rage fests that were an embarrassment to the program? Combination of both in my estimation. Specifically:

    Harrow – looks afraid to shoot or drive. probably fears retribution from Cal
    Goodwin – can’t shoot, doesn’t know how to do anything but drive to the hole and run over people. That’s coaching as well
    Poythress – won’t give full effort, looks lost. That’s on him
    Wiltjer – afraid to shoot open shots because if he misses, he’s benched. That’s ALL on Calipari

    So I blame call for the issues involving 2.5 of our players

  14. WKY blue
    7:09 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    #9 That was funny shit right there and I agree.

  15. Know It All
    7:09 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    When Harrow quit on the team earlier in the season, and Cal allow him back, was the end too the season. The team lost respect for Cal. Harrow is the cancer and now he has infected the rest.

  16. Mary
    7:11 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    I find this weird to say and I never thought I would, but I’d say Jon Hood can also be added to the list of “people who actually played today”. He made some mistakes, but he hustled harder than players 10x more athletic than himself.

  17. Sean
    7:14 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    @14 I don’t think Kyle plays all that timid…I think he’s been playing better than ever the past few weeks. However, unlike most of the fans, I’m not afraid the sky is falling. Sure this game was horrible to watch as a UK fan, but its over with and time to move on to the next game.

  18. Michael
    7:15 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Again, I am a big Cal supporter, but I don’t understand how Cal didn’t see that Harrow wasn’t really good during a year of practice and not recruit a point guard for this year.

  19. UKBlue
    7:18 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    The season is over, turn off the lights. Cal is beyond frustrated, he’s telling players they’re uncoachable, they don’t listen; anyone who things this team is going to magically turn around this season with only 6 games left with our best player out is totally insane. Keep believing all you want on this year team, just turn off the lights when you’re done.

  20. Mike
    7:18 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    And I don’t know how Cal could not see Poythress as anything but a statue and Goodwin as anything but a run away train. Two very big recruiting bloopers. Harrow has the demanor of a HS player.

  21. Doug Shows
    7:20 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    I realize Cal is a great recruiter. I know he is a good coach. Do u think he is too easy on his players?

  22. Mary
    7:21 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    19 – I don’t think there’s much hope to turn things around, but I will hope and support for players like Polson, Mays, and Wiltjer who are trying, who do care, and who deserve support for their hard work.

  23. Michael
    7:23 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Goodwin reminds me of the 2 guard under Billy G. I think who talked back to the coach and refused to take a shot who eventually transferred to Illinois but never really made it. He was a very highly recruited/sure bet to go to the NBA….but can’t think of his name.

  24. Memories
    7:23 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    This reminds me of one of Tubby’s Team Turmoil seasons. Without the upperclassmen, of course.

  25. Big deal
    7:24 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    11)Your right on! We got out coached, out worked, and out played. Big deal it’s over, move on. It’s clear this team isn’t as good as the previous 3 but it’s still our team. I’m still going to support them and I’m still going to go into every game thinking we are going to win!
    Everybody should have knew eventually we would have a class that played like freshmen. That’s ok Calss record speaks for itself. I’ll take a NIT team blanketed on both sides by a national championship team. In Cal I Trust!

  26. set4uk
    7:24 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Syrin – I think I agree with you. I was worried about Cal’s attitude at the beginning of the season. “Just keeping it real” I believe he said on All Access. Being in education I know how kids can operate. Some kids can respond to a teacher, coach or parent just keeping it real and being brutally honest – but some can’t. I fear the BBN has a few players (kids) who are not able to handle the truth. These are just kids and it has hurt their play. The fact of the matter is that players like MKG are rare in college at the age of 18-19. Most kids are like Poythress and Goodwin and can’t handle the pressure from Cal and the BBN. I hope Cal learns from this season and like many on here have already said, tries to develop some talent over time. I’m still gonna keep rooting for this team and hope they can salvage this season!

  27. Michael
    7:24 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    22…I totally agree. They are at least playing hard even if they aren’t the best players on the floor at times.

  28. Wes
    7:26 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer took 4 shots in a row only made one but I was glad to see him shoot. Poythress and Harrow got some bad calls against them I believe it was hard for them to get going. Gets me that every time that (I forget if it is Harrow or Goodwin) but he gets knocked to floor he waits until someone comes and picks him up. I feel for this team, I mean the whole team coaches included. I thought they would have played some zone but they didn’t. I think Coach Cal got out coached today to. I know he can coach so I know they will be alright. Go Cats

  29. uncle si
    7:27 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Sean Woods was right.

  30. It is What It is
    7:27 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Goodwin has a poor basketball IQ. When playing D, he has no clue on how to play position D. Alex is a good player, but needs to come back next season. Really the biggest issues is that this is a Freshman team.

