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Calipari doesn’t blame the week off. He blames Florida’s zone.

Kentucky reverted in Saturday’s loss to Florida after a three-game win streak injected some optimism in everyone.

With extra down time slowing momentum between games thanks to Texas A&M’s ongoing COVID problems, maybe the week off had something to do with it? Was too much time off to blame?

“It wasn’t,” John Calipari said in his postgame press conference. “It was their zone, that 3-2 zone and that zone press that got us out of sync. It wasn’t taking a couple days off… I don’t believe that. I believe that we had three great days of practice. We had a great shootaround this morning. They went zone. We got confused.”

The confusion, in part, falls on “shaky” point guard play against the zone, Calipari said, which had a ripple effect throughout the halfcourt offense. He’s had guys in the past who could go get a basket on their own; this year, however, the team only passes around the perimeter, and even then they’re holding it too long.

“We were like pass-hold, pass-hold, pass-hold, pass-bounce, point, come and screen. I mean, it was, you know—when we ran it up the court, we weren’t bad. When we got in the halfcourt, we held the ball.”



Article written by Drew Franklin

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

36 Comments for Calipari doesn’t blame the week off. He blames Florida’s zone.

  1. Kfckernel
    9:16 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Wonder if he blames himself?

    • AzUKfan
      1:01 am February 28, 2021 Permalink

      Cal beats two teams with losing records (fortunately for us time ran out cause we were about to lose the lead in both games) and he beats a TN team that has fallen apart AND everyone feels this team has turned the corner? Season over – no big dance – thanks Cal, you made history at UK – WHAT YOU HAVE DONE HASN’T BEEN DONE IN OVER A CENTURY!

  2. zoupman
    9:27 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Cal never passes the buck. What a great coach. One bad year, doesn’t slow him down.
    He will be back.

  3. sefleming
    9:31 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Bottom line Florida adjusted UK didn’t

  4. millertim
    9:32 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Put a SHOOTER in the game to break that zone… it’s not like Florida’s never played that 3-2 zone before. You should have known that from the scouting report… oh that’s right, you don’t do scouting reports… ugh!! 3-2 zone isn’t a new concept or defensive innovation. Run Boston at the top with Allen and Mintz running the corners, Toppin or Sarr flash from opposite side of the block to the middle. Boston’s size helps see over zone and Toppin and Sarr’s size and ability to shoot/ pass from the middle sets up scoring on the wings (Allen or Mintz) or from the interior. I used to have my big flash high and set high screen for point guard to create gaps and angles for corner shooter or opposite side block ally-oop!! Not exactly rocket science…

    • kyle macys socks
      11:07 am February 28, 2021 Permalink

      Guess they should’ve hired you instead of Cal

    • runningunnin.454
      11:55 am February 28, 2021 Permalink

      At least millertim has a plan, and it sounds like a good zone buster; kind of like Joe B’s strategy against Duke in ’78, and Goose dropped 41.
      You should remember that, you were there on Macy’s feet.

    • Keith Branstetter
      1:11 pm February 28, 2021 Permalink

      millertim, you are EXACTLY right on your strategy. Hell we’ve ran the same offense you just stated in our YMCA league against a zone. And you are right, Not exactly rocket science…

  5. AzUKfan
    9:32 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    So Askew, the PG, plays 30 min, 3 assist, 3 turnovers, 0-5 shooting, 0-3 from 3 pt range (by the way two of the 3 pointers were air balls, wide open shots), missed open shooters numerous times AND Cal plays him 30 minutes. One thing he is pretty good at; dribbling around the top of the key!

    • Kfckernel
      9:46 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

      Amen. Askew doesn’t get pulled his first, second, third… mistake like others

    • Stop Hammer Time
      9:55 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

      Cal really got his pecker stuck in his zipper when he signed Askew. The sad thing is the only reason he offered was because Askew was about to commit to Louisville. Cal has a history of offering kids just to stick it to rival schools. This one backfired. Loserville ended up with one of the best PG’s in the country and we got a kid that would not start for Eastern.

  6. JT55
    9:34 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Florida made adjustment. UK didn’t. Terrible coaching.

  7. UKgrad80
    9:36 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Bring in Chris Beard

  8. UKinIN
    9:41 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Do you idiots seriously believe that Calipari and the staff don’t know what to call against a 3-2? That he doesn’t know his team when he spends 20+ hours a week with them vs. you guys watching them for four hours a week with zero contact?

    • desertCard
      11:44 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

      Apparently not.

    • millertim
      9:14 am February 28, 2021 Permalink

      Proof is in the pudding… Show me, or better yet, REFUTE any of the points I made about a 3-2 zone instead of attacking and insulting the criticism. I guess, like Cal, refuting the criticisms requires too much effort so instead you just attack the messenger… sad that you miss the points in your blind loyalty to the king…

    • runningunnin.454
      12:00 pm February 28, 2021 Permalink

      Hah, we the idiots know that Cal doesn’t need to coach; all he needs is a guy to go get a bucket…all he needs is daggers, lol.

    • TBW3011
      8:26 pm February 28, 2021 Permalink

      Watched his teams for 10 years. Yes it’s clear he’s clueless against a zone.

  9. Glam Girl
    9:42 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    A good coach would know how to adjust his team to a zone. A good team would know how to adjust even without a good coach. Do they not work on these kinds of things in practice??? Unbelievable….

    • UKinIN
      9:47 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

      Do you think that Calipari can just call a play and the players are going to execute it perfectly? Coaches tell players what to do all game long but that doesn’t mean they execute it.

    • wildcatdon
      10:53 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

      Cal has no idea how to coach against a zone and it’s been proven going way way back. Also Chris Beard is not the answer for our next coach and never will be. Cannot understand the fixation with him.

    • Glam Girl
      6:35 am February 28, 2021 Permalink

      Ukinin, of course not. But, having your team ready – NOT “confused” – to play against zone defenses should not be hard.

    • Bigblu30
      11:16 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

      Struggled against zone every year and proved it the very first season by getting bounced from the tournament by west virginias zone

    • catheaven
      8:36 am February 28, 2021 Permalink

      Cal doesn’t like zone defense, never has. I have to believe, therefore, he doesn’t teach it nor use it. His time at UK proves that. So it’s not a surprise that his teams fall apart when opponents use it. against us. We’ve been seeing that for many years. Stop UK by going zone; works everytime. Players look like dear in the headlights. That’s on Cal. I don’t care if the NBA doesn’t play it. College bball does. This is not the NBA.

    • Bluenblood
      8:50 am February 28, 2021 Permalink


  10. just a guy
    9:49 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    A Calipari team got confused with a zone?? You don’t say.

    • EdC
      5:34 am February 28, 2021 Permalink

      Just this year though LOLOLOLOL Every other Calipari team has known … oh … wait, nevermind.

  11. katmandue2you
    9:52 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Somebody tell me….
    Why do we never have a Marcus Garrett or a David McCormick?

  12. katmandue2you
    10:00 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Or a Mitch Lightfoot?

  13. kjd
    11:23 pm February 27, 2021 Permalink

    Cats last few games were played up tempo because we suck in the half court. Florida slowed us down with the zone and exposed our weaknesses.

  14. Swizzle
    10:33 am February 28, 2021 Permalink

    He should blame his trash offense and rotation decisions. Everyone else sees it.

  15. makeitstop
    12:13 pm February 28, 2021 Permalink

    I said weeks ago if we can’t score regularly on fast break buckets we have no shot. Our half court isn’t turning around – we can’t create from the guard spots and we don’t need a double team in the paint so we can’t even play inside out if we do get an entry pass. U can live w a decent PG who can shoot or a quick one who can get by and make a play at the basket or kick but u can’t hv neither and win. And I love Allen as a shooter but he’s such a liability on defense and on ball that he’s hard to play. Consider this, we had 15 turnovers against a zone. That tells u a lot about our ball handling, passing and movement off ball.

  16. VirginiaCat
    12:49 pm February 28, 2021 Permalink

    Bingo. Florida adjusted and we didn’t. That’s the primary reason we have lost leads this year, only to fade at the end. Opposing teams adjust and we don’t.

  17. Johnny C
    2:50 pm February 28, 2021 Permalink

    Calipari may have the worst instincts on when to call timeouts that I can ever recall. I’m pretty sure other basketball bennies were yelling at the tv along with me. He gets paid to make those calls, a consistent failure.

  18. Dr. Tom
    7:27 pm February 28, 2021 Permalink

    It’s pretty simple. Cal’s teams have always had trouble scoring against the zone and I suppose will continue to do so. I am surprised every team we play doesn’t play zone!!