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“They never turned on the fight”


That was a very different Kentucky team than the one that beat Missouri Saturday night.

After his team’s loss at Arkansas, Coach Cal said that his guys “never turned on the fight and that disappointed me.” From the get-go, the Razorbacks outhustled, outworked and outplayed the Cats, who rarely looked in sync. Even Willie Cauley-Stein admitted that some of his teammates simply didn’t show up: “We had some people who didn’t show up with that energy.” Cal agreed: “My teams have always fought and had a battle mentality. Right now I am having to play guys that don’t battle.”

Cal said that after the game, some of the Arkansas staff members were “walking off saying, ‘They’re soft.'” How does he respond to that? “That’s what it looks like. …[Arkansas] deserved to win. We deserved to be going home sad on a plane.

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.

40 Comments for “They never turned on the fight”

  1. Greer
    7:02 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Wither was a recruiting mistake, along withHarrow

  2. Hog Heaven
    7:03 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Suck it Archie, you sell out.

  3. u cant hold me
    7:04 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    those poor refs let them play rough on our poor little Cayuts…iz team wudnt win 1 game in tha big east..smc

  4. u cant hold me
    7:04 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink


  5. PennsylvaniaWildcat
    7:05 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Tough game. Glad to see Cauley-Stein’s hustle. Some others on the team need to take notice.

  6. Susan
    7:08 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    So…am I buying tickets to the Friday games of the SEC Tournament or not??????????????????????????

  7. man in the mirror
    7:08 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    i’m starting with him

  8. JBR
    7:09 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Wow, Cal, how observant of you…you didn’t notice this in our previous, what, 28 games?

  9. Mike
    7:09 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    This is just a very nauseating team and has been for most of the year. Cal said they don’t have any competitive spirit and will to win. Some of this lack of fire or will to win does have to be on this coaching staff as really no one has gotten better as the year has progressed. I would certainly be o.k. if we turned over this whole team at end of the year because I am not sure any are worth bring back next year.

  10. UKBlue
    7:10 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    We’re having a down year, OK; hey Arkansas & everyone else, live it up now, next year we’re taking you out.

  11. Bleed Blue
    7:14 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Tough game to watch, but season isn’t over. Everybody needs to rally them. Also if you want updates on Basketball recruiting similar to what I posted yesterday follow me @BBN_Wildcats.

  12. VinnyCent
    7:14 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    10.) You couldn’t be more right.

  13. Dano
    7:16 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Box score says it all. Lost turnovers 19-5, out rebounded, and gave up about 20 more shots. Right the ship guys, you can still do it. If not, enjoy backing up next years freshmen.

  14. Mark Liptak
    7:18 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Guess you can’t change your spots after all. Play well at Georgia, be in the game with Florida and you get an NCAA bid. That’s OK, these kids still don’t get it which is why a bunch will be back next season…some will be sitting on the bench watching a new, better group of athletes playing.

    Mark Liptak

  15. banger
    7:20 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    The refs should have called all those fouls on ark and we might have had a chance. Instead of forty minutes of hell ark defence should be called forty minutes of fouls. the officiating set the tone for our play early and that’s why we lost.

  16. Sgt Jimmy
    7:22 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Tough loss for the CATS. It has appeared all year since the Maryland game, this team can not play phsical. I dont think its a lack of desire or will to win but something lacking deep inside that prevents a man to step up when things get physical but thats the way the game is played now. Why didnt Cal see this when he was recruiting these guys. Be glad UK doesnt play in the big east or big ten.

  17. bosshogg24
    7:23 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Too many slow players with no quickness, no athlethic ability, can’t defend,
    no shooters! Walk the ball up the floor, take 26 less shots than the other team!
    Coaching staff in 9 months can not teach a player to block out or hit a foul shot! Please clean house with everybody and bring in all new players for next year!

  18. Ukalum
    7:23 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Every uk fan should take a deep breathe and calm down. Uk is still in decent position because every SEC bubble team lost today and ole miss fell off the bubble and into the NIT with a loss to Miss State.

  19. andrew
    7:23 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    9.) Can’t really blame coaching staff for this particular game, but yes I agree. Some of the blame falls on the shoulders of the coaches. With that said, they don’t get on the court, turn the ball over 15+ times, show a lock of hustle, etc. The players in the end are going to have to be the one’s to respond and I simply do not see any one player that is willing to step to the forefront the become a leader. When you have Alex Poythress near tears after this loss, it goes to show that Calipari may have been thought some of these guys/recruits were tougher than they actually are. Goodwin, Poythress, Wiltjer just to name a few. I simply cannot wait for the season to be over which is saying a lot because I love Kentucky basketball.

  20. ukfaninoh
    7:24 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t usually post but I have watched this team all year. I never really thought they had it together. A few good games doesn’t mean they turned the corner. After watching the game something came to mind. This team has no marbles(from the movie Major League II)

  21. Emc
    7:25 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Right now I am having to play players that don’t fight

    Really. If the bench is the great motivator use it. Whoever is not giving the effort you demand should sit. I don’t care if this means you have to play division two players. You can’t make a comment like that and do nothing. If you do kids pick up on that and realize they can get by with it because nothing is going to change

  22. Glad I Don't Know You
    7:26 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Mike ¿no tenéis vida en absoluto?

  23. UK3K
    7:26 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    #3 – You mom was complaining about how you needed to move out her basement last night when no was done with her.

    Run your mouths while you can, haters.

