Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Cats need to be committed, not content

Coach Cal didn’t sound good this morning.  His voice was gruff and he sounded like he hasn’t slept since the Georgia game.  So, it wasn’t surprising that when he was asked about if his team was deflated by the Kanter ruling prior to their game in Athens, he offered some of the criticism he said last week is made public for his team to see.  As tends to be the case with Kentucky’s head man, he didn’t speak to X’s and O’s or put specific aspects of the game into his reasoning as to why his team lost.  After giving tons of credit to the Bulldogs for both out-playing and out-coaching the Cats Saturday, Cal identified what he thinks is his team’s biggest issue at the moment.

Calipari said that his team is not playing what he called “committed” when they’re on the floor.  He said that the team met last night and he stressed the importance of playing committed and not being content with their performance to this point or with the numbers they’re putting up in the game.  He said that his players have started to develop that complacency with their minutes and their scoring and it was on display against Georgia as the Bulldogs turned up the intensity at the end when they smelled the blood and Kentucky never found fire to match it.  He stressed last night that they need to find that accountability to each other and commit to their teammates on a nightly basis and, right now, too many guys are happy with their stats and their playing time.  According to Cal, that attitude caused defensive breakdowns and allowed Georgia to get four or five dunks and layups after the Cats climbed back into the game.

Later in the response, though, Cal dug a little deeper and subtly singled out DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller as two players who need to step it up in that regard.  Cal expressed his displeasure in his team failing to huddle together down the stretch during stoppages in play and said that there were “kids that were 2-9 and 2-11 and worried more about how they looked” than committing to their teammates.  Miller’s play has been up-and-down for two years under Calipari and he spends as much time commenting on Miller publicly as anyone on the team.  Liggins, however, has always seemed to earn the coach’s praise, but is shooting 5-23 (22%) from the field in the last two games and isn’t giving the production that the team needs from him.

It’s obviously not a point lost on Calipari, who went on to say that “If I had more guys, there are guys that wouldn’t be getting as much playing time” before adding that the Cats are starting guys that “don’t need to start”.  After playing a different card just a week ago and talking about how the four non-rotation guys are going to get a chance to crack the rotation if they improve individually, it seems that Calipari is reaching a point of frustration.  Whether or not this translates to improved playing time for the quartet that hasn’t seemed to be ready to play remains to be seen.  But, Calipari held no punches when talking about how his team needs to “commit” itself to each other for the remainder of the league play.

And someone give Coach a Halls.

Article written by Thomas Beisner

29 Comments for Cats need to be committed, not content

  1. Jorts
    1:23 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink


  2. Al's IndiCats
    1:24 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    First and fore most UK!!!!!!!

  3. Al's IndiCats
    1:25 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Awwww SPIT !

  4. Billy Gillispie
    1:26 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Tubbys fault

  5. my dog eats better than this
    1:27 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    ruh-roh raggy

  6. Double Deuce
    1:30 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    IDK…kind of odd to praise a guy one week and then say if he had more guys, he wouldn’t be playing?

    Isn’t funny also with his latest talk about change and commitment…about repeating the same things…that’s what he wants to ensure doesn’t happen. Yet, he still starts freshmen, still will every year get one and done players and still will face a NCAA tourney with less experienced players, year after year.

    I like Cal…but his latest “deep thoughts” are odd.

  7. catinhat
    1:33 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    For all the folks who give you the apples/oranges line on Enes, it’s real simple:

    In EVERY CASE there was an economic benefit derived from the fact that the kid in question was an athlete. Every time. Plain and simple. How that is not comparable is not even arguable.

    One group of 8 kids had economic benefits deriving from the fact that they played a sport, and got to play. One other did the same, and does not get to play.

    It is ALL apples to apples, that argument is asinine. As is Emmert’s lame excuses.

    PUT THE HEAT ON EMMERT and don’t let off. Let’s make this a news story that they have to deal with until he quits from the stress. At a minimum be a major annoyance.

