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A Rundown of the New Cal Cast


FedEx presented a new Cal Cast to podcast listeners this morning and it is 39 minutes of John Calipari reflecting on the 2016-17 season.

At this time I will now listen to the podcast and write about it as I go to provide you with a rundown of all of his comments. So give it a read below and please keep in mind it’s almost impossible to transcribe anything Cal says because likes to bounce around, so things may get a little sloppy. Work with me here. It’s early and I’m trying. Let’s go…


— Things begin with Cal’s definition of success: “Success is knowing in your heart you’ve done everything to put yourself in a position to win. You’ve worked as hard as you can work and you’ve come together as a team, in a team sport like we play, and you’ve given your very, very best in all areas.”

— “The success I feel is — did we do everything we could to try to help these young people and put them in the best position as a team to win?”

— He met with Tai Wynyard one morning earlier this week to discuss what Wynyard learned about himself on and off the court, and what he needs to do to succeed. “I left that meeting feeling so good because Tai Wynyard’s gotten better… Man, has he gotten better.”

— He said the team was fast and free-flowing early on, but had to adjust halfway through the season because opposing teams had tape on them and found ways to slow them down. “But by the end of the year, we were playing our best basketball. They were committed to defense.

— He had quick compliments for everyone on the team and how they improved. The best? “Seeing Derek Willis, are you kidding me? I couldn’t put him in my first two years. This year, we counted on him to make plays to help us win games.”

— One of his messages to his team in preparing for the competition of basketball and in life is to always be reflective. He said when you lose, you learn from it. He is reflective as a coach, which is why he always asks himself, ‘What could I have done?’ In the case of the UNC game, Cal said he wishes he could’ve called timeout before Carolina went the length of the floor for Maye’s game-winner. “When you look at the tape, that ball was in so quick I couldn’t have gotten a timeout anyway,” he said. “There was no way I could’ve called it that quickly. But my mindset was I wish I would have done something.”

— “We had some guys not play well our last game, but I’ll tell you who did… Dom and Isaac. They stepped up and made up for anyone not playing well.”

— He wonders how anyone can question how much his players care after seeing the videos from the postgame locker room. “They wanted to win a national championship for each other, for the program, for the fans, and they fell short. That’s what makes this tough.”

— He doesn’t judge his own success on wins and losses. He doesn’t even know how many he has. He doesn’t judge himself on national championships either, because how often does someone win one at schools outside the Power 5 like UMass and Memphis?

Pause for Zip Recruiter and Papa John’s ads.

— Going into the NCAA tournament, he saw 30-win teams in Wichita State, UCLA and North Carolina on UK’s path to the Final Four. “But let me say this: Just about every year I’ve been doing this, we’ve been in Murderer’s Row. That’s just how it is.

— He thought North Carolina was the best team. He respected UCLA and Kansas and all of the other good teams, but North Carolina was the best in his mind before the tournament began because of their guard play and their ability to make baskets and score a lot of points.

— He said North Carolina made baskets they don’t usually make. One example: “Pinson made that basket in the corner, running to his left which is the way we want him to run — he doesn’t make baskets going left, but he made that one. And then Jackson just throws a runner up that hangs there — bang, bang, bang — then goes in. That is going to happen in this tournament, so you can’t give up easy baskets because they’re going to make some of those when you defend the right way.”

— He thinks Kentucky will be ranked fifth once the tournament is over.

— He loves the fact that the NCAA selection committee is trying to be more transparent with its decisions than in years past. He also thinks they need to go to the S-curve. If it were the S-curve method, he believes Kentucky would’ve been the No. 1 seed in the West over Arizona. “I’m not sure Arizona should’ve been rated above us.”

— In talking about the fan base, Cal said it’s very hard on the players because you’re in a fish bowl and you’re a rockstar. “If you do one thing they’re making a 30 for 30 on you.”

— “Every game’s a Super Bowl.” DRINK!

— He happily points out that 70 percent of his players at Kentucky have been drafted and 70 percent of those have earned second contracts.

— More on the passion of the fans and how no one has it better than Big Blue Nation… He said BBN gets more smiles because UK is winning way more than anyone else. Then there’s Rupp Arena and the fans committed to traveling. “They could have a conference tournament in Fargo and it’ll be 90 percent Kentucky fans.”

— “Being a fan here, it’s a privilege.”