  31. the truth
    7:28 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    This is what we get from cals methods. Its a risky way to run a program but with high risk comes high reward. Would you rather have the no risk no reward tubby smith teams. Cal is trying somthing thats never been done before. Personal I belive if we win the title every 2 to 3 years then have down years in between then it works. We could have a caoch like tom crean at a school were they celebrate mediocrity. GO CAL GO CATS

  32. Mm
    7:29 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    I will forever remember this game when I hear people talk about how we should play polson, hood, and players like them more often. Yeah they’re the KY boys who get to live the dream and play with Kentucky. But they’re not who we need on the floor. They gave 110% out there on the floor today, but that wasn’t enough. I like them, I envy them in some ways, but when it comes down to it, we need better talent on the floor, for the most part. The better talent just has to show up and give more effort. But to say Polson and Hood deserve more time, no, they really don’t. If we wanted them to play and be our best players, we would’ve hung on to Billy G…but that would not have been Kentucky’s best interest. Darius Miller is an exception. He could play. And every now and then, there will be an in state kid who can really stick with the best. But I don’t think there’s any arguing that Polson and Hood give us our best chance to win on a regular basis. Instead we get embarrassed.

  33. Michael
    7:30 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    29. You are so right. Sean Woods called it like he saw and got nothing but a backlash from it. He could see what no one else did…..and that was….that “most” of these players had “no real pride” playing for the “UK” across their jerseys. We love you Sean Woods.

  34. Big deal
    7:30 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    24) I don’t think so. That year we just had some bad kids on that team. Plus I think we had some players who didn’t like the coach and tried to undermine him! I think this kid has good kids, who just are struggling to put it together for what ever reason.
    Team turmoil had plenty of upper class men, this team is relying on heavy on freshmen who are playing like freshmen. I don’t think they have quit on cal or he’s lost the team like Tubby did that year. I still think this team will peak in March and be a tough out!

  35. Chester
    7:30 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    F u archie f u whealchair fu stien you guys suck so bad. I hope all of these freakin losers never come back to uk and hope we never have to see these punks ever again.

  36. Memories
    7:31 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    That said, we’ve got the next three at home. Seems we will sink or swim based on those three games. Manage to win all three and all of a sudden you’re looking at 20-8.

  37. Flippy23
    7:37 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    You have to go back to the (gulp) Billy Gillespie era to find a UK team with such a passive personality, seemingly content to be producing at 60% of its potenial…..VERY un-Calipari team…..ddn’t think that much talent could produce such a poor team…..

  38. Them
    7:42 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    The big question is, who is coming back next yea? My guess there will be some transfers and I have no idea who the NBA would be interested in besides Noel. Won’t room have to be made for the new Dudes? Would Goodwin settle for coming off the bench as example,

  39. Linda Taylor
    7:43 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    18 – Probably because he expected Teague to come back. Also, this year’s freshman class was not full of great point guards and the best had already committed early to other schools. If we had been able to get Anthony Bennett we would be in much better shape, but he probably wouldn’t have been allowed to qualify if he came to UK. Harrow obviously did not spend his year wisely last year and was not ready to lead this team this year. He probably knew he wasn’t up to the job when he went home to his mom at the beginning of the season.
    At least Cal will have this example to future teams. If you buy in and play for each other as a team you can go far. If you don’t, you can have a year like this year. Maybe it will help kids buy in sooner in the future if they want to go for a championship.

  40. I'm amazed
    7:46 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    That, all of a sudden, Cal can’t coach. That he’s not gifted with ESP which would allow him to read 18 year old minds so he would immediately know who would be ready to perform and who wouldn’t. How many of you folks would like to stake your whole career on your ability to be able to tell which 18 year old is mature enough to play at this level and which isn’t? That’ s what I thought.

  41. Michael
    7:50 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    40. You are probably right. With UK winning the National Championship last year, Teague’s stock rose enough to get drafted in the NBA.

  42. mj7juice
    7:53 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    23) Alex Legion

  43. Michael
    7:55 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    43. You are right!! I having been racking my brain trying to remember his name. Goodwin reminds me so much of him because he thought he was better and knew more than the coach like Goodwin does.

  44. Steve
    7:59 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah Cinderella and the clock just struck midnight.

  45. Michael
    8:00 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    On a brighter note Maryland is beating Duke on ESPN right now.

  46. bigblue backer
    8:00 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    I.will stand behind.these Guys no matter what. win or.loose they need encouragement. Even though they at.times we are #bbn and to claim.we r.the best fan base is bull when fame fans dog there.own players

  47. mj7juice
    8:01 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    44) I realize that Archie is overly reckless most of the times but the majority of the time, no one wants to shoot the ball

  48. Harmon
    8:03 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Sean Woods exposed the rat.

  49. Michael
    8:03 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    I think if Cal had left Archie at point guard when Harrow left the team…..the team would have been so much better right now as Archie got better at point……but no way Cal could have seen Harrow would have gone completely down hill and Archie been down hill after moving back to the 2 guard.

  50. mj7juice
    8:04 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Terrible game…but the season isn’t over…support this team..Go CATS!

