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Calipari says he kept the Harrison Twins in at the end the Wisconsin game out of loyalty (UPDATED)

Darrell Bird | Cats Pause

Darrell Bird | Cats Pause

Darrell Bird | Cats Pause

Three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and John Calipari making headlines in the offseason. Cal spoke at a coaches clinic yesterday, and according to USA Today’s Josh Peter, told a group of 200 coaches that he elected to keep Andrew and Aaron Harrison in the Wisconsin game at the end out of loyalty:

“Now you may say, ‘Why didn’t you have Tyler and Devin in at the end of the Wisconsin game? You probably would have won,’ ’’ Calipari said during his hour-long talk. “Because I was being loyal to those other two who led us to a championship game a year ago and they deserve to be on that court. That’s why I did it. I knew who was playing well and who was struggling. You think I wasn’t sitting there watching?

“But I owed it to those two (the Harrison twins) to do it.’’

Peter notes that the Twins missed seven of their final eight shots from the floor as Wisconsin slowly pulled away with the win. Peter goes into it a little more in-depth, but honestly, I don’t feel the need to keep rehashing terrible memories. I wish Cal felt the same on this one.

[USA Today]

UPDATE: That didn’t take long. Cal just posted this response on social media…

Let me make this clear: The twins dragged us to a Final 4 in 2014 & led us to 38 straight wins & a Final 4 in 2015. I LOVED coaching them. It never entered my mind to sub those two in that game or any other game late. Those two had come through for two years in critical moments. My loyalty was based on results.

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.

47 Comments for Calipari says he kept the Harrison Twins in at the end the Wisconsin game out of loyalty (UPDATED)



  1. BtownUKFan
    2:03 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I agree Cal did the right thing for the Harrisons, they deserve to be in there and make plays but….a time-out to calm everyone down might have helped. Just sayin’.



  2. Barberlifemike
    2:05 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I said it all year last year…Coach Cal with live and die with those twins. Ulis controls the game better. End of the Wisconsin game, if ulis is on the floor, there’s no shot clock violations. I enjoyed the twins but hindsight I want to see ulis on the floor.



    • Catlanta Fan
      2:15 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

      Pretty much!



  3. @BallBlog_Chad
    2:12 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Ulis was having a rough time on defense against Wisconsin and Booker was having a HORRIBLE time … either way, the onus should have been to feed KAT and go through him on the offensive end … ultimately it doesn’t really matter if they let Wisconsin play out of bounds and after the shot clock expires



    • DavidC
      2:56 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      I agree with your comments. What really killed us on offense was Wisconsin quit guarding Willie down the stretch and doubling Towns or shading him without the ball. Willie did not play well in that game.



    • BtownUKFan
      3:23 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      I agree as well. Everytime Booker got in the game Dekker took him to school. Booker could not contain Dekker.



    • J-Dub421
      3:26 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      ^^^ Which is why it would have been so nice to have Alex in that game. Sigh.



  4. Kevin Reams
    2:12 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with the Twins being in, I just feel that maybe Ulis should have been in with both Twins at that time.



  5. J-Dub421
    2:15 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    With all of the clutch shots that Aaron and Andrew hit throughout their careers at UK (including free-throws), I definitely wanted them in at the end of that game. That’s not a knock on Ulis or Booker, just a commentary on the clutch-ness of the Harrisons.



  6. KSR Spy
    2:16 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    If we are being completely honest, I think we have a much better chance at winning a title this year. Don’t get me wrong, last years team was loaded and what they did was amazing. I am grateful for the Harrison twins.

    Our guard play this year is going to be so much better though. We have so many guys that can handle the ball, dish, drive, and make jumpers. Add to that having big men that, while not big bodies, can hit mid range jumpers and it’s going to be really hard to stop UK in March. Guards in titles. We have the best collection of guards in the country.



  7. ward elliott
    2:18 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Love Cal to death and wouldn’t trade him for any other coach but he is the master of unnecessary dumb statements



    • The other white meat
      2:32 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      This is the best comment I’ve seen in days. Totally agree. Why even open this can of worms?



    • jwa
      4:35 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      So he said this to a group of 200 coaches at a coaches clinic? Does that mean the other coaches now know that Cal isn’t that great of coach?



  8. katfan33
    2:19 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Loyalty? Seriously? Is he ok with losing the game as long as the twins think he is loyal? That rubs me the wrong way.



    • Okay
      2:26 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      Fair point. But, then say goodbye to any future recruiting.



    • Booby Petrino
      3:01 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      Well I hate that for you, bless your heart.



    • katfan33
      3:55 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      Okay – I see your point but don’t you think the 2012-13 season would have more of an effect on recruiting than not playing a player out of loyalty?

      Booby Petrino – Everyone loves a condescending prick don’t they, you clown.



  9. Wildcatwill
    2:27 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    How about he not milk the clock the last three possessions and have the offense start up before 9 seconds is left on the shot clock . A timeout would of helped, horrible coaching during the last 6 minutes.



    • WildcatDon
      2:35 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      I love Cal. But he chokes at the end of these big games. He did in the 2012 championship game. We were lucky enough to be so much better than Kansas, it didn’t matter. He needs to stop trying to ice these games. Just let them play. Also, I must add, I hope he drops that “Camp Cal” stuff. We play better before he does that. Again, just critiques. I know he’s the pro, I just watch games. But, everyone can be better.



