John Calipari may not be able to discuss his ejection from Saturday’s game at South Carolina, but that hasn’t stopped his players from talking about it. Isaiah Briscoe was asked about Cal’s ejection today and said it fired the team up to the point they wanted to beat the Gamecocks by 30 points.
“I didn’t hear Coach Cal say anything to the ref, but the ref did what he had to do and before Coach left we told him, ‘Coach, we got this. Don’t worry about it. You always have our back. You always put us first. We got your back on this one.’ I think the next timeout or whatever, we said, ‘Yo, we gotta go beat this team by 30. They threw our Coach out the game. Let’s go beat them by 30.”
Briscoe and Jamal Murray were the two main players holding Calipari back, which Briscoe admitted was not an easy task.
“Oh, Coach is strong. Coach is strong. At the same time, he’s our coach, so I don’t think he was even paying attention to me and Jamal holding him back. He was just trying to talk to the ref.”
Did Briscoe ever entertain the thought of letting Cal go to see what happened?
“Honestly, I don’t know. I was wondering, like, what would have happened if we didn’t hold him back. But I guess he wasn’t trying to see what would have happened so we were just protecting our coach.”
Thankfully, a source tells KSR that Doug Sirmons — the ref that called the technicals on Cal — won’t call any more UK games during the regular season. Fortunately, he’s primarily a Big 12 ref, so he’ll do the Big 12 Tournament as well. Phew.