    Enes, the good guy, got screwed out of his intention to be a student athlete. Pathetic, Emmert. You should be ashamed.

    1:34 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Last year they Pooped Ice-cream… This year they are not committed. Waiting for the we are really a 6-6 ball club right now….

    Cal is just pulling the strings he needs to, to get the team to respond.

    We will be fine. But I do see 2-3 more losses in the SEC, and I am going on record we will be a 2 seed after winning the SEC tourney.

  9. playersfan
    1:38 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Cal chose the two people that probably cost the game. Liggins and Miller continued to shoot time after time, when the game was ready to be taken over by the Cats, and missed time after time. Liggins missed three shots and two free throws, that were killers.

    There doesn’t seem to be a plan of getting shots for the best shooters, or else some people are taking shots instead of passing the ball.

  10. bmac
    1:43 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Call me crazy, but isn’t the fact that there aren’t enough players on the team Cal’s fault?

  11. Runnin'Ramel
    1:45 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins is NOT a shooter. But he doesn’t realize this. At all. I wish Cal would tell him he is not allowed to shoot outside of 3 feet.

  12. bearded gnome
    1:50 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    From the start I thought the Cats came out flat. Even Liggins looked soft on defense. If ever there was a time to bring in the bench it was this game. Sit as many starters as possible and let Polson, Poole, Hood, etc. in. Maybe that would put some fire under said @rses.
    Cats just looked unfocused, unprepared, unmotivated for this game.

  13. Van Nosetrin
    1:54 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Hey, is that sweaty Bruce and one of his Vol babes on the cover of the Guide to Commitment?

  14. Disdat
    1:56 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Coach Cal is right. When the guys play with a sense of urgency they look great (Louisville, Washington)… when they play passively they look mediocre (Penn first half, Georgia)
    Unfortunatelly he can’t just yank players out and put someone else in because he really has a piss poor bunch on the bench who aren’t very good.

  15. catinhat
    2:01 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Right after EMMERT FIRED HIS FOOTBALL coach while still at UW, the coach ripped him, and check out why:

    “The message our students hear, our coaches hear, our leadership hears from general run-of-the-mill fans is that all they care about is how many games we win,” Turner said. “I have to look at that after 32 years of doing this and say, ‘Wow. Is this really what we’re all about? Have I been that naive all this time? Have I spent all my time working on the student-athlete experience and trying to create better lives for people in the proper place in higher education, when all I should have been worrying about was how many games we’d won?’

    “Why didn’t I go to the NFL if that is what it was about?”

  16. OLD BLUE
    2:03 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    We lost the game because of the free throw differential. FACT

  17. catinhat
    2:05 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    15 – My bad – AD, not coach; AD was brought in to fire the coach the next year, apparently.

  18. serdi
    2:06 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    You are right old blue…Cal is not going to say that.

  19. ThatsAShame
    2:13 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    16,18 – Cal did comment on the way the game was called. Georgia was hip checking the bumping the drives with no call. If that’s the case you need to do the same when you are on D. We reached and slapped. The team backed down from a physical game and did not react to the refs. It happens. They will learn and move on.

  20. championship pipe dream
    2:18 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Every year our wildcats are thinking about a championship. I bet our boys in blue were thinking with Kanter eligible they could win a championship and the poor play during the GA loss was the result of an “emotional low” of having the pipe dream, of Kanter becoming eligible, CRUSHED!!!

    Think about it…

  21. CatSinceBirth
    2:19 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Cal, I love you, but you are solely responsible for the shortage of players to pick from. For Gods sake don’t put a player on a throne today and throw that same player under the bus tomorrow. The first thing I would do is tell Jones to get that sleeve off his arm. That freaking thing is only a fashion statement. As bad as I hate Bob Knight, do you think he would tolerate that for one moment. Also, since Jones thinks he’s a guard, I would wait until we were matched against a good defensive guard and then put Jones at the point. After he gets his pocket picked a few times and unable to get the ball up the floor, I would bring him over and let him know emphatically that he is not to handle the ball anymore out front. Also, if you have players that shouldn’t be starting, evidently they aren’t doing the job. If that’s the case, then let your seventh and eighth players play. Evidently they wouldn’t be any worse. I don’t like to see rhetoric coming from a coach who has had his pick of the absolute best recruits.

  22. bung
    2:30 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Free throws….0 fast break points…make Jones run and stay low….Hood for Ligs a little more

  23. kyeric
    2:55 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Bridge year?

  24. old-school
    3:02 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Cal has 10 players on his squad – one of whom (Polson) is a promoted walk-on – and yet he constantly gets praised for recruiting great teams. Why are we so short this year?

    In light of OSU and Cam Newton rulings – I didn’t like the Kanter ruling at all – but the bottom line is that Cal took a gamble with Kanter and he lost – putting UK in a bad spot this season. He also prodded a couple of guys away from the program last year who said they were thinking of staying (Cousins and Patterson) – Cousins could have used another year of emotional maturity and Patterson would probably have emerged as an even higher draft pick.

    He finds himself terribly shorthanded basically with a six-man rotation and Josh Harrelson – probably one of his two or three most consistant performers this season – is a guy he never would ahve recruited anyway.

    What we have at UK is a coach who talks about commitment, but goes after players who offer little commitment themselves – most of them are simply looking to exploit UK as a stepping stone to the next level.

    Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Orton, Jones and may more – really aren’t that focused on winning a banner for UK – they’re more intersted in making a name for themselves and improving their NBA stock. Jones trying to play pointguard is nothing more than him auditioning for the next level.

    Cal can’t afford to put him on the bench, because that will hurt Cal’s reputation as a guy who takes high school studs and makes them NBA lottery picks in one year.

    Cal lives by the sword of appeasing the 5-star recruit – but as the old saying goes – live by the sword – die by the sword.

  25. DerbyDemon
    3:22 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    #24–I do agree with most of your post; however, if either Jones or Cal thinks he (Jones) is a first round pick, they both have been drinking too much Kool Aid. As other people on here have pointed out, UK looked uninspired, uninvolved, and lazy from the get-go of the Georgia game. However, as others have also pointed out, you (meaning Cal) can’t talk about how great players are one minute (e.g. Liggins) and then talk about how awful they are the next. Make up your mind, for heaven’s sake. What I didn’t understand was Liggins’ constant jacking of the ball in the game–and he wasn’t CLOSE to making anything.

  26. Catmandoo
    3:37 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Everyone saying that Liggins isn’t a shooter where have you been, he is in a slump, but DeAndre is the most explosive, and the best player to penetrate defenses for the kick. The guy is going to miss shots. You come on here and blast them for missing shots come on it happens. This guy could have quit but he goes out there and puts it on the line diving for loose balls and is a hard worker. Runnin Ramel how dare you come on here and blast DeAndre man. When DeAndre is on he is on and can fill it up I know he can do it and I pull for him more than anyone on this team because he leaves everything on the floor and is the best defender.

  27. Shirely
    4:17 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Okay folks………Enes is not going to play for UK this year or ever!! Let’s move on. I hope Coach Cal doesn’t get so obsessed with getting Enes to the next level (NBA) that he forgets we have a team in dire need of some heavy duty coaching in the here and now. If Enes is as good as everyone advertized, he will get where he wants to be……I think what we have needs to be coached and prodded along. Stay focused Cal………….

  28. Johnny Utah
    5:26 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    I love how many of us fans project our own feelings about the team onto the coaching staff and players. For example those fans so hung up on Enes that they make the judgment that the team played poorly against UGA because they were so traumatized by the NCAA ruling. Seriously? Come on people, just because you’re wrapped up in a situation doesn’t mean the team feels the same way.

  29. Fred Smith
    8:28 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    #25-If you think Jones will not be a first round pick you’ve been huffing paint. Some mock drafts have him projected as the number 2 overall pick.