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Calipari says Briscoe was better last night, still wants more

Denny Medley | USA Today

Denny Medley | USA Today

Denny Medley | USA Today

Isaiah Briscoe is the hottest of topics around Big Blue Nation right now (join the debate here) and it is only getting hotter after Briscoe fouled out for a second consecutive game, only to see his team pull away in the end once he took a seat.

The struggling sophomore did go 4-for-6 from the field with five rebounds and three assists, but the six turnovers in 23 minutes overshadows those contributions.

Then you can throw in Tony Delk’s postgame comments, in which he said he would rather see Mychal Mulder start in Briscoe’s place.

But John Calipari is still on board with Briscoe, at least in the meantime, as he said Briscoe was better in last night’s road win:

He was better today. It took him two, three weeks to get to where he was. Now it’s going to take him some time to get out of it. And we’re only in the first week of it. He’s probably two weeks away from really breaking what he needs to do to get back to where he was.

I just said, ‘As a team, as an individual player, what were you doing that got you on this path? Stop! Don’t do that anymore. Go back to what you were doing, the mission you were on, the time in the gym you spent, all the things you were doing, do it again. But you’re going to have to do it over two, three straight weeks or you stay where you are.’”

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

49 Comments for Calipari says Briscoe was better last night, still wants more

  1. Mc12
    10:57 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    There was a part of a game recently, I believe in the first half against Tennessee where Briscoe ran the point, and played it as a pass-first point guard that wasn’t looking for his own shot. There was good flow to the offense, and he was hitting people in shooting position and the offense ran really well. For a second, I felt like he may be better (if he played as a pass-first point guard only) as the point in half court sets with Fox playing off the ball. I’m not sure that’s true, and teams are zoning more, but was just a brief observation. Most of the time Briscoe doesn’t play as a facilitator, but for that part of the half he did.

    That’s all I have.

    • JusSayin
      11:05 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      He was the PG in the first game against UGA.

      UK scored 90 points. He had 23 points 11 Rebounds and 8 assists.

      Briscoe has PG skills. He looks best situations when Fox is not on the floor with him though. They struggle to play together on offense. We also struggle to guard and rebound when they aren’t together on defense. Go figure.

  2. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    11:02 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t think Briscoe is the main problem, but do agree that something needs to change. If Mulder starts in place of Briscoe the defense suffers. But I would take it if we could be a potent offense. Something needs to click. Something needs to happen to stretch the defense.

  3. GoBigBlue
    11:06 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Typical Calipari!! When will people start to realize that he only plays players who he owes it to so they can go on to the NBA. Hence why he played the Twins over Booker and Ulis. The same reason why he played Skal over Humphries, the same reason why he plays Briscoe over Mulder/Hawkins or Gabriel over Willis. You would think he would of learned his lesson when he was forced to play Jorts over Enes. When given the opportunity, the non lottery picks might take you to the Final Four, win games, actually try and do good. I am a die hard UK fan, which is different than a die hard Coach Cal fan that he can’t do no wrong. Everyone says well he’s been to so many FF, 1 Championship, SEC Champs, etc, etc. I respect that but what I don’t respect is him not playing the better players. There was an article about Cals all-star team or starting lineup. I say, what was wrong in the 38-1 season. Didn’t we have a dream team. He gets the players all day long but he just doesn’t play the right combinations. I am not saying he can’t coach because he can, to an extent because coaching means doing what is best for the team. Which means playing Booker and Ulis instead of the twins to win a championship. We won in 2012 with Miller, Lamb and Wiltjer because they can shoot and Davis & Jones can operate inside. We have no TJ this year which is even more important to have shooters in the game, hence Hawkins or Mulder and not Briscoe. Ask yourself this question. If Briscoe was not a highly touted 5 star recruit out of high school, do you actually think he would be played more than Mulder or Hawkins? I am tired of the BS Cal says and how he utilizes his players. Also, what business does Cal have to mention BAM about going in this years draft? What if Bam wants to come back? He is forcing him out already? His primary job is to win at UK, not get players drafted.

    • JusSayin
      11:28 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Hawkins has worse percentages than Briscoe in both 3 point and 2 point shooting and is less dynamic play maker.

      Booker was getting abused by Sam Dekker on defense in the Wisconsin game.

      SKJ doesn’t play at all and he was a 5 star, highly touted recruit so that kind of hurts your Cal gives “All-Americans special treatment” narrative.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      11:30 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I don’t think what Cal does is bad. I like that he is a players first coach and expects the players to be team first. This argument that we had Miller and Wiltjer and Lamb when we won is old. Wiltjer and Miller were on the bench. Many, many times that year we had ONLY Lamb on the floor that could shoot. Our problem is that Gabriel, Willis, and many times Monk, aren’t shooting well…AND they don’t play good defense.

