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Cal says his team lacked mental toughness tonight

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

In his very brief remarks after the game, John Calipari said that his team simply wasn’t tough enough against LSU tonight: “We weren’t ready for the physicalness of the game … the viciousness of the game.” Cal said his team lacked mental toughness and got beat to every 50-50 ball. “They offensive rebounded, we didn’t.”

He credited LSU for being one of the few teams to shoot 50% or better against the Cats, and said “Johnny O’Bryant killed us.”

More from Kenny Payne coming up…

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.

67 Comments for Cal says his team lacked mental toughness tonight



  1. ReaseDru
    11:39 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Whose fault is it they arent tough enough?



    • RealCatsFan
      11:42 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      Umm, all those AAU and HS coaches who coddled them all these years? Helicopter parents and homies and hangers on who told them all their lives how great they are? Cal has his work cut out for him to turn all that around in a few months.



    • ReaseDru
      11:45 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      Tired of the excuses..This is on Cal



    • DandaMac
      12:02 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      You simply cant watch how the COACHES yell and push and plea with the players to do the simple stuff and say its on Cal. I will have to disagree its in no way on Cal



    • ReaseDru
      12:06 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      When u build your program around freshman this is the norm..That is on him..



    • apple
      12:25 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Cal’s full of it. Him and Willie sure talk a good game. But they don’t perform!!!! He spends his time telling us how good they are,..and I actually think they are. But Cal knows the exact perfect stupid moves at the exact right perfect time to make to give the opposing team the BIG MO. He’s brilliant with that. And he’s great at breaking these young boys’ spirits!!!! He is the worst coach I’ve ever seen in my 60 years!!!! But,..he is the best recruiter!!!!! Oh well. He’s the quintessential UNDERACHIEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But he always has the best players. According to Cal,……the players just don’t give the extra effort. What a crock!!!!!!! Bull!!!!! Cal can’t coach,..and he never could. But he always has the best players. After next year (when he has 10 FIVE STAR PLAYERS) and still loses,…then the fans will start to understand. Like they did with the TUB after ten years. But at least the TUB never had any players much,..except for a couple years. Cal has the players. He just can’t coach them!!!!!!!!!!



  2. DAN DAKICH
    11:39 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    I enjoyed this game more than you will know. After my interview today with doucebag Jones, what better way to stick it in Matt’s crawl.



  3. EasE523
    11:39 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Let the rant begin



  4. RealCatsFan
    11:40 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Would really love to hear Kenny P’s thoughts on WCS’s attitude right now.



    • ReaseDru
      11:41 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      WCS attitude matches his play…Shitty



  5. GladIwatched
    11:40 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Did he say he was embarrassed to be the UK coach? This is his product – he should be embarrassed. Where’s Saul Smith – we used to dominate the SEC with Untalented players.



    • ReaseDru
      11:43 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      He should be embarrassed



  6. JP
    11:41 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    and the ability to pass the ball!!!



  7. Melvit
    11:41 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Cal said he would use the bench more this year. Hasn’t happened. He’s afraid of hurting the “stars”
    draft positions



    • DerbyDemon
      12:10 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Amen! It is so apparent (at least to me) that his favorites are going to play regardless of how awful they perform. And if that isn’t the case, then someone please explain to me why WCS starts over Dakari Johnson. All I have heard since the beginning of practice is “Julius Randle this, and Julius Randle that.” He will get completely DOMINATED if he goes pro. As for the Harrison twins, I just hope they go ANYWHERE but here.



  8. adam
    11:41 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    The line-up needs to be changed, here is who plays if we are going to make a run:

    point: move aaron to point or Hawkins or polson (andrew is not a decision maker)
    2 guard: young
    3: poythress (has proven a spot)
    4: randle
    5: johnson

    The other players need to sit.



  9. DM
    11:41 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Reading that gave me an awful flashback to quotes from Cal’s predecessor



    • Blue Jesus
      11:52 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      That was my first thought too.



  10. Cats9
    11:44 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    WCS needs to lay-off the weed. Plays like your typical pothead.



    • Don'tBlameItOnTheWeed
      12:12 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      That is just plain silly. Is there such a thing as a “pothead”?



    • Don'tBlameItOnTheWeed
      12:13 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      A “typical pothead”.



  11. bosshog
    11:44 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    #Yahtzee!



  12. Lvillecatfan
    11:45 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Yea we lack mental toughness to say the least, the twins can’t talk on the defensive end but every time u see them they are talking to a ref. you know we have seen stretches of this team at they’re best and have been wowed but when u hear talk of clutter and see the body language of this team it does seem that there is a mental detatchment from the focus you need to compete at this level and truely makes me wonder if we have became one stop shop for pre Madonna players just looking to get all the stuff that goes with playing at UK instead of actually playing at UK. Teams gotta love outplaying the hype. They needa get scared that they might not be good enough because fact is they aren’t right now.



    • Wilbur Stein
      11:48 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      I can’t really tell, but you might have a good point somewhere in all of this.



