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Cal said the tweak was Andrew passing more than shooting

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 7.45.54 AM

This morning, John Calipari appeared on “CBS This Morning” to discuss his new book, “Players First,” and finally reveal those tweaks he made in the postseason that resulted in UK’s amazing run. For the past month, we’ve all been trying to guess what the tweaks were, and it turns out, most of us were right. Cal said that he made Andrew focus on passing the ball more as opposed to shooting.

I was trying to make the game easier for Andrew Harrison, my point guard, and I got tapes of Deron Williams, who averaged nine assists throughout his career, and he had a game where he had 11 assists, and I showed Andrew, I said, ‘look at this, let’s watch. Would you have passed or shot?’ He said, ‘I would have shot.’ Would you have passed or shot? Well, Deron was throwing balls to everybody.

And so, I said, ‘Monday, you will not shoot one basketball. You will pass, we’re gonna run these plays, you will create shots. We will chart, we’re not telling our team.’ He comes in, he has 26 assists attempts, 21 assists that Monday, I’m mad the whole practice because it changed our team. Why didn’t I do it earlier?? And then I apologized to him, I apologized to the team and I said, ‘I screwed this up, make me look good now.’

Raise your hand if you guessed that. Thought so.

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.

38 Comments for Cal said the tweak was Andrew passing more than shooting

  1. Teachable Mo'
    9:00 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    I thought the tweak was to cut down on the number of touches for [player to be named later].

    • Tweak
      10:02 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      The tweak was a hot run of both field goal and free throw shooting!!! Nothing more…once it went back to normal we seen the same result. UConn won the entire tournament based on this same exact type streak. I would love for KSR to do some research on the possible won/lost record of the cats if they would have hit 75% of their free throws the entire year

    • DH
      11:44 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      You lost credibility when you said you “seen” the same result. Did you come in yesterday and seen it?

    • Logic
      12:24 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      “Tweak” – Interesting hypothetical. Unfortunately, our “hot run of free throw shooting” may not have been what caused us to win in the tournament.

      1. We shot over 75% from the stripe in only one NCAA tournament game (and won 5 games).

      2. If we shot 75% FT in every game this year we still would’ve had 7 losses and the Baylor game would’ve gone to OT. (Ignoring all the other variables like front-end of 1&1’s, etc)

      3. The biggest point: Even if we shot 75% from the stripe in the Championship game that would have only added 5 more points. Remember, we lost by 6. (Again, this ignores many other variables).

    9:03 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Everyone. Everyone said he was passing more and setting assist records. Now please let him and his brother come back for one more year. Please.

  3. MtnCat
    9:05 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Duh, ain’t that what point guards are suppose to do, distribute the ball, set up team mates, orchestrate the offense, handle the rock. Team oriented point guards make players around them better.
    Go figure.
    Who would have thought of that?

    Cal should have been mad. Better late than never.

    • SW52
      9:23 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Not always….Knight was a “shoot first” PG and it worked pretty well for him. Actually, if you look back at that season….everything changed right before the SEC Tournament when Cal decided to run the offense through Knight and not Jones as the first option (though no “tweak” was mentioned)…and they turned it around and advanced to the FF.

  4. Casper
    9:18 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Duh. What was Andrew supposed to do?
    This proves Andrew never was a point guard.
    He won’t have a chance in the NBA, to slow.

    • jus sayin
      10:31 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      You act like there are no such things as shoot first or combo guards.

  5. whodat
    9:21 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    how about a stats comparison KSR… number of assists per game post tweak as compared to pre tweak

    • Lol!
      9:35 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Johnathan shuette is working on this as you speak…lol

    9:29 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Didn’t even know “CBS This Morning” existed until now.

  7. WTF
    9:39 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    WTF Coach? It took 6 months to teach your PG to pass it more? I don’t believe I would have admitted that.

    • Nate Trump
      12:06 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      I kinda agree with this. I don’t really want it to be true.

  8. BGCat
    9:41 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    I didn’t have the specifics, but I guessed it had to do with Andrew passing and getting assists. The first 2 games of the “tweak”, he had 8 and 9 assists. Over the 9 tournament games, he averaged 5.44 assists and 3.67 TO’s. All along the key to Cats success this year has been Andrew running the team and if he does a good job it shows up in more assists, fewer turnovers, and wins. Even though this is a dribble drive offense where players create their own shots, it still is more effective when we have a lot of assists. This has been true of all of Cal’s teams, the other players are important, but the team has to has a point guard that runs the offense or they flounder.

