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Calipari: Tennessee doing everything well Kentucky is doing poorly

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

One of Kentucky’s biggest issues right now is sharing the ball. The Cats rank 182nd in college basketball in assists, with only 13.7 per game; in the last two games, that number has plummeted to eight. Tomorrow night, they’ll face a Tennessee team that ranks 19th in the country in assists (17.2 apg), which John Calipari says is further proof the Vols are doing everything well right now that his team is doing poorly.

“What Rick (Barnes) is doing at Tennessee is unbelievable,” Calipari said on this morning’s SEC Teleconference. “It’s not just what he’s doing defensively, but how they’re playing offensively – the shots they take, how they share the ball. They may share the ball, I would say assist to made baskets, probably better than any team in the country. That’s hard to get guys to do, which is exactly what we’re struggling with right now.”

Part of the problem is personnel. Unlike years past, Calipari doesn’t have three point guards on the floor at once, which means he’s had to go outside the box to “force” his team to pass more. He told reporters he spent the weekend trying to come up with new ways to motivate them.

“We’re not the two teams we’ve had in the past where I played three point guards. This is a different team, so we may have to play a little bit slightly different with the same concepts with a different idea of how we’re playing. I spent the weekend trying to figure that out. The other thing is – again, I say this all of the time – when you’ve got young players, they’re trying to establish who they are as a player. Figure out who they are as a player. It’s a natural process. Before Missouri I said, ‘Do me a favor, play for your teammates. I want you to think about how can I make this game easier for my teammate.’ It’s hard for them right now. We’ve gotta force some things to get them to play with each other.

“I’m trying to bring it along, but it’s a different process because this is the youngest team that I’ve even ever coached. It’s become that challenge. Look, this team is capable of doing it. I believe in this team. It’s just, I’ve gotta do a better job and they’ve gotta fight more.”

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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.

4 Comments for Calipari: Tennessee doing everything well Kentucky is doing poorly



  1. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    1:09 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    How about you start that by getting other players on film and point them out when someone drives (especially Shai) and everyone else just stares at them and doesn’t slash or cut to the basket to help their team mate out? Thats a good start. I counted several times alone when just Shai drove and drew a double or sometimes triple team and there was no one else packed inside 6-7 feet of the basket to help out for an EASY dish. Its basketball IQ and just flat out taking plays off. IDK if thats mental lapses of focus or just sheer laziness, but we got to play heads up basketball and make the game easier for all 5 guys out there. Its easy to see the ball travels from point A to point B faster than dribbling and running with the ball. I hope these guys realize this and get the ball skipping out there finding easy shots.



    • jaws2
      1:24 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

      I have to believe that Cal has pointed ALL of this out. After all, he is making at least $6 million a year. I truly do not believe that’s the problem, I just think this team has the least basketball IQ of any team he’s had, particularly Diallo, who will not listen or doesn’t want to listen. His supposedly ‘best’ player, Knox, is a streaky shooter and is PETRIFIED of contact. Just watch him during the games as he floats around the perimeter, never follows a shot, and never goes after a rebound unless it’s bouncing right at him.
      I love UK basketball as much as anyone, but I just don’t think these two guys will ever get it.



    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      1:49 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

      Youre wanting 2 freshmen to rapidly “get it”, it takes time my man and its not on our time lines unfortunately, its up to them to figure that out. Me personally, I would never throw my favorite teams players under the bus like a little kid not getting his way. I am never insinuating that Cal wasnt watching and pointing people out on film, im just saying if he fixes the problem of players not moving without the ball, it will help create easy dishes for dunks and layups and make the game easier. Its really easy to fix them getting into sets that spreads the floor out and just pass the ball around causing the defense to switch or fall asleep. That will help us tremendously in getting better shots instead of forced ones. It really is that simple, a lot of our turnovers comes from forced drives with no purpose! Right now they look like they’re playing like they have to do it themselves and its making the game that much harder and much more frustrating for them and the fans! Say what you want about Diallo and knox, but the only reason people are hating on them is maybe as fans we put to much hype and already claimed them brilliant players before they ever played. They havent been that yet, but to say Knox isnt the best player, what other guy is scoring like he does besides Shai? We got some VERY SOFT fans in these comment sections and call in shows. Duke losses to a terrible team, Arizona #9 lost, UNC has lost 3/4, Kansas loses at home and here we are crying and saying Cal should leave, trashing Diallo and Knox, our own players! Jeeeeez grow up or just quit being a fan. Its OK to be upset and to point out the obvious mistakes, but to trash the players, thats low and no wonder top notch players are going elsewhere….



  2. binarysolo
    1:37 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    I mean… with brand new rosters year in year out, the success of the team is based on whether the kids figure it out come March. That’s the Calipari business model. Some years that works, some years it doesn’t.

    I still root for the teams, of course, but I’ve been conditioned to not get too worked up because just wait a few months and it’s a whole new team again.