— Time for a media call-out! He said people were down on this team in the middle of the season because they were listening to a “pundit” who has an agenda. “He had an agenda to try to flip you. They try to do that to our fans every year that I’ve been here.”

— Pause for Blue Apron ad. (Featuring Ellen Calipari!)

— The podcast transitions to lots of Final Four talk toward the end. He talks about his friendship with Mark Few, the job Frank Martin did at South Carolina, UNC being the best team in the field and the guard play at Oregon.

— He also said he is going to the Final Four with his son (they’re already there) after originally thinking he would stay home. He had dinner with Tyler Ulis, Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker and Brandon Knight and then “had his feet on the wood” at the Suns game last night. (That means courtside seats.)

— He said he cherishes moments like these with Brad, especially now that Brad’s all grown up. “These experiences I get to have with my son… I’m getting older. He’s getting older. I try to hold his hand. He won’t hold my hand anymore! I kiss him, he says, ‘Dad are you crazy?’ I don’t kiss him on the lips but I kiss him on the cheek or his ear, and he wipes it off. So I’m going to go out there for that.”

— He will attend the Hall of Fame dinner and an NABC function but he doesn’t know if he’ll stay for the Final Four games. “I’m not sure if I can stomach anymore basketball,” he said.

— One last message to Big Blue Nation, thanking the fans for everything. He said everyone has been great to him, Brad and the entire family.

And that’s all I can type about the latest Cal Cast. I encourage you to listen to it all when you get a chance. If you can’t, I hope this did a good enough job of relaying his messages.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

21 Comments for A Rundown of the New Cal Cast

  1. nicky
    9:51 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Who was the ‘pundit’ Drew?

  2. BigBlueMeade
    10:21 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Lol is that kiss comment a shot at Crean??

  3. CatsFanFrankfort
    11:25 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    The inbounds did happen really quickly, and UNC has been one of the better transition teams in the country after made baskets (along with us and UCLA), but couldn’t he have called the TO right as Monk’s shot went in? I don’t like that rule, honestly, since a team shouldn’t be able to call a time-out after a made shot, once the other team should now have possession, but I think that was still a possibility.

    It still may not have mattered, unfortunately. But I just wish he would quit bringing it up. He is obviously trying to deflect negative attention from the players and onto himself, which is great and I like that he does that for them. But now his haters will use that as fuel to say he isn’t a good coach. (obviously BS, but certainly doesn’t help).

    • Blue Jesus
      12:05 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

      That’s a good point about deflecting blame from his players, and I think generally Cal has been good about that. I will say, he made a comment in the post game interview that bothers me a little, something to the effect of… (searching): “Five minutes to go, I told the staff in the huddle, ‘They’re going to go zone.’ Some guys argued. I said, ‘They’re going to go zone.’ ” Seemed a little like passing the blame to his assistants (assuming that’s who he’s referring to, maybe I’m misreading it) for the team not adjusting to the zone when we were up 5 with 5 minutes to go.

    • J-Dub421
      3:08 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

      If he tried to call it as Monk was shooting, then they’d likely waive off the basket.

    • rockatao
      12:42 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      Timeout can no longer be called from the bench. UNC had the ball in play before Cal could have told a player to call the TO. It would have to have been pre-planned.

  4. KevinM
    1:25 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

    When someone says Cal isn’t a good coach tells you they want him gone, because all he does is take top recruits and threatens you with a L.

    That mojo is in our favor.

  5. tubby b smith
    11:59 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

    blah blah blah i got 30 nba players blah blah blah fans should be bless to have me blah blah blah i should had did this blah blah blah we are young every year and who fault is this. All this talk and he still has the same amount of rings as me and a N.I.T but they put a for sale sign in my yard and talk crazy to me for ten years after. I wonder why? ”rolls eyes”

    • ukhank1978
      1:20 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      This was a HORRIBLE attempt at trolling. Do better.

    • 4everblue
      7:00 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah jealousy is an ugly thing….

    • catsarerunnin
      8:13 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      Tubby how’s your career been post UK? Final Fours? Titles? Media interest?

  6. BluKudzu
    12:28 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

    So .when do we hear a Cal cast about a national championship? He is paid a lot of money. Love what he has done. But, where are we, giving that he has provided the NBA with all stars, when do we get a banner?
    Just curious, not a hater. Love the program. I am waitin for the pod cast that tells me sweet 16 , or great 8 is good enough.
    If that is ok with everyone, I am in.

