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Cal: “We’re not above the rest of the world”

This morning, John Calipari got up, left his house, had some coffee, and went to work. Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the program’s upcoming NIT appearance, during this morning’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, Cal said that nothing was thrown at him on his way into the Joe Craft Center and tried to put the best spin on everything he could:

“Look, we’re coming off a national title. We lost six players. We had our best player injured. We were hoping to limp into the NCAA Tournament. We beat Florida and Missouri at the end of the year, but that wasn’t to be.”

What about the mood surrounding his team? Cal said that although he is disappointed they didn’t make the NCAA field, they put their fate into the Selection Committee’s hands after losing to Vanderbilt. Had Kentucky won that game, he said he believed they deserved to be in and would have been very vocal about it. Unfortunately, the Cats came out and played “tentatively” with no fight or fire. Now, the rest of the season comes down to pride:

“Do we want to play? Do we want to have pride? Do we want to fight or do we want to let go of the rope? We will find out real quickly Tuesday.”

Cal said that two weeks ago, the UK administration came to him and said that if the team didn’t finish strong and ended up missing the Tournament, they knew they wouldn’t be able to host the a first round NIT game due to the second and third round NCAA games being played at Rupp. Was Cal okay with that? “Absolutely. We’re not above the rest of the world. If this is what we deserve, then we’re gonna go play and see what we do.”

The NIT appearance will be very humbling for this group, which Cal dropped some hints may return more than one player: “We’ve got a good class coming in with the guys that will be back.”

Right now, that doesn’t make me feel much better.

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.

76 Comments for Cal: “We’re not above the rest of the world”

  1. Love Cal
    12:34 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    We will be back, sometimes it takes 2 or 3 yrs for guys to get it. I understand and I’m looking to next year.. Good luck in the NIT, ill be watching and cheering.. In Cal I trust!

  2. Wildboi
    12:34 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    If Wiltjer knows what good for him he spend everyday of the offseason in the gym hitting the weights…that kid has to beef up!

  3. Catlanta
    12:35 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    UK competes for national championships, not NIT championships. Cal has said that since day 1. We are above it.

  4. Droy
    12:36 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Next year will be the first year in the Cal era that we can be called a deep team. So there’s that.

  5. just a guess
    12:36 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    polson will be back, i can promise you that

  6. PRIDE???
    12:36 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I would hate to base the rest of my career on this team playing with PRIDE.

  7. jsh2001
    12:38 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    When life hads you lemons, make lemonade. I get to take my son to his first ever UK game tomorrow night in a gym smaller than my high school. Can’t wait and hope to see plenty more blue tomorrow night! Go Big Blue!!!

  8. Big Blue Mike
    12:40 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    7. Nice

  9. BPM
    12:40 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Not sure I agree about Wiltjer needing to “beef up”. Seems like every time a shooter hits the weight room and gets big their shot falls off dramatically. Wiljter has one good quality (besides being 6’10) as a ball player – his shot. He just needs to keep shooting and perfect his talent. That is what we will need from him next year. If he is anything more than a good zone buster next year I would be shocked. If anything else, he needs to work on his laterial quickness so he isnt exposed on defense every time down the court.

  10. Weight Room
    12:42 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer is too slow, and you can’t teach speed. I think he needs to work on the catch and shoot. He has to learn to get his shot of quicker. He needs to attend the Dirk Nowitzki school of shot taking.

  11. UK#9
    12:42 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I think Cauley, Wiltjer, Poythress, and Harrow all come back. Noel would be crazy to come back and risk a lifetime of income for college pride. Goodwin has had his eyes on since he was a junior in high school and that is why he will declare – even if hes projected in late second round he is gone. Those 4.,along with Hood and Polson and the incoming frosh will make for a formidable team for anyone in the country in 2014. If we get 1 or 2 of the Randle-Wiggins-Gordon trio watch out.

  12. UK Fan
    12:43 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Cal’s ruminations are sounding like a broken record which is increasingly falling on deaf ears. This team has already amptly shown that it doesn’t want to play and has no pride.

  13. faster
    12:45 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    i agree with 9 although he needs to hit the weight room and get stronger i wouldnt say he needs to beef up. The most importnat thing he can do is improve his foot speed he looks like he is stuck in slow motion. And confidence!!!

