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Calipari: Desperately Seeking a Stopper

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In the preseason, John Calipari said he thought this team might be one of the best defensive squads he’s ever had; given all the defensive breakdowns we’ve witnessed this season, that seems like a cruel joke. Today, Calipari was asked what made him believe this squad had such great defensive potential.

“Because, on the ball, it started with De’Aaron Fox. So, when your defense starts there and then you have an Isaiah Briscoe, and then you have a Malik Monk. That defense starts on that ball. You have to be able to go up and play people.”

One of the knocks on Kentucky’s defense this season has been the lack of rim protector, ala Marcus Lee, but the Cats are actually eighth in the country in blocks per game, with 6.05. Calipari said he’s much more concerned with his team’s inability to defend straight line drives, probably their most infuriating issue on defense right now.

“The issue becomes straight line drives. The issue becomes, whoever is guarding the ball, you’ve got to get up in this guy. You’ve got to disrupt them. If you can’t disrupt the team by just playing defense, then you’ve got to trick. Then you’ve got to play trapping, play different kind of zones. If you can disrupt them man-to-man, you don’t have to do all of that.”

Cal said that yesterday, he asked each of his players if they had what it takes to be a defensive stopper. Five or six of them told him they already consider themselves defensive stoppers, which made him laugh.

“So yesterday, we had individual meetings and we had a team meeting, In the individual meetings, I asked all the guys, ‘Can you be a stopper?’ A couple said, ‘Someday, I hope to be,’ but five or six of them said, “I can be your — I’m a stopper.’ Well then why are people scoring on us like they are if you’re a stopper?”

Great question. Can we just clone Dominique Hawkins, please?

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.

12 Comments for Calipari: Desperately Seeking a Stopper



  1. secrick
    4:47 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Play some ZONE , Pratice it first for a few weeks..



  2. Briscoe's Leg Tats
    4:47 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Cal could actually Start Hawkins if he wanted to prove a point. But he isn’t a 5 star.



    • THE William Hill
      10:11 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

      Hey, look everyone. JC Ice changed his name from JC Ice to Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert to One Man Gang to Briscoe’s Leg Tats.

      What a dedicated troll. His whore of a mother must be so proud…



  3. Sentient Third Eye
    4:49 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Cloning isn’t realistic because it takes too long and probably violates several NCAA rules…but how about blood transfusions? Pour some Hawkins tiger blood into the rest of the guys! That’ll work!



  4. CatManDo
    5:12 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    I expected to come here and see some “play Diallo” comments. Any word on how he has looked in practice.



  5. poppycat
    5:41 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Not often do leading scorers and D stoppers come in the same body;
    and less often when they know they don’t have to.



  6. Angelo
    5:52 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Give Diallo a shot as a defensive stopper. And just for old times sake, try a 1-3-1 zone. Gabe would be great on the baseline.



  7. Luether
    8:48 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    When something consistently doesn’t work (like our defense) it seems insane to keep trying the same thing over and over (man-to-man) expecting different results.

    For crying out loud, mix in a zone every now and then…

    Everybody get this except Cal…



    • THE William Hill
      10:12 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

      Since you know more than anyone, explain Duke’s colossal collapse. I remember before the season started, you pretty much said to hand the trophy to them.



  8. maximumscott
    9:15 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Start hawkins. Just play diallo for defensive purposes. Whats the worse that could happen? Someone drives by him?



  9. maximumscott
    9:16 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    I bet cal plays diallo later in the year. As long as he wows in practicez



  10. Wildcat Sheli
    8:02 am January 31, 2017 Permalink

    If a defensive stopper was what Cal was looking for on Saturday, then WHY did Dom only play for FIVE minutes of the second half? Is this hindsight talking? Clearly we were having better success stopping Kansas when Dom was on the floor.