    • ukhank1978
      1:29 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      I mean, we got one in 2012. Good lord, man.

    • chris43
      3:10 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      Can’t win it every year or even every other. We should have won it in 2015 but ran into a hot Wisconsin team and unfortunately some bad calls (IMO). This year? Who knows! We were playing good ball and peaking. If we beat NC I honestly think we win it all but Oregon would have been a tough one. But it’s hard to win NC’s when it seems you get the toughest bracket yearly and in some games (especially the last one) you don’t get any calls. Fox should have been at the line quite a few times as well as Bam. I’m not sure what we’ve got coming in next year and who’s staying but as always GO BIG BLUE!

    • UkfanMatt
      7:41 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      I hate the complaint of it being hard to win national championships when you are in the toughest bracket year in and year out. The national championship goes to the best team in the tournament. The team that got hot at the right time, fought through adversity, was able to adapt to other teams schemes….Don’t use the bracket as an excuse to not win it all. Does UK get tough brackets? Absolutely. But if a team is truly the best, they will win.

    • 4everblue
      7:03 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      How many times before and since Pitino did we even make it to the elite 8? Look around Kudzu, it’s not that easy. You’re the kind of fan that makes BBN look bad.

    • cats42301
      3:10 am April 2, 2017 Permalink

      There is no way to guarantee a championship. Even if you get the best players, the best coach etc. as we all knows there are factors that come into play that no one can prepare for. You can’t coach against the unknown. Let’s say we win that game against NC, how in the world would NC been able to foresee the kind of game Humphries had. When Aaron Harrison shot 3 daggers back to back to back to send us to the title game when many predicted we’d lose the first game are examples of things that happen that you can’t foresee. All you can do as a coach is get your team into position to have an opportunity to win a championship, and that’s done with consistency going to elite 8’s, final fours and when you do that you’ll get a championship every now and then. Of course we UK fans think we should win every year, and yes most of us believe we should have won it in 2014 after we got to the NC and then again in 2015 when we were undefeated. Maybe we should have but if you’re going to get down on a coach for “only” getting to the final 4 or NC game then Coach should have been fired a long time ago. Duke has 5 NC’s all of which have been under Coach K, however Duke has been to the NC championship game a record 11 times. Only 2 of those were under coaches other than Coach K. One of those being Bill Foster who took Duke to the 1978 championship game and ran into a Goose named Givens and lost that one to UK and Joe B. Hall 94-88. So my point being had Duke not lost 4 times in the NC game since 1986 with Krysszewski as coach they would have NINE total championships one more than UK but I don’t remember any Duke fans saying he should be fired. Those 18 years between1978and 1996 were a long time for us old enough to have experienced that first hand. And that’s a big of the issue of a lot of fans being impatient and expecting to win to all every year was the fact that younger fans have grown to expect final four every or a least of them have due to our success in the 90’s , 4 final 4’s and 2 championships, then when have another dry period from 98- 2011 that taught fans that the success of the 90’s wasn’t typical for any team. Now we are back under Cal to where a lot of fans are back to feeling like we should win every year and 4 final 4’s since 2011and 6 elite 8’s in the 8 seasons under Cal and if you take away the fluke of 2013 that we’d all like to forget, then you’re looking at 6 of 7 seasons elite 8 or better. team can win a championship, the rest of the team’s are graded by how they do over a period of years especially under the same coach. I’ll take what we’ve achieved since 2011 anytime. A lot fans apparently think it’s easy to accomplish what Cal has accomplished, not me. I’m proud of what UK and Cal has accomplished since 2011! If you think we should have more NC’s, look at.the flipside of things and look at a program like Indiana who used to be a National power and we all know their recent history. I think the I’ll take Cal day!!

  7. kuhlkat
    2:39 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

    Who was the pundit?

    • bhb71
      3:06 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      I hope not, Bilas actually isn’t that bad towards us. He’s a Duke slappy, no doubt, but generally speaking he’s pretty complimentary of us even when he doesn’t need to be. I wonder if he’s talking about Colin Cowherd. His comments have been more directed at the program rather than this team specifically, but still.

    • 4everblue
      7:05 am April 1, 2017 Permalink

      Sounds like Cowherd and he is a jackass trolling for clicks.