  14. Disaster
    12:46 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll watch and I’ll cheer and hopefully I’m wrong, but I don’t expect anything short of a disaster tomorrow evening. This team should now be known as “The Forgetables”.

  15. SHOOT IT
    12:47 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer needs to learn how to get his shot off from every spot on the floor no matter who is guarding him.

  16. lol
    12:49 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Im curious what everyone will say if they all come back and we win next year. I bet everyone will forget about all the shit they have talked about our players. Jackoffs!!!

  17. nybrasky
    12:51 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    What would make you feel better? One more game in the NCAA tournament that they’d lose? Would that give you some sort of (false) hope? I got news for you, you’d just be disappointed one more time. While I would prefer to make the tournament, just being selected isn’t exactly something to celebrate. IU would print t-shirts. Be realistic, like Cal…the season and play was a disappointment. Reflect on how awesome last year was, be excited for next year, and accept that this year wasn’t good. It’s fine to be out of our misery for the year.

    Now, just focus your energy on the Randle announcement, Wiggins & rooting against IU, Louisville, Duke & Kansas.

  18. Al's IndiCats
    12:53 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Man I’ll have to say yesterday was something brutle about the trolls and pissed off people in general. I’m glad those trolls had to go do their shifts at Burger King and UK’s settled down.
    7, I hope you and your son will have a great time. Nothing like a little son and dad time. But like him there is a silver lining, I to have tickets….at Lucus oil Stadium, not for sure If we’ll go but if not some UVel fan will be paying me out the wazoo for them ha ha ha
    GO CATS!

  19. Mr. Obvious
    12:53 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks for the in depth analysis #15. I also think Poythress needs to learn to rebound no matter who he is blocking out, Cal needs to learn to out coach the other coach no matter who it is, harrow needs to make every shot no matter where he shoots from. Beyond that, if we just out score every opponent no matter who we play, we’ll likely be good. Sheesh

  20. SexnNursinHomes
    12:53 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I love Wiltjer, but he needs steroids.

    He needs “roid rage”.

  21. Dr. Tom
    12:54 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    #10 You are right on with the catch and shoot analysis. I have commented to my brother-in-law all year that Wiltzer takes two seconds to shoot the ball after a catch. But slowness is very hard to improve on.
    #7 Good for you and your son. That memory for you guys will last for life!!

  22. kentuckyrules
    12:55 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    RE: Wiltjer- I don’t think he’s a great shooter. I think he is a great set-shooter when he’s open. The speed of the game makes it easy to guard against him. He’ll also need to develop a way to get the shot off from the screen, not just set shots.

  23. klassact32
    12:56 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Am so tired of being fed shit and told it’s icecream….

  24. comp
    12:57 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    what poythress needs is some competition for minutes … if he doesn’t earn the minutes he won’t get them next year

  25. Like
    12:58 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    #17, my thoughts exactly.

  26. Miner4ever
    1:00 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    tomorrow, March 19, marX the 47th anniversary of THE GREATEST DATE in ALL of college basketball history, when (then) TeXas Western soundly beat Rupp’s Runts, thereby winning the ’66 NCAA crown, & sending ALL the whyte-supremacist, racist UK fans into a frenzy!!!!

    hoping that this current edition of UK hOOps aptly marX the anniversary by getting trOunced @ RobtMorris in the NIT Opener!!!!

  27. SHOOT IT
    1:00 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    hey #19 i said get his shot off not make every shot a##hole maybe you should read carefully next time.

  28. UKBlue1!
    1:01 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    #23 you suck.

  29. NEWMAN
    1:01 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    We’re not above the rest of the state either.

    (raucous boos)

  30. SexnNursinHomes
    1:01 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    18- Don’t let the trolls get you. Remember, there is nothing they can do to take back 2012. Nothing.

    UK is still the greatest program of all time and having an off year doesn’t change that. Trolls will never have what we have at UK. Ever.

  31. UKBlue1!
    1:02 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    #26 Enjoy your 15 seconds of glory.

  32. Ouch
    1:02 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I’d hardly call this team racist. Jessie Jackson could probably figure out a way to do so.

  33. NEWMAN
    1:03 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    @24 Great point. Kind of like Mark Sanchez with the Jets, our guys had the freedom to play selfishly without the fear of getting yanked from the game because there was no one to compete for his minutes.