  9. Joe
    9:45 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Cal is fine just admitting this? It’s embarrassing… He’s pretty much saying “yeah I get insanely talented kids to come here and they didn’t live up to their potential til the end of the season because for the first 30 games I forgot to tell my POINT GUARD to PASS THE BALL”.

    • lol
      9:48 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Calm down, genius, it was just a mind game. Cal knows or a thing or two about that basketball stuff.

    • Idiot
      10:14 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Yeah, getting to 3 Final Fours in 4 years is embarrassing.

  10. Appreciative Fan
    9:50 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    The KSR comment section is like a job fair for, I’m sure very qualified, head college coaches. Folks you have to clue what it takes to win w 18 year olds. Yes, sometimes your thoughts get too complex and you forget to keep it simple. It’s called coaching. The adjustment was made and they made it to the finals! And yes he can admit it, you know why? Bc it’s called security in oneself. Please stop being the 5% of miserable fans that make us all look bad.

    • TDUFF
      11:47 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Thank You, Sir! you speak for the 95% of us with rational thoughts! As a UK fan, I always throw a qualifier when speaking and defending my the cats/cats fans. Sometimes I wish it were as low as 5% – I think it’s more like 10-15%.

  11. Bledsoe's Biceps
    9:51 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    This is what many of us “naysayers” were complaining about with Cal’s coaching. Cal’s offense stunk, most of the year. It was obvious he was perfectly happy with guys driving into 3 defenders and throwing the ball at the rim. Rather than just passing the ball around the perimeter until someone decided to drive into the lane. I actually felt sorry for the players, since they seemed to be limited by what Cal expected. After the first tweak, it also became obvious there was much more movement and screening. Was that just a byproduct of more passing from Andrew or was that another change he just hasn’t admitted? I give Cal credit for FINALLY making changes, but it took waaaaay too long for his light to go on. Let’s hope it is quicker to react, in the future.

    • BocasCat
      9:59 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Maybe one day Cal will “get it” and understand his team as well as you do.

    • Bledsoe's Biceps
      10:06 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Let’s be honest BocasCat. If we had heard Tom Crean, Pitino, etc explain their transformational tweak was to finally realize their PG needs to pass more, KSR and the BBN would be making laughing stocks out of them. I’m truly glad Cal finally reached a point where he parked his ego and decided he had to change something, but it should never have taken so long.

  12. The Real Smitty
    9:56 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Correct lol^^^^ If you guys don’t see that this was nothing more than mind games you’re crazy. LOL Andrew shooting less/passing more. C’mon Man!!!

    • whodat
      10:11 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      mind games this morning for what and for whom? The season is over. Or is this just I can say anything I wish and later discredit it as a cover?

  13. UKfan
    9:58 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    It would help if some coaches would attend a remedial course on basketball basics from time to time.

  14. Old Timer
    10:00 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Not sure the stats confirm this took place.

    Avg 12 shots per game in the big four wins, W.State, UL, Mich, Wisc.

    Avg 8.1 shots per game in the awful stretch from 2/27 Arkansas loss to regular season finally against Florida. Cats were 3-4 in that stretch including the loss to South Carolina.

    Cal spin as usual, but I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else!

    • Joe
      10:08 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Figure that up again. It was four games from the 2/27 Arkansas loss to the Florida regular season finale. Andrew took 38 shots in those four games (9.5 per game). He also had 15 assists (3.8 per game)

      For the rest of the season (post-tweak), he took 80 shots in nine games (8.9 per game). He had 49 assists (5.4 per game).

    • Old Timer
      12:22 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      50 years of it, there is always the smart azz that always drinks the Kool Aid and believes everything the coach says.

      Tweak was just a mind game by Cal. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      Andrew shot 3 times in our worst loss of the year to South Carolina. Second worse loss was at LSU, and he shot 7 times. Best two wins of the year. Louisville game one, shot 16 times. Michigan, shot 14 times.

      Andrew’s shooting never was the problem in losses. Experience was. Twins and James Young didn’t attend summer school. Late start set them back a month or two. Had they been on campus in the summer, some of those close games in regular season would have been wins. By the end of the year, they were winning games by a few points that they would have lost by a few points earlier in the year.

  15. Jonathan
    10:01 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    If you can’t catch the rhetoric used then you are missing the point. It was so much as just simply “Pass, not shoot.” He decided rather than run a pure dribble drive offense that he wanted Andrew to distribute to other shooters and let them go after their own shots. Instead of Andrew trying to run it all and decide at the last second to throw one up at the rim or take a bad percentage shot or dish to Randle or Johnson in the post, he played from the perimeter. They became more of an outside in offense

  16. Gman
    10:05 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Free throws, Free throws. practice practice. where the TWEAK.