  51. Noel'sACL
    8:11 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    This uk team has more talent that last year’s uofl squad. Think about that. UK still does not have enough talent to mask Cal’s ineptness. They still have 4 burger boys and Stein, who is a pro. This is the real Cal, he doesn’t have a ready made, NBA all-star. He can’t roll the ball out there now. This is the real Coach Cow.

  52. barn
    8:21 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    cal says he has a ‘couple of guys who are uncoachable’. i think it is actually three. i guess it is inevitable that he will get a group like this once in a blue moon of kentucky. my prediction: poythress & goodwin will not be 1st round picks this year & harrow will not be a cat next year. it’s obvious that poythress & goodwin aren’t having fun playing at uk, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if either or both don’t return even if they aren’t high draft picks.

  53. theSkinny81
    8:28 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Calipari immediately injects excitement back into a program that was down and out, goes to back to back Final Fours and wins an NCAA championship less than a year ago, and you all are CRITICIZING HIM NOW???? Got damn, how quickly you all forget.

    I love these guys, this University, and this coach. Sometimes, *newsflash*, a team just doesn’t have ‘it’, the chemistry, the pieces, whatever, to be that successful. This is one of those years. But I’d rather be where we are now than on the 12-going-on-13-year-plan like Pitino at Louisville. 10 short months ago we were celebrating 8. Not 26 years.

    Ease up, people. It’s the few who make us ALL look bad….

  54. theSkinny81
    8:30 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    52 – #8, 2012. Was awesome.

  55. mj7juice
    8:43 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    52) You do realize that this team returned ZERO starters from last year’s team right?

  56. Jeff Mattingly
    8:58 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Earlier this week coach Cal discussed his opinion on the one n done. Do u really think he wants kids that are gonna be here for 1 year? Up until this year all of the top recruits had character n pride in themselves. This years group is exactly like people we work with everyday. Just wanna slide by n get their check at the end of the week. We had depending on who you listen to the #1 or #2 recruiting class on this years team. Nerlens lived up to his ranking. Time now to take out the trash. I’m willing to watch the walk ons finish the season.

  57. Jeff Mattingly
    9:18 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Also does anybody remember that Cal tried to get a kid Tony Trocha I think was his name, Alex Oriaki n the Harrell kid at UL. There was also another one. Doesn’t that tell anybody that he knew the recruits he got were weak when he was still tryin to get other players after having one of the top 2 recruiting classes in the country. I really feel like Cal has coached his ass off this year and its falling on deaf ears.

  58. Fudpucker
    10:58 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    1. Cal has his style. Goodwin, Poythress & Harrow don’t work well under his methods, that’s all. Wouldn’t be surprised to see all 3 transfer 2013-14 season. All three just look utterly miserable any time they interact w/ him. I’d leave too if it wasn’t clicking.
    2. I guess I don’t mind if Cal isn’t a great coach & is really just a recruiter, as some have said here. It’s worked for us more times than not.

  59. cat_crazy!!
    1:59 am February 17, 2013 Permalink

    poythress needs to wipe that little smug look off his face and start playing can tell by watching the guy that he thinks he is a king on the court well hes not…if he would get the chip off his shoulder and start playing he could be one hell of a are they projecting this guy even to go in the draft..what has he done to deserve it..if i was an nba team no way i would waist the money he doesnt have the motor to make it in the league..we have to start recruiting some solid three four year guys.or this just isnt going to work…yes we have been blessed the last couple years but every time you bring in a new group of all freshmen to lead a team your taking the risk of it turning out like this team has..i mean just imagine if next years young group dont come in and click and pick the college game up quickly i dont know if i can handle two years in a row…then when all those guys leave just on their potential.then there we are again bringing another all freshmen team makes me sick to say this but duke really has the best recruiting policy..they are always in the talk when march rolls around…you know i dont want our kentucky team to win the title every year..i just want our team to be in the mix of things every year and when your always depending on freshmen to lead the way more than likely it just isnt going to happen..talent over experience doesnt always work..

  60. Mikeemike
    7:51 am February 17, 2013 Permalink

    #32. I disagree. I would rather lose with the cheerleaders out there giving it all they’ve got than the best players out there not even trying. I know Polson is not or never will be great, but he is my favorite player on this team. He plays as good as he can and that’s all we can ask. If the rest of them played as good as they can..We wouldn’t be on this post right now.
    I agree with cal on benching these guys. We can lose with anyone out there.Why do we need to lose with our most talented players?? If they won’t play like they need to,and we’re going to lose, I would rather do it with somebody that don’t think that playing time is their’s just because they’ve got talent.
    Talent is not worth sh*t without effort. Effort is good without talent, but talent with effort gives you a great player.

  61. Sgt. Jimmy
    4:57 pm February 17, 2013 Permalink

    I have told my UK friends for 3 years that the Cats were one season ending injury away from a bad season.