    • AGSlater
      12:31 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      The One and Done is getting super old especially with the bad basketball last couple years. Might be two straight one and done years

    • jayiron11
      12:33 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      The twins dragged us to NCAA Runner up finish and a 38-0 record. You can always count on the KSR comment section to listen to that toxic portion of BBN scream and whine. Then you got people like Drew and Tyler Thompson, 2 geeks with zero athletic ability, tell all of KSR how intelligent they are about sports.

    • catsarerunnin
      12:44 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah slater last years opening round loss to Stony Brook was terrible to endure for all of us…

    • CATandMONKEY
      1:18 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Booker and Ullis were NOT tearing it up against Wisconsin. The other replies above have outlined why the O.P. and especially Slater are wrong.

    • AGSlater
      4:14 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      I am wrong about everything. doyyyy

  4. JusSayin
    11:08 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I know I’m in the minority here but I think our main problem is the fact that our “shooters” can’t shoot on the road.

    Stretch 4s are a liability when they don’t hit 3s.

    And Monk is absolutely abysmal on the road.

    I think Mulder deserves some of Monk’s minutes since they technically have the same skill set.

  5. CatsfaninFL
    11:22 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I agree that Briscoe seems to do well playing the point… I’m not doubting Cal like some people here because he gets paid millions, sees more of these guys than we ever will, and, quite frankly knows infinitely more than all of us combined about basketball (hint: it’s why he’s getting millions while we sit behind a screen). Anyway, I’m sure he’d never go for it, but stick Briscoe playing backup PG, maybe lessen fox’s PT slightly. But don’t stick Mulder in, stick Hawkins in at starter. He can provide some offense and is better defensively. Then Mulder plays with Briscoe (and they play well together). Just a fun thought… still think we’ll be OK come tourney time, but ask me again Saturday after the game 🙂

    • Mc12
      12:49 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Hawkins is an average defender, fouls a lot, and is below average on offense.

      I do like his effort, and his footwork is decent. His per 40 stats are sad. I understand he’s filling a role.

      However, I think when he’s out there, especially with Fox out there too, (and even worse when Cal plays Fox, Briscoe, and Hawkins), they are extremely easy to defend in the half court.

    • CatsfaninFL
      1:58 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Average defender? He always takes the guy Briscoe was covering. He has had 53 fouls over 28 games played this year…we talking about the same Hawkins?

      He’s not the best offensively…widely agreed… but neither is Briscoe. My point was Zay would be better served as a PG and works well with Mulder so pair those two with Monk when needed and Hawkins and Fox together. Obviously they’ll be some times you have to mix and match with resting and foul trouble, just saying something to try differently.

  6. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    11:30 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    If Briscoe were running the point and Fox could shoot we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Briscoe is the scape goat.

    • JusSayin
      11:43 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Some fans pick players they don’t like and blame them after every rough game. 6 turnovers is a lot but Monk had an awful game too and has been playing poorly for a while on the road.

      Briscoe was still 4/6 from the field. It took Monk twice as many shots to score 4 baskets. Other players have to be accountable too.

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:51 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      John Wall AVERAGED 6 turnovers a game, and everybody loves him. I agree, JusSayin – many of our fans pick the wrong arguments.

    • AGSlater
      1:05 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Wtf. Board does have input. I like it board. Solid comment. Wall did turn it over a lot.

    • catsarerunnin
      12:33 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      A “scape goat” is a goat you pile trash on and then run out of town. Per Nancy Pelosi.

  7. blackmilk23
    11:35 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Some UK fans won’t be happy till we have an entire back-court full of spot up shooters and no dynamic play-makers to create shots for them.

    Vanderbilt has the team some UK fans keep saying we should have. Spot up shooters with one slasher. You know what teams do? Run them off the three point line and help with the big man on drives.

    Hell that’s basically the squad we had during the NIT season. Archie Goodwin slashing Julius Mays and Wiltjer getting abused defensively and no rebounding

    • blackmilk23
      11:38 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Mulder is good in part BECAUSE he comes off the bench. If he started teams would just run him off the line and he deosn’t seem to have a counter skill (even-though he’s very athletic)

      I think he should play about 15 to 20 mins a game but I think most of that should come from Willis and Hawkins.

    • catsarerunnin
      12:34 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Sorry but that makes too much sense.

  8. maximumscott
    11:44 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I got Final Four Tix. Should i be worried?

  9. Bleedblue1969
    11:57 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    For what it is worth. Cal does feel a sense of responsibilities to these kids and their families. With that being said this team is not good right now. I understand that Briscoe is the best on ball defender the team has but I can’t get over this kid and the mental mistakes he makes. Mulder needs to see the floor more even if you give up something on the defensive end. He makes shots.