  34. tellitlikeitis
    1:03 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I only hope after tomorrow night I never have to watch Archie Goodwin attempt to play basketball again unless I get lost in Europe or Asia & stumble into a gym.

  35. Mr. Obvious
    1:05 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Hey #27 Thanks for clarifying. Now ur comment is .00001% less stupid.

  36. Congrats
    1:05 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    7) My dad took me to see UK against Southern in the opening round of the NCAA tournament in Cincinnati when I was a kid. I’ve been a UK fan my whole life and I still couldn’t tell you who won that game. But I definitely remember that time I spent with my dad watching it. I hope you enjoy being at the game as much as your son will! I hope we win every game the rest of the season, regardless of what tournament we’re playing in, but win or lose, some things are more important than basketball. Good for you, 7, and go Cats!

  37. Cayts
    1:08 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    5… Who cares? He’ll get 2 minutes a game next year

  38. playersfan
    1:08 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I hope in the NIT, we play players that will be back, and give them a Hood.He hustled more than anybody, but never was rewarded. Poythress, Wiltzer, and Willy need to spend a month in war zone practices, to determine if they really want to play basketball, Izzo type practices, where you see blood, and find out if they back down, or step up. All three need more strength in their hands and arms, so they can grab the ball, quit swatting at it, and then hold it.

  39. TexasWesternFACTS
    1:10 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Soundly? A seven point win is not a sound beating. That year Texas Western was #3 in the country, and only lost one game by 2 points. UK played them better than almost any team all year but because UK is UK everyone makes a big deal about them losing. Once again, we are someone’s superbowl.

  40. shoot it
    1:12 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    35 how many times do you see wiltjer pump fake take 2 dribbles and just pass it. He is our best shooter yet is harldy taking any shots. Its because he doesnt know how to get shots off. Do think dirk scores all of his points from speed and agility? No its because he knows how to get a shot off no matter where he is on the floor or no matter the size of his defender. Its really not that hard to understand.

  41. C-A-T-S
    1:14 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    If we make it to the elite 8 of the NIT we would likely be facing Baylor for the second time this season. Assuming both teams get that far, the game would be played at Rupp Arena right?

    Has UK ever lost to the same team twice in one season at home? Ever?

  42. Al's IndiCats
    1:23 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Oh hell Sexn, it wasn’t the trolls, because they do what Trolls do best, live under a bridge, sh!t in their hands and throw it at people as they pass by…..or EATs IT.
    Good things will come from a year like this one no doubt and hopefully we’ll get some great play out of these guys tomorrow night.
    34 that was funny.

  43. jaworski pollack
    1:23 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Cat fans show the world who is still the king of college basketball.

    Lets cram 20,000 crazy Cat fans into that Randolph Morris arena

  44. Laker Cat 18
    1:26 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    7. There’s nothing like you’re first UK game. You all have fun.

  45. TurdBurglar
    1:28 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    He said “good”, not “great” class. I’d be worried.

  46. ThankfulCat
    1:34 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Anyone hearing of a rift between Cal and Kyle regarding Kyle dating Cal’s daughter?

    Cal says no players date my kid and Kyle says I will leave before I quit dating her


  47. quickneasycat
    1:40 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    pic makes me miss Pride MMA in Japan.

  48. RealCatsFan
    1:43 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    40, Wiltjer needs to develop a JUMP shot, not a set shot. The kid is 6’10” – if he elevated just a little bit he could get his shot off over most defenders. Kids like Henderson for Ole Miss or Shepherd and Chapman when they played for the Cats are good examples of a real jump shot. I think Kyle was used to being so much bigger than his competition in HS that he didn’t have to jump. Won’t fly now, and definitely won’t at the next level.

  49. Rick in TX
    1:47 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Assuming we get past Robert Morris, the second round game will have to be away too. If we can’t play in Rupp two days before the NCAAs are there we can’t play 2 days after. Right?

  50. Mr. Obvious
    1:51 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    #40 wiltjer is what he is. Comparing him to Nowitski is ludicrous. Your analogy is about like saying wiltjer needs to run faster so he can be like Usain Bolt. Not gonna happen either. Sorry, ur comment just made no sense to me. wiltjer is a spot up shooter. Over the course of 2 seasons, scouting reports have exposed him. Teams know how to defend him. Besides if there was a miracle way to “teach him to be like Nowitski, it wouldn’t matter. His +/- ratio must be among worst in D-1 bball. Even if he could average 15 points per game by playing 30 minutes, he’d give up 18 ppg on defense.

