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Calipari going back to old school methods in practice

Kentucky’s humbling start to the season has forced John Calipari to go back to basics. In his press conference this afternoon, Calipari once again accepted the blame for the Cats’ poor performance vs. Duke, telling reporters he thought this group was way ahead of where they actually are.

“We went too far and tried to do too much and didn’t really get established in what we wanted to be. So hopefully when you watch us, you’ll see a little different team and you’ll say, ‘Oh, okay, I get it.’ And that’s not their fault; that was me. Maybe I was trying to get ready for a game that was important and move them too far. So now, all the stuff that makes us who we are, we didn’t do any of it. So we’ve kind of gone back and said let’s just get that stuff down.”

“We went beyond all the little things that will make you good. Anytime I think these kids know something, more than likely I’m making a mistake, and that’s just about every team I’ve coached here.”

That realization has resulted in some “old school” Calipari practices with a focus on fundamentals like staying down in a stance and conditioning.

“[We’re] taking it back a step. Little bit of old school. Some of my practices from the past. Still a lot of teaching and stuff you’d think they know but they don’t. And that’s okay. That’s normal here.”

Now in his tenth season at Kentucky, Calipari is used to the “one step forward, two steps back” pattern with young teams…even those with a few veterans.

“I’ve done this more than once,” Cal added. “I’ve moved it and thought we were fine until we got smacked and you realize, uh oh, we really don’t even know how to get open. ‘Well, they should.’ But they don’t. Stuff that we should know. But it’s not their fault. They’re going to do what I accept they’ll do.”


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.

20 Comments for Calipari going back to old school methods in practice

  1. michaelb
    3:10 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    The most vague vagueness anyone’s ever vaged .

    • binarysolo
      3:24 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

      Basically he means he’s gonna get Andrew Harrison to become a pass-first PG.

      – A basketball benny

    • michaelb
      4:18 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

      Yep, the oddness of it is that I believe in him to fully turn things around and have a great team . Do you feel like this too?

    • Duff86
      3:25 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

      Haha. Exactly my thought as well. Classic Cal. I wish I was that eloquent with my vagueness.

    • michaelb
      4:19 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

      I bet he makes them good , he always figured out a way to get them good !

  2. Randall lee
    3:39 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    Return of the tweek

  3. Wade
    4:54 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    Take it tweet by tweet !

  4. AllBall
    4:56 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    I like Cal but at some point the rhetoric gets old. People realize we consistently have one of the younger teams in the NCAA. Recruits typically come here to get on the fast track to fulfilling their NBA aspirations and that’s fine. However, don’t turn around and use youth as an excuse.
    I just want an explanation for why our halfcourt defense is so awful. It’s as if they have no concept of rotations, help side, or defending against a pick n roll.
    They may not, but then it’s on you and your 8 mil a yr salary to teach them.

    • terwilliger
      6:01 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

      Have to agree that it gets old. We might have a lot of country bumpkins in our fanbase (myself included), but most of us have lived through decades upon decades of Kentucky basketball, prior to Cal’s arrival. We know basketball, and we know what a Wildcat team should look like. If nothing else, they should look fundamentally sound and mentally tough. I really like Cal as a person- I think he does great things for these young people and their families. But his teaching of fundamentals, his play calling (out of timeouts, etc.) and his game plans have left a lot to be desired over the years. I agree with those who say we couldn’t get anybody better right now, but I do feel like Cal is deficient in some key areas as a coach. I also feel that if he had won just one more title (2010, 2014 or 2015) then the fans would be 100% happy right now and not care about this team’s struggles. But to have 22 or 23 first rounders and 1 title… he’s starting to look like Dean Smith. I hate that I can’t give UNC fans hell about Dean anymore, because Cal has quite frankly done less with more than he did.

  5. VirginiaCat
    5:00 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    Cal says that he needs to get back to the basics with this team. Isn’t that where you start with a new team? You cover the fundamentals and then build on that foundation? It’s like he is saying, “Oh, I didn’t realize that the team was out of condition and wasn’t aware that they didn’t know how to stay down in a stance.” What? So Cal’s answer is to go “old school” in order to cover the basics that should have been addressed on day one. Cal should do some critical analysis and figure out how to do a better job of coaching. He takes the blame whenever there is a debacle without the concomitant changes to his coaching methods. Accepting blame is of no value unless you learn from it and don’t repeat the same mistakes over and over.

    • Truth_Hurts
      6:37 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

      I think he was expecting a little more effort out of them. I think he knows they know what to do, but until they show him. He’s going to put them through the drills. Cal knows what he’s doing with his team.

  6. N-UR-i
    6:39 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    Knock Knock

    Who’s there

    Eddie Gran

    You’re FiReD!

  7. mosports
    6:59 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    I doubt Duke and Krzyzewski beat UK so badly only because of coaching, as both teams play mainly freshman. Bottom line: Calipari’s recruiting has dropped off considerably since 2015.

    • BigBlueWheels
      7:08 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

      How interesting is it that your timeline of recruiting drop off, coincides perfectly with Coach O leaving for a head coaching gig…?

    • friendsofcoal
      12:28 am November 14, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t really see or hear of Illinois getting any big time recruits.

    • BigBlueWheels
      8:02 am November 14, 2018 Permalink

      I agree. I think it was more of a Coach O + Cal + UK mixture that was so successful. Not implying that Coach O was the only reason.

  8. runningunnin.454
    7:57 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    Freshmen come to UK having never been asked to play defense; teach that, the offense will come.
    All our players should consider returning to school for a couple more years, and not just take the bone the NBA will give them on “potential”.
    They should perfect their craft, and become “real” NBA players.

    10:10 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    I was just thinking that Coach Cal has been around long enough now that he would have figured out HOW to coach…and practice. Maybe not!?

  10. BluKudzu
    10:27 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    Bottom line, this team got humiliated by Duke, with a punch in the mouth and a good hard butt kicking, which has made them scared and timid.
    The team needs to toughen up. Cal needs to get them there.
    Players need to shut their bloodied mouths and prove they are worthy of wearing KENTUCKY across their chest.
    Right now, they are not.
    Cal will make it happen.

  11. VirginiaCat
    12:06 am November 14, 2018 Permalink

    I’m not sure where the optimism is coming from that asserts that “Cal knows what he is doing with his team” and that “Cal will make it happen.” Kentucky’s performance against Duke suggests otherwise. We were the more experienced team and were picked as a slight favorite, but somehow managed to lose by over 30 points. Does Duke have more talent? Yes, but not 30 points worth. Duke had the same amount of time to prepare for the game as we did, yet they were so much farther along than us. They were well prepared, motivated, protected the ball, executed their game plan, and looked like a well oiled machine. We were none of that. That goes to coaching.