  24. bung
    7:28 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    I agree 21…Start Hood and Polson…Ryan wouldn’t run the break if the other team all fell down…

  25. Bird in Kentucky
    7:30 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Honest truth I don’t see how UK gets in even if they win at Georgia. I know lets remember that they are freshman, but nothing pisses me off then watching the other team steal the ball and you don’t even try to hustle back. Whats really sad is Poythres has the talent to dominate but doesn’t even try. I won’t say much about Wiltjer because he has won some games for the CATS. Mays can hit the three but plays no defense. Goodwin just seems confused, but I really believe he does try. Its just sad.

  26. ScoggDog
    7:33 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    This season is on Cal. Look – I think Cal has done a great job in Lexington … but not this year.

    Goodwin, Proythress, and Harrow should have been benched early and often – and forced to watch the resulting carnage. Cal didn’t – he tried to pull them along. That worked when he was working on one guy – and Teague, I’m talking to you. It ain’t working with three guys.

    Of course … what do I know ? I quit watching early. Why get upset ? These kids love to cry when they lose – but they don’t put in the work to win. I refuse to personally invest more than they do.

  27. Emc
    7:35 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    The play of the game was the hard foul on Archie.

    Why was it the play of the game? The cats did not react. I am not saying go throw punches or anything like that but show some emotion and make the refs have to get involved. You do that and the refs have to start blowing whistle on everything so they don’t loose control. Who would that have impacted most? ARKANSAS. They love playing that way. That was the opportunity to remove that play of style

  28. MustangCat
    7:44 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Hey, we only got beat about HALF as bad this time!! That’s improvement, right?! We played hard and tough – the first half. Second half, not so much. Now, plaing STUPID is another issue…. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as many “timid” players on one UK team in the last 35-40 years! Harrow, Wiltjer, Hood, and even Mayes at times! Alex is a Jeckyle & Hyde if ther ever was one. Tubby must have prophesying about Alex back then, with his “look like Tarzan – plays like Jane” quote. Half this team needs a backbone.

  29. Fake Tom Leach
    7:45 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Cal: Ugh…Tom you wanna leave this place and head to Cheddar’s?
    Me: Sorry John, Ryan Lemond doesn’t come with me on away games to fill in for me…

  30. wildcatwill
    7:46 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    I think it is fully ok at this point to have some of these guys get thrown and run over by the bus.

  31. Jimmy Dykes Caddy
    7:48 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    You cannot win if you can’t guard your yard.
    This team can’t guard their yard!

  32. Triznuth
    7:59 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Alex should change his last name to BOYthress because that’s what he plays like: a little, scared-ass boy.

  33. pathetic
    8:00 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    I love how everything is harrows fault. Meanwhile polson sucks it up and people think he should start. harrow had 10 points and 2 to. That would be a career game for polson. Any chance you so called “fans ” get a chance to hate on this kid you pounce on it. Funny when harrow plays his ass off like the missouri game. It goes unnoticed. Its sad the kids only a sophmore, and has a ton of talent. The kids only a sophmore,and you wanna give up on him. He been the most consistent scorer on our team.

  34. hey
    8:09 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Wiggins, Don’t blame you if you go to a different school. We have the fakest fans in the country. However, we have the best fans in the country at kicking you when you’re down. As you can see from the comments above that these sad hillbillies have nothing better to do then argue back in forth over which 18-22 yr old kid sucks the most. I know its really sad, and pathetic. This is the new generation of ky fans…CLASSLESS

  35. jmfatz47
    8:14 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Look, I came to grips with it several weeks ago–over a month and a half ago really, this team simply does not have the “it” factor to separate themselves from mediocrity. Its not something that can just be “coached.” Before the season started, most predictions went something like this: “we will take our lumps and lose 8-10 games and be a force come tourney time.”. Well, this has become a reality minus the “becoming a force part.” We were already shaky and then we lost Nerlens. At best, we were a sweet 16 caliber team with hopes of catching fire at the right time. When we witness the inability to box out, hit free throws, get back on defense, control the ball CONSISTENTLY, then what do y’all expect? The sooner people can come to grips that the odds are very low of anything over average happening with this particular group, the better. We have never really passed the eye test and to think a complete transformation to occur without our best player is kinda crazy.

  36. jch
    8:28 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    34 – I take it back, just reread your post and I referenced the wrong one; sorry.

    I don’t agree with you at all.

  37. kyboy
    9:05 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    i dont understand why everytime archie turns the ball over or makes a big mistake cal takes out someone else. cal loves to see archie on the court messing up everything and cal blames everyone else for archies mistakes. blows my mind take that boy out and play anyone else except archie

  38. BlueBunion
    9:46 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    Just a small detail that may or may not expose the enternal mechanics of the Big Blue culture that we assume crosses all the T’s and dots all the I’s when our success is at stake. . Why is it that we have had to watch our National Champions this entire season, embarrass themselves by not having a foolproof inbounds play? Send the assistant coaches to a grade school basketball game and have them take notes. I dare say there seems to be things amiss other than player performance.
    No doubt this is the Big Time basketball stage. Other coaches have bought into the ‘stardom’ and their careers here were shortlived. We don’t need celebrities we want winners.

  39. Donal Trump
    11:15 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    The kittens are like: a shrunken soft on.
    Lacking wood.
    Imminent road ‘C’ill.

  40. S
    11:27 pm March 2, 2013 Permalink

    @26 – I agree with you, this year has not been Calipari’s best. I can understand that it’s frustrating to coach this team, but it’s March and we’re watching the same team as we were in December. Saying they aren’t really coachable or don’t have fight isn’t acceptable. It’s his job to put a team on the court that will compete… if they show up looking like they did tonight, I have to wonder if maybe he’s doing something wrong with them.