After consecutive losses, John Calipari isn’t so sure his team is getting worse and reverting back to old ways, but he called last night’s performance “unacceptable.” The most frustrating part for Calipari was seeing their lack of fight when they built up a 21-point lead.
“Every possession matters. When you get a team down, you make it even harder for them to put them away, and on offense, you cannot take a shot that you can make 30% of the time. You do not shoot that shot,” Cal said on tonight’s call-in show.
Even though there were some ugly shot attempts, the defensive performance was the most disheartening. Over the last few weeks, Cal had shifted their focus in practice, focusing more on filling the gaps offensively than cracking down on defense. “That was a mistake,” he said. “We were awful.”
The post play was poor, with only 10 rebounds between Poythress, Labissiere and Lee. Cal said Skal will start receiving more looks because the other two aren’t giving him much. Derek Willis had 8 rebounds, but he really didn’t give too much last night either, which causes some concern. “If he reverts, we really got problems.”
Even though the Tennessee game was terrible, it’s just one game. Cal knows his guys can bounce back and he remains confident that they can do something special this year.
“We could do something special this year, IF they choose to,” Cal said. “I still believe in my team. I look around the country and say, ‘We can play with anybody.’ I’ve said this all year, ‘We can beat anybody in the country, or lose to anybody in the country.’ You either fight, and play to win or you’re gonna lose. It’s really, really simple.”