  17. bob
    10:30 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    First of all there was ANOTHER big huge, even bigger tweak. Julius the leader of the team in turnovers, quit putting the ball on the floor in the paint and started passing the ball instead of trying to force up shots that WERE NOT THERE. That was just as, if not more important than what Andrew did. I have to say for most of the season we were PAINFUL to watch. It actually caused me to make faces and want to poke my eyes out. The WORST looking offense I have ever seen on ANY court from pee wee league to the NBA. It was horrible. It was an EASY fix, IF, and that is a big word, you got the buy in from the players, namely Julius and Andrew. Once you got it, it was a different team. As far as doing well with Brandon Knight at the point, He is by far my least favorite PG Cal has had here. He shot too much. He didn’t make his team mates better. This team in 2014 if they stayed together would be one of if not the best team from top to bottom. With Lee, Poythress coming off the bench that is 2 all americans coming off the bench. WCS? Come on, no one not even the 96 team was that DEEP. Against UCONN, we got in trouble and reverted to what young teams do when in distress, shooting 3’s (lucky we made several to keep us in the game). Hurried offense, bad shot selection. The killer was this, turnovers and missed freethrows.

    • UKfan
      10:52 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

      I agree with alot of what you said. You need to add James Young in the mix as far as taking too many shots. Against UConn we looked exhausted.

  18. Ten loss Cal
    10:59 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    the tweak was Julius and everyone playing as a team and not just lowering their head trying to get called for a foul

  19. catfan4life
    11:05 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    I thought the tweak was penetration and then kicking the ball back out to open men so I wasn’t far off… and being a former point guard and college coach I know that when assist are made a priority, it rubs off on everybody! I do have one thing I would like to add…… Kentucky basketball fans are not only passionate but also highly intelligent in their basketball knowledge. Most all the post (outside of the UL fans posing as Cat fans) are very accurate in my opinion .. I just wish we would keep the tone more positive! GoBigBlue!

  20. ibescootch
    11:05 am April 14, 2014 Permalink

    I’m pretty sure Andrew’s whole M.O. coming out of high school was as a scorer and shot creator. He was really good at that, so Cal organized his offense around 5 guys (except for maybe Poythress or Lee off the bench) who could get the ball and make a move to the basket to get their own shot. It seems like he was just holding out for Andrew, hoping he would start making the same plays consistently that we’ve all seen him make in spurts. He can score. He can get in the lane and finish, but it just wasn’t working consistently enough to be a dependable strategy.

    I’m sure much of it was mind games and confidence for the team in general, but a player really defining their role is huge. Poythress is the same way. He sucked as a guy getting the ball on the perimeter, and taking it to the basket, but after he owned the fact that he was not a creator, his game exploded. Some guys are just built differently, and I’m just glad they were able to see it, and correct it.

    Also, does it annoy anyone else that teams that make it TO the National Championship game aren’t really given any more praise than saying they “reached the Final Four”? I know sometimes you hear them called Runner-Up, but more often than not, it’s referenced as a Final Four appearance only. Not sure if there was some actual reason for this, but it always bothered me…

  21. Denton
    12:41 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Does anyone know when the players are supposed to make a decision?

  22. David
    12:53 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    too bad the twins only had one assist in the 2nd half of the title game…of course, it helps if the players andrew passes to hit their shots…hmmm…seems illogical to me that a coach of Calipari’s stature and experience would have to wait until the 32nd game of the season to figure out that his PG is supposed to pass and facilitate and then “tweak” it…

    Had the Final Four been held in a place other than the cavernous monstrosity that JJ built, then maybe UK (who hit a combined 39-68 at the line in the 3 games they played in that stadium) could have won it all…of course, UK’s opponents in those games shot 42-52 from the line; so maybe the “tweak” should have had them taking some extra free throw shooting practice once they hit Texas…but hey, I’m bitter…happy for the team to get that far…exciting games and 4 straight classics (in which UK all won)…sure….but the “ifs” were so numerous (if the Harrison twins had just matched Napier/Boatright’s 2nd half productivity–13 points combined–UK wins, what if that offensive foul on Poy and the mugging James got the possession before were called correctly, what if Aaron hits that wide open 3 and the front end of that one and one–and the 2nd shot, if if if if…ugh)…here’s my fantasy…all players except Julius come back; thirsting for redemption UK goes for the real 40-0 talk and Bobby Knight seethes as his beloved 76 team gets knocked from history….if…if if if…