  51. seriously?
    1:51 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    @46 did you just randomly make that up?.. what a bogus statement!

  52. ThankfulCat
    1:53 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink


    Nope. I had someone tell me it was true and I was asking for someone to verify it.

    That’s why I said ANYONE???

    Can’t you read?

  53. Kathy Beckham
    1:55 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Disappointed isn’t the word for this team. How about humiliated – embarrassed and any other negative in the English language. I hope years down the road it comes out what was ‘really’ wrong with this team. And there is no way would I have accepted a bid to the losers’ tournament. Just must be a money thing. And don’t anyone tell me I am not a real fan, or as Willie said “faux” fan; I believe for the most part, with the exception of Nerlens, they are FAUX PLAYERS. I have been a UK fan for 50 years and no one bleeds more blue than I. I am now looking forward to football, for which there is a great deal of excitement, and next year’s basketball team which hopefully witll with play “UK Basketball”, not this junk they played this year. And Coach, it definitely was NOT your fault! It was the players and each one must be accountable!

  54. Seriously?
    1:55 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    @52. Why the hell are you attacking me? Douche

  55. ThankfulCat
    1:56 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink


    To turn down a bid to the NIT, that had to be decided well in advance, like months ago

  56. ThankfulCat
    1:57 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink


    Why did you attack me asswipe? I asked if anyone knew anything about it. I wasn’t stating it as fact. You attacked me Professor Dickweed

  57. BBN
    2:05 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    The best thing for Kyle Wiltjer to do (despite having a hot girlfriend at UK) is transfer to another school. He will not see the floor next season more than spot minutes as well as the following season if Cal signs the players he wants in the 2014 class. He should transfer to Harvard or another elite academic school for his long-term career after basketball. He will not see the NBA.

    By the way, it is true that Dave Telep is predicting Julius Randle will choose Kansas on the 20th. He’s probably just guessing.

  58. Charlie Strong
    2:06 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    3rd NIT in last 7 seasons…UK only plays for championships…. right…

  59. March 20th
    2:14 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    57) telep is saying he is hearing whispers of Randle to UK, courtesy of ESPN insider!!

  60. huh
    2:14 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    False #58

  61. James
    2:15 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    46. Yeah and last year it was Terrence Jones dated his daughter. The year before it was Brandon Knight. Before that, John Wall.

    Other than my old ass, who hasn’t dated Cheatapari’s daughter?

  62. poop
    2:43 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    goodwin will stay

  63. timer
    2:46 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    7. I agree with you….I got to take my son to see the UNLV game in Memorial Coliseum the last time the Cats were in the NIT. I have so many great memories from my college days of seeing games there. I’m so glad I got to share one game in Memorial Coliseum with my son….

  64. kingrex
    3:03 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer needs to get quicker, which unfortunately is not as easy task. I have heard you can improve this slightly, but I do not think hitting the weight room will help there. His shot disappeared the last several games and that killed us. In addition to losing his shot, Mays was not a SEC athlete either. I know he gave effort which sadly stood out on this year’s team, but effort is not everything. When you have your two best shooters missing everything they put up, in addition to being liabilities on defense, hurt us immensely. NO freshman on this team should leave early. Maybe Noel, but other than that it would just be ludicrous for any of them to consider it. It does not matter how weak the draft is as none of them are ready even if you are drafting on potential. The NBA would be drafting them simply to fill out their team for the NBA summer league which has become a big deal in recent years. I believe most games are on the NBA network. Then they have no shot of making the roster and so they are sent to the D-League. That would be it. Drafted simply because they need to have an NBA draft.

  65. mudcreekmark
    3:08 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    If these Harrison twins are as good as advertised, you will see a new Kyle Wiltjer. Wiltjer is one of the best spot up shooters in the country. The problem this year was that no one knew how to penetrate and kick the ball back out to the shooters. Harrow and Goodwin both were shot first players. They were good about getting penetration but neither was very good about making plays for other players once they got the defense to collapse.

