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Calipari said PJ Washington “reverted” in Starkville

(Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)

(Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)

PJ Washington scored 23 points in Kentucky’s win at Mississippi State, but it wasn’t enough to impress his head coach. John Calipari actually said his star forward took a step back in how he played down in Starkville.

Calipari said, “I think he’s the best player in the country, but not like he played today. Doesn’t go get rebounds, doesn’t get loose balls, missed one-footers, missed every free throw — what? Come on. If you’re the best, play that way. Come out with great energy, a motor. It’s not about made shots, it’s about how to play.

He said Washington “reverted” against the Bulldogs, noting that Washington had only three rebounds, his lowest rebound total since the Utah game in mid-December. Cal also called him out for fouling out and missing two key free throws down the stretch in a tight game.

If you think he is being a little hard on Washington with his criticism following a 23-point performance, Cal wants you to know it’s what he does.

“My job is to get them to be uncomfortable, to make themselves uncomfortable, so they play comfortable when they’re uncomfortable,” he said. (That’s a tongue-twister.)

It sounds like his postgame comments were said to light a fire under Washington, “the best player in the country.”

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

16 Comments for Calipari said PJ Washington “reverted” in Starkville

  1. Papaw
    7:04 pm February 9, 2019 Permalink

    While he still has the lighter in hand, light a fire under Travis too and let him know he’s not to try dribbling again. Up 18 with the ball and he dribbles and gets the ball taken away which resulted in a 3 for State. That ignited the comeback

    • catsarerunnin
      8:43 pm February 9, 2019 Permalink

      You’re exactly right. The game was in hand but instead of just passing the ball he dribbled and lost the ball. I never like to blame one player or look at one play but that sequence completely started the comeback.

    • I wonder if he dribbles because he can’t sky like other guys so he needs that step to get closer to the basket to get the layup or dunk.

    • catsarerunnin
      7:29 am February 10, 2019 Permalink

      On this play he was on the other end of the floor. Not sure why he chose to dribble after grabbing a rebound but it resulted in a 3 for Miss St which ignited the comeback.

  2. michaelb
    7:43 pm February 9, 2019 Permalink

    It’s partly because pj & reid don’t have much natural chemistry when they’re in the game together . They have been working on that but you can still smell it sometimes

  3. Luether
    9:15 pm February 9, 2019 Permalink

    My sources say that PJ most definitely did NOT revert other than at the FT line. At least 2 of the fouls called on him were highly questionable…

  4. Kizzy
    11:41 pm February 9, 2019 Permalink

    You can smell it huh? Frank is that you?

  5. No more excuses cal
    12:58 am February 10, 2019 Permalink

    I didn’t think leaders reverted like I said in another post if pj. Gonna talk the talk then be prepared to walk the walk. And I don’t think he can be a consistent player every game to be considered a leader he sorta showed that in the second half of the game today

  6. IndianaSucks
    1:10 am February 10, 2019 Permalink

    I’m my mind, he’s the only reason we were in the game at the end.

    • wyatts1
      10:32 am February 10, 2019 Permalink

      He was definitely the only reason we was in the game at the begining, for sure lol

    • wyatts1
      10:36 am February 10, 2019 Permalink

      But 3 rebounds at his size and he still fouled d out??? I mean at 6’9 or 6’10, you almost have to try NOT to rebound lol but I agree with coach Cal on has the capability to take over a game and proved that in a few games as a freshman. I also believe that he hasn’t showed that killer mentality yet this year.

    • njCat
      3:39 pm February 10, 2019 Permalink

      He’s 6’8” with his shoes on. Dude never wins opening tip.

  7. DWBluetoo
    1:22 am February 10, 2019 Permalink

    Cal was pissed that he fouled out. I think that’s what really set him off.
    Well that, and the lack of rebounding mostly.

  8. dismore
    10:20 am February 10, 2019 Permalink

    Just Cal and coach talk motivation.

    • bigblue2284
      3:58 pm February 10, 2019 Permalink

      No he reverted back like I knew he would. This is who PJ is, he isn’t ever going to be consistent. He had THREE rebounds! He isn’t athletic, fast and can’t shoot, why he is projected in the first round is beyond me.