    And Cal! Can you please put in some new offensive sets? So vanilla! If I am making a wish list how about a real press to use the athletes you have. Play 8 or 9 guys. It’s not like the half-court defense is a lockdown defense. Speed the game up!

    • CatsfaninFL
      12:54 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      OK, Coach… how do you suggest we speed up the game when they only send one or two players to crash the offensive boards and then when we get to that side of the court they pack it in and dare us to make outside shots? We are just about unbeatable when the 3’s are falling, but if they aren’t, I’m not sure how you ‘speed up the game’ more than we already do… literally like one of top 5 teams in the nation in ‘speeding it up’.

  10. Bleedblue1969
    11:59 am February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Sorry… sense of responsibility to these kids….

  11. DrewP
    12:22 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Team is what it is. You just never know what product will show up for each game.

  12. Bleedblue1969
    12:33 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Point guards or guys that have the ball in their hands up top have to make the other guys on the team better. Briscoe doesn’t do that. The ball dies in his hands because his strength is to use his “strength” to get to the basket. He doesn’t drive by guys, he muscles the defender meaning he usually isn’t distributing the ball once he puts his head down.

  13. Bleedblue1969
    1:06 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    You speed up the game by pressing. You will get more transition baskets this way. Fast break baskets are way down because teams are getting back on defense after a shot. You got to turn teams over to get those easy baskets.

    As for the additional shooters, Fox’s strength is being able to get to the basket and the more shooters on the floor the better chance Fox has a lane to drive to the basket. The 3 point shot is the great equalizer in basketball today. Teams would have to honor the shooters.

    • CatsfaninFL
      1:44 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Our guards can barely guard someone in the halfcourt and you want them to now do it for the full court too? I just don’t follow that logic. We actually tried a decent amount of that last night and even a Missouri team with 7 wins had an easy time breaking our press.

  14. Bleedblue1969
    1:20 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    By the way “Speeding up the game” doesn’t mean that UK shoots the ball quicker. It is about speeding the other team up. Two results of speeding up your opponent are bad shots and turnovers. Both result in easy baskets on the other end.

    • CatsfaninFL
      1:50 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Again, I’m not sure how we can speed up the other team… we have two starting guards who just aren’t all that great at guarding right now. Not to mention, once in SEC play, the officials have had a hair trigger on calling hand checks making it even harder to guard/speed up the game on that end. Lastly, when we actually do stop penetration, we’re pretty good at getting the other team to force bad shots (there’s a reason we’re still 12th in kenpom defensive rankings)… the problem is teams are literally sending maybe one or two guys to rebound and the rest back, nullifying our ‘speeding it up’. When teams started doing that in late December, early January our problems started to surface because it forced us into a half court game. Our problems have largely been attributed to defense… teams either score easily on penetration or miss and hustle back to force us into a slower game.

  15. Bleedblue1969
    1:55 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Kentucky didn’t press last night. That is a show me press and it is used to shorten the shot clock. I am talking about trapping press where you are actually trying to turn the other team over. Cal has never really implemented a full court press. He would rather play a half court game. He wants to be in control. Playing a full court game means he is less in control of each offensive set. I don’t understand with the talent he has year in and year out why he doesn’t press. Most years he can play 8-10 guys and the fatigue factor would be huge at the end of the game for the opponent.

  16. Kat4Life
    1:57 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Seriously? Better ?

  17. Bleedblue1969
    1:58 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    You just made my point!

  18. Bleedblue1969
    2:00 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    You just made my point CatsfaninFL!

  19. Bleedblue1969
    2:04 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    Look…..we are all frustrated about how this team is playing. At times I feel like this team is playing for their draft stock. These players come to UK and have no clue of the passion UK fans have. I have always said that each year I would recruit the best state of Kentucky high school kids or invite them to walk on because those are the kids that truly understand the passion. That is one of the reasons why the early 90’s team could compete. Kentucky kids playing for UK play for a different reason.

  20. 96ChampionBestTeamEver
    3:13 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

    I get frustrated at Briscoe too, especially at his missing so many layups. But he is one of the few that always plays tough, rebounds, and always seems to be in the middle of the action. His strengths way outweigh his liabilities.

    • Bleedblue1969
      3:48 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      Just because you move him out of the starting lineup doesn’t mean you lose those strengths. Right now the 5 that started last night are not playing well together. That has been a consistent theme over the last several games. Defensive sag on Briscoe, help on Monk and double the Bam in the post. That is a lot of bodies in the paint.

    • Bleedblue1969
      3:50 pm February 22, 2017 Permalink

      “The defender sags”