    • inside info2
      3:59 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      The above two comments. The only thing you forgot to mention was how bad WCS was playing–like he was a spectator instead of on the court playing.



  10. Doug Pelfrey's Facemask
    2:32 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Every tweet and headline I’ve seen about this is such clickbait. Welcome to 2015. Any reason or explanation for any coaching decision Cal made, other than the company line, would be “Cal blames X for not going undefeated.” Nevermind the fact that we’d still have to play a pretty good Duke team for the championship too.

    Nothing to see here. Just some basketball writer who needs clicks during football season, and UK is the only way to get them – especially something that can be spun for clickbait.



  11. catgirl
    2:33 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I know this is sad, and I’m embarrassed to admit it, but honestly, I’m still not over that loss.

    (Sound of salt being rubbed into wound here.)



  12. Ebell55
    2:35 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    To be honest I thought we lost control of the game when he didn’t start the second half with the twins. Aaron had foul issues but they had us rolling at the end of the 1st half and we struggled with him on the bench to start the second half.



  13. Ap
    2:40 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Coach cal can’t slow the ball down. His form of taking time off the clock was the twins dribbling out front and the other 3 was just standing around on the baseline. The other 3 should have been setting screens and rolling constantly. He basically gave Wisconsin big men 30 second breaks on defense for them to get their legs back and hit big shots on the other end. Kaminsky almost air balled a free throw he was so tired. If you aren’t going to score, atleast make the defense work hard for those 35 seconds.



  14. 2legit2sit
    2:46 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I never loved the twins but I realize they did some special things. Aaron’s shots were beyond legendary. I think their father was an enormous controlling a-hole that raised two socially awkward kids that were angry and bratty but competitive. I wish them the best and I hope they get out of his shadow and have successful careers. I am glad we have moved on. Cal probably put more time into Andrew than he has any player in his life.



  15. za
    2:50 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I’m a firm believer that Cal enjoys saying random stuff to get people [further] talking about Kentucky basketball.
    I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant something else rather than he purposely made the poor coaching move out of loyalty. I second the above comment that we will improve without the twins despite their overall solid two yeers at the university.



  16. Gabe
    2:52 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    The Harrison Twins can hell



    • Bourbon Breath
      3:02 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      you drunk?



  17. Gabe
    2:54 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    The Harrison Twins can burn in hell.



    • L-NO!
      3:00 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      You can burn on 4th Street!



    • Bourbon Breath
      3:03 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      you mad bro?



    • CatsBy80
      3:05 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      this seems a bit excessive.



    • J-Dub421
      3:15 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      Gabe is a troll who is just trying to stir up ish.



  18. 8 god
    2:57 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    HE SHOULD’VE PUT IN BARKER DAMNIT!!!



    • Bourbon Breath
      3:03 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      +1



    • a
      3:07 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      Bob Barker?



  19. wedding planner
    3:04 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Not certain what Cal was trying to say, but it sure sounds like he threw the twins under the bus



  20. a
    3:08 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I thought the Twins were in because Wisconsin was absolutely killing Booker.



  21. nets on nets on nets
    3:30 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Anyone else see Duke’s new addition to the greatest recruiting class in the history of college basketball?



  22. Look at Me
    3:38 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Cal cannot apparently stand being out of the spotlight for a single day.

    I can think of no other reason for such a silly statement.



  23. HDR
    3:57 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Cal, didn’t owe the twins anything. They had their chance and didn’t respond, no matter how they played in past games. There were a lot of players that got us to those games. By using his rationale, he should have been just as loyal to some other players and given them a chance.



  24. bige
    3:58 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I guess Cal hasn’t gotten enough attention this week. Twins were fine.

    Play a zone every once in a while.
    Why make a seven footer go man-to-man all the time when that’s not their strength? Getting them ready for the NBA? Sorry, but that seven footer isn’t going to be guarding a 6’6″ swingman in the NBA.
    UK would have walked through the tournament with a little bit of zone mixed in.



    • theWilkman
      4:10 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

      Because a zone does a great job against a team shooting over 40% from 3 for the game (better than their 36.5% for the season).

      Coach Cal gets players to wear the blue and white because he prepares them for the NBA. Playing zone defense doesn’t do that, and it isn’t that effective, either. Just take a look at Syracuse



  25. sdoty89
    3:59 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    Well Duke handled Wisconsin pretty well, because they have a coach that can make adjustments. Hahahaha coach K the GOAT



  26. wildcatchick95
    4:05 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    everyone on this site is a coach now? lmfaooooo
    Anyways i cant wait for this Season.



  27. Calvin
    7:02 pm September 28, 2015 Permalink

    I guess it was the Harrison platoon’s time time to be on the court. What I really want to know is whether it was Calipari’s or A. Harrison’s decision to switch to the dribble drive offense the final four or five minutes of the game. ie, dribble drive offense = dribble at midcourt for 30 seconds and then drive toward the basket for five seconds until the shoot clock expires.



  28. mike jones
    8:51 am September 29, 2015 Permalink

    UK is 22-4 in the NCAA Tournament with 4 Final Four appearances and a National Championship during Coach Cal’s time at UK. Therefore, with those results, I think we fans should let him continue to make the coaching decisions. GO CATS!!!