    • RealCatsFan
      11:54 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      I get your point, but it’s “prima donna” as in ballet, not “pre Madonna” as in pop music. Would that make Lady GaGa a “post Madonna”? Thanks for the laugh – I needed it!



    • Paducah Elvis
      11:56 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      +1 Wilbur……



    • DerbyDemon
      12:12 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Sorry, dude, but I have yet to be the slightest bit “wowed” by this overrated, overhyped, lazy team.



  13. Pistol Pete
    11:46 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Because of the lack of passion shown on the court, I would like to see Willis or Lee get a chance. They would at least show some hustle and maybe give us a kick start. This is Cal’s worst defensive team. Quick guards continue to do whatever they want against our much slower guards. I see another 10 loss season looming.



    • binarysolo
      11:50 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      Quickness of opposing guards, the physical play of opposing bigs, those come into play, but the biggest differences we see time and time again is our lack of experience and fight. We get bopped on the nose and we cry for 40 minutes.



  14. binarysolo
    11:46 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    The best recruiting class in the history of college basketball gets you what? Lack of mental toughness.



    • Melvit
      11:50 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      It gets you an invitation to the NIT.



    • binarysolo
      11:51 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      Well played, well played.



  15. Willie Sucks
    11:47 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    I heard that Willie is struggling because he is gay and his boyfriend, Brian Long, broke up with him.



  16. UK Freshmen
    11:47 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Oh well….tonight’s game once and for all, has proven that UofL has a better program than us. All the way around. Players. Tradition. Arena. Fans. Players. Reputation. History. Coaching.



    • Pistol Pete
      11:52 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      Go away troll!! As bad as we are, I seem to remember beating your Tards



    • RealCatsFan
      11:56 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      Well, the Cards definitely have a better program if adultery, abortion, and low standards are your criteria.



    • Cats9
      11:57 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      This is just a UK fan trolling and acting like a U of L fan to make their fan base look bad, because that’s the only comfort that can come from tonight. Stop trolling your own fanbase, Freshman.



  17. Barfly at Drakes
    11:50 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    The box score tells everything. Fouls has decreased by 100% since the Arkansas game. Why???

    Breaking news.
    NCAA is under more pressure…College Athletes Take Step Toward Forming Union, Calling the NCAA a dictatorship. See the story on LEX18.com.



  18. katdaddy
    11:52 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    If they don’t have it 20 games in they aren’t going to get it. This looked pretty bad tonight. cal and the cats was exposed pretty bad if you ask me. Players talking back to the coaches. WCS is disconnected from the team. I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t keep going south.



  19. O T I S
    11:52 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    NIT



  20. Allen
    11:52 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    UK was out played out coached and out toughed. We have saw this the last 2 years mainly due to lack of experience and leadership. I have coached for 18 years and if you rely on freshman you are going to lose. All of coach cal’s teams that were good had quality leadership,(Miller, Liggins and Harrelson) and as much as I love Stien and Poythress they are not Lamb and Jones. As we are starting to see 2012 was the exception not the rule. UK does not deserve a NCAA bid based on beating on UL who is terrible they have accomplished nothing in the last 2 years because of lace of quality experience. I know cal continues to talk about a players first program which as a coach I understand but the UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY is paying him over 5 million dollars a year, not the players, and they are paying him not to go to the NIT, lose at HOME to Baylor or lose to a marginal team as LSU. If he does not decide to put the place that is paying him first then he needs to go to the NBA who cares league. Understand my taxes go to the university of Kentucky for education purpose and his salary takes away from that and if things don’t change we are going to continually be on the NCAA bubble. I disliked Smith and was out spoken advocate of his dismissal but I wish UK had him back.



    • Melvit
      11:54 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      Smith quit, he wasn’t fired.



    • You
      11:59 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

      You coach what, your step-son’s youth basketball team at the Y?



  21. Lvillecatfan
    11:52 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    @kentuckyfreshman u should probably get a Louisville hoodie a fitted hat with that awesome L….then shoot yourself in the face



  22. LS
    11:53 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    STAY CALM TWINS ARE COMING



  23. twins suck
    11:56 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    The twins cant guard no one and Cal still plays them. If you are going to play two 6’5 guards then go to a zone.



  24. katdaddy
    11:56 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Know Allen are you a troll or a tired uk fan who wants a coach that builds?



  25. tippytoe
    11:57 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Cal needs to rethink who he is recruiting. Take a lesson from that Rupp article he posted. Billy Donovan is recruiting well and they stay for more than one or two years. Gators will dominate SEC till he realizes this.



  26. joe
    11:57 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    I get tired of hearing all this “mental toughness” and “ready to play” talk. I’m just skeptical that these explain anything. If you win, you were magically ready to play. If you don’t, you weren’t.

    They’re just not that good. They’re not horrible, but they’re nothing special. And that’s a big disappointment considering where expectations were this year. So we should talk about more empirically verifiable reasons for losing – e.g., terrible defensive efficiency, lack of 3 point threat, etc. To just blame all this on vague “mental toughness” is easy, but it doesn’t actually explain anything.