  66. kingrex
    3:16 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I would love to see NBA a teams in a year like this, step up to the microphone when it is there turn and say, “umm no thank you, we’re good”.

  67. kingrex
    3:16 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    65 – Yes

  68. Cat Fan for Life
    3:24 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I have been watching Kentucky Basketball for over 40 years and have enjoyed the last 4 years more than most, especially the previous 11. Yes they had a bad year but did win it all last year. If Teague and Lamb return, and they should have, it would have been a completely different team. Regardless of the coach, you still need leadership on the floor. At #16, assuming they all come back next year, they would all be fighting for playing time except Noel. To many selfish players on team with no one to get in their face and mold them, that’s not Cal’s fault. I guess he could have benched them and put in 2nd 5, wouldn’t even be going to NIT then.

  69. Jerk
    3:43 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Wait.. What… Were not…. Not above the world??? What happened?? I mean he told us….. He told us we are the gold standard….. The freakin gold standard man…… You mean Cali…. Cali…. Calipari lied??? What the frick?? He was not suppose to be this way… Say it ain’t so man….. Say it ain’t so…..:(

  70. Jerk
    3:45 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I really love being a jerk sometimes. Stop being so serious everyone.

  71. Mr. Blonde
    3:55 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    The thing that Henderson, King Rex, and Sheppard has/had going for them is pure athleticism.

  72. Harold
    4:04 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Recruit the kid Hawkins from Richmond, KY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  73. Bobby Knight's Shrink
    4:09 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    #65 Great point….I think you have nailed it concerning Wiltjer (and Mays) !

  74. Den
    4:18 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Unless you are a NASCAR follower, or just like watching the death and carnage of airplane crashes, tsunamis, earthquakes destroying buildings, or just a run of the mill car wreck, there is absolutely no reason to turn on the TV to watch UK get the hell beat out of them AGAIN on national TV. This starters n this team are the walking dead. There are no NBA stars, just kids hoping to get the hell out of dodge to take their chances in Europe or the D-League. They all know that there is nothing at all for them to play for, or reason to stay here, because they could care less about the University of Kentucky Basketball program. The idea that they would be ‘coming back’ is a pipe dream. They came here to play in the league. There is no chance for them of that occurring with the stink they have made here. Why risk an injury and get nothing? They are smart enough to be looking on. You need to change medications if you think Noel’s agent will let him come back to Wackadoodle Central.

    We have no major college point guard. Harrow is a washed up head case. And there is no cure for what ails a man with no testicles. We have no three point shooters. We have nothing but one big guy inside, with lots of upside, and no real experience.

    Now, if Cal has the guts to start and play the entire game with the bench only, then I’d be interested (remember Joe B.?). But the starting five will never, ever win this game. And they just don’t care. I have never been more discussed with a team calling it’s self ‘Kentucky’ in my life.

  75. kingrex
    5:10 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    69- EXACTLY! This is a very important point. What bothers me and I am assuming I am not the only one is, the system has been flushed of the guys who were here prior to Cal taking the job. They stayed and helped us have the success we had. Now that they are gone, we only have the one and done system in its full glory. I assume Jones and Lamb were an anomaly and not the norm going forward. That I think is why so many of us are frustrated by this season. Is this what we have to look forward to is hoping we get the equivalent of the Fab Five every year, because they will all be leaving in a year? I am not mad at these kids this year, but I am concerned about this talk of several of them leaving anyway because the draft is so weak. What is going on here? They lose by 20 to a bad Vandy team in an arena which was more of a home advantage than Rupp and there is talk of them in the Draft?!?! What?!

  76. PlayBigBB
    8:19 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Well there seems to be a lot of fan over dogging this team,I for one believe that this show just how exposed the one year system can be.

    Case in point! Practice

    1.PG Harrow weak vs Polson slow
    2.SG Goodwin head strong vs Mays small
    3.SF Poythress low BQ vs very slow
    4.PF Wiltjer very slow vs Hood slow
    5.C Willie hard worker still learning the game vs one of the coaches I guess who else did Cal have to use.

    When guys practice against this caliber of talent, it’s not hard to say we had a great practice. But this is fools gold I love my cats and am going to support them no matter what and if I could pick any coach in the game for my cats it would be coach Cal. and if some of you out there can’t see how hard he worked to improve this team (and was coming right along up until Noels got hurt) than fan but ego ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH