There are several reasons to be upset over the way the Wildcats played in Baton Rouge last night. Players can be called out individually for their disappointing performances, and in some cases, disappearances, but the Cats went down there as a team, they played like crap as a team, and they lost as a team. Calipari said after the game that his guys weren’t ready for the physicality of the game, and they should’ve seen it coming when LSU went big to start the game:
“They switched the starting lineup. I said they must be playing zone then. They went to a bigger lineup, but we didn’t know before. I thought they would play mostly man because that is what they play. The minute they went big I told the staff they are playing zone. Normally, we are better against a zone than we are man. So it didn’t bother me, but we weren’t ready for the physical part of the game. We weren’t ready for the energy of the game and the viciousness of the game. They beat us to every 50-50 balls from the beginning of the game to the end. That is why they won the game.”
Cal said they’re lucky the outcome wasn’t worse than it was. Insert the word “process”:
“When the other team outworks you, this is what it looks like. It was amazing we were in the game. We got down 16. It could have been 30. We fought to get back in it. We got back to where we were fine. We came out the second half and did the same thing. I had to call an immediate timeout. This team is in progress. It is all about the process. The process we are at right now is will we have the mental toughness to break through and be the kind of team we want to be. We didn’t show it tonight.”
Yes, it’s a process — we get it. But the clock is ticking.