  27. Pistol Pete
    11:58 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    We complained about Tubby having too many 10 loss seasons but this likely will be Cal’s 3rd in 5 years. We are either feast or famine relying on too many freshmen every year. Maybe next year will be different as I only see Randle and Young going pro this year.



    • Steve
      8:02 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      I said after the Ark. loss that we would finish with 8 – 10 losses, no SEC or NCAA title. Syrin said I had my head up my a&&. I stand by what I said. Hey Syrin where are you now. I don’t see any player capable of playing in NBA on this team, I would not take Randle in the top 10. It is obviuos why Texas has the biggest FOOTBALL program, it is not a basketball state and that is where 3 of our “stars” came from. I have also said that AAU has ruined the college game. Why would you want a whole team of “one & dones’? Have you watched the NBA game? It sucks, no defense, no team play and a bunch of selfish guns. Sound familiar?



  28. danny
    11:58 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    It’s time for BBN to BREAL… Cal’s coaching is a BIG part of the struggles we’ve seen the past two seasons. We pay him too much for him to have this much talent year in and year out and constantly blame the players when they fail to make him look like the coach he isn’t. I’m 40+ and have been around the game/great coaches/players for the majority of my life and when I see a hustle I call it! Top notch recruit/hustler/pimp, he is! Top notch coach? Not so much. #andiamaBBNfanfromcarriagetocasket



    • apple
      1:20 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      You are right on the money, Danny!!!!! How long will the BBN blame these fine young men??? Cal is 100% to blame for these losses. Worst coach I’ve ever seen. But give credit where it is due. He’s the best recruiter I’ve seen. But I suspect if he continues to lose 10 games per year with the best players,….then eventually te best players will decide they might want to go to ,…maybe Kansas,..Arizona,..Duke,….wherever. At least they have a chance to win. At Kentucky,..they lose,..and may not even get any PT with Cal calling the shots,..ala Lee,..Willis,..etc. Unless of course he has an Anthony Davis that is ssooooooo good as to make up for his poor coaching.



  29. katdaddy
    11:58 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    I been telling you guys for about a month now. It time for Cal to go!!!



  30. No Mental Toughness
    11:58 pm January 28, 2014 Permalink

    Dear Cal,

    No mental toughness….
    No Shit!



  31. Stay Calm
    12:00 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    everybody. The twins are coming.



  32. No Mental Toughness
    12:01 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Dear Cal,

    No physical toughness….
    No shit!



  33. r.e.m.
    12:03 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    It’s the end of the world as we know it!



  34. No Mental Toughness
    12:04 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Dear Cal,

    If you don’t get a spine and bench some of those smirking, pouting, sulking, non-caring jewels….this team will not improve. Only the bench will teach them, you have said it yourself, but you still don’t head your own advise. USE YOUR BENCH TO TEACH LESSONS !



    • ReaseDru
      12:09 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Id bench the WCS for good



  35. My Fix
    12:13 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Stein sits next game.
    No more than one twin on the floor at the same time….simply cannot play them together.
    I would sit Andrew at least first half as well.



  36. Basketball Bennie
    12:15 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Which asst. coach will be doing Coach Cal’s radio show tomorrow?



  37. Ted
    12:15 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    The Tin Men……no heart! I bleed blue, but this group of kids just don’t understand TEAM! Randle is a turnover machine, the twins pout, sulk, and make bad decisions. This whole team has no hustle, heart, fundamentals. Polson wears his jersey proud, everyone else, could care less.
    Defense is non existent with this group…..I don’t get it, but I don’t feel bad, this group doesn’t either.



  38. $1.75 Tacos?
    12:18 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Maybe, more people see why Rex said Willis could be the best player out of this group over the long haul.



  39. On Another Note !
    12:23 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    The snow in Baton Rouge should make it easier for Dale Brown to track Sasquatch.



  40. apple
    1:10 am January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Cal is the worst coach I’ve ever seen. But he is the best recruiter!!!!! Fire all the other coaches,…..let Cal recruit,…then bring in anyone to actually coach them,..Travis Ford, Billy Donovan, Little Pitino,..anyone!!!!! My wife. Anyone. Any barely average coach could take all these five star players and never lose a single game. Cal breaks their spirits,..plays the wrong players at the wrong time,…is a drill sergeant,….has them all thinking instead of just playing the game (like they’ve always done)!!!!! They have to get out from under Cal (NBA) before they can really shine. He’s AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Anthony Davis is NOT walking through the door any minute to bail him out! No,..someone has to be responsible for the underachieving. And it’s not solved by merely throwing these young men under the bus.



  41. mark coury
    7:06 pm January 30, 2014 Permalink

    You so called fans are hilarious. … sit Willie… start dakari. .. start polsen… use the bench as a message!!!!!!…. there is still time… plenty of time. . We aren’t goin to the nit…. remember branden knights team lost a shit load of conference road games… keep calm… the tourney is coming. .. go big blue