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Calipari: “We have the most upside of any team in the country”

There is a lot to digest from John Calipari’s postgame press conference after the loss, mostly about the lack of passing and listening, and how the Cats are still young and not playing as a team. It was all important and honest stuff from Cal, but if you can only take away one thing he said on Saturday, let it be this:

“I still believe in this team and I still think we have the most upside of any team in the country.”

He followed that up with: “But unless you play together as a team, unless you create shots for each other, unless you cover for each other defensively, unless you talk more… you can’t ever become a good team.”

Those comments are so true. If Kentucky can somehow piece it together soon, who in the country would you rather have? Do you want Duke, the team that lost to an 0-11 St. John’s team today?

Of course Kentucky still has to do it (and that’s not a given), but the upside is very, very high. The question is can they figure it out in time or is this as good as it gets?

Clock’s ticking.

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

59 Comments for Calipari: “We have the most upside of any team in the country”

  1. big cat
    6:36 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    I gotta add “upside” to the latest comment…blah, blah, drink my koolaid

    • syrin23
      7:02 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      “Upside” and “athlete” are sports terms for “unskilled player who might have potential”. So yes, we have more players who might one day at some point learn or gain some basketball skills, but it won’t be before March. Tell me how much “upside” we chowed against Vandy and Missouri? Think this teams of “upside” “athletes” can string together 6 wins against quality teams? We are going to lose in the first round this year to a team with half our height, half our athleticism, with non of our “upside” but 3000% more basketball skill, meaning they can pass and shoot.

    • blackmilk23
      7:41 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Stein, so what about all the years when we beat the teams with more skill and experience?

      We beat Michigan, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Whicata State in the tournament. That goes unnoticed.

      We beat teams like that in conference all the time. That goes unnoticed.

      We lose to them a couple times in a down year and all of sudden people want Calipari to turn into John Beilien, or Bo Ryan…. both of whom have no titles.

      Jamarl Barker got hurt. Him and Quade are coming back. By all accounts Herro and Quickly can shoot but we won’t know till they get here. Johnson will be the only wing player who “can’t shoot”. Hopefully that yields the results you want. But traditional wisdom says you need both.

    • DelrayCat
      7:49 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      It’s funny how many times I have seen someone mention Herro as being the “type” of player we need more of….

    • KYJelly
      10:02 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Trolls waiting for Cal to give them ammunition so they can attack. They’ll jump on the bandwagon when we win though. What did Cal say that wasn’t true? It’s not “drinking koolaid” unless they’re feeding you info to make you believe the false lines they are giving.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      11:08 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      DelrayCat you don’t see that in this part of the thread so what’s your point? Go stir that crap elsewhere.

  2. KYcats11
    6:40 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    AMEN! When is the next game!?!?

  3. opinpi
    6:40 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    They may run out of runway.

  4. rainman
    6:43 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    The problem is, this team has shown little, to no progress!

  5. 3 fan
    6:46 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    They CANNOT SHOOT the ball!! How do you fix that in February???

    • syrin23
      7:04 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      You fix that when you recruit. Cal puts NO premium on basketball skills. How many years in a row have we had teams whose weakness was going to be outside shooting? We lost in the tournament several years in a row now because our team had streaky shooters who either went cold or were denied the ball by a team of better basketball players. We need WAY more Tyler Herros and WAY fewer PJs/Diallos/Knoxs

    • JusSayin
      7:24 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      You don’t even know if Tyler Herro can shoot yet. Andrew Harrison hit a bunch of 3s in high school too. Wait till he shows up before you start using him as an example to shade current players.

      Cal has had Jamal Murray, Devin Booker, Malik Monk and Doron Lamb. The myth that he doesn’t recruit shooters is off.

    • blackmilk23
      7:35 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      As JusSayin said, the problem isn’t Cal’s recruiting. He’s recruited good shooters. The problem is that:

      A. Our system doesn’t utilize them effectively. (Bradon Knight, Skal, Mulderl)
      B. They are not as good at shooting as advertised. (Harrison Twins, Ryan Harrow)
      C. They can’t create for themselves or get open. (Mulder, Wiltjer)
      D. They are liabilities in other areas. (Skal on rebounded and defense, Wiltjer on defense, Booker at 3 against Wisconsin)

      The fact of the matter is Calipari has a system that favors bigs and penetration… which are the things you want to recruit first but he needs to do a better job of finding shooters even if they aren’t highly touted.

      PS: I really hope Tyler Herro is as good as you all think he is. Seems like people are counting chickens before they hatch again.

    • ballplayerstu
      8:18 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      It’s about making the big shots rather than overall shooting. I’d rather kids that can step up and make the big shot like we have seen this year. We will make a run I have no doubt.

    • henderblue
      10:47 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      They were shooting 48% from the field coming in to this game! They have one bad shooting night on the road,to a team that beat a good Alabama team at Alabama. Duke lost. Kansas lost. Oklahoma lost. They probably have a bunch of idiot fans calling for K and Self to be replaced. As rg454 says, there’s parity in the game this year. This young team of ours does need to come together as a team. They showed in the second half of the West Virginia game what can happen when they do. You fix bad shooting games by passing the ball, keeping good spacing and finding the open man. We struggled to hit open shots today. But it happens. Calling for Cal to be replaced because we have a bad shooting day and not wanting to recruit the best players, is insane

  6. kentuckybackupplayer
    6:54 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    i am not a pro coach or anything but it appears that setting screens to get open shots is a lost art especially with this team.

    • syrin23
      7:06 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Watch the tape of this past game. They left us OPEN from outside because we can’t shoot. the problem was not contested outside shots. The problem was missing WIDE open shots.

    • Catfan4life-original
      7:07 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Good gravy we have our handful of dipsh*t fans here. Cal is the problem. We have a terrible coach. Please people, this team is the youngest team in college basketball. If you don’t like it then you need to find a different team to root for. We will be better in March and if Cal’s history has not proven that (other than ‘13 with less talent and a major injury) then please pull your head out of your a**!

    • syrin23
      7:13 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      March is FOUR weeks away. Which way is this team trending? We all of a sudden going to be able to shoot? Ca; has proven he can’t win with young talent. His ONLY title came with a freak of nature player of the year in Anthony Davis who was surrounded by elite shooters. He has shown he can’t win with numerous #1 draft picks, and teams full of 3-4 first round draft picks.

  7. ScoggDog
    6:55 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    No … No … they don’t.

    This is Cal trying to control the narrative. Trying to manage expectations. Not just the Fans. The Players as well.

    • jim tom
      7:05 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      10-4 on that

    • syrin23
      7:07 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly. It’s pure PR BS. He says this crap when we lose, then says we are terrible when we win. I no longer trust anything he says about his teams because he’s dishonest.

  8. Thom4505
    7:01 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Cal is the problem right now. He has them passing the ball WAY to much instead of SHOOTING! IF YOU DON’T SHOOT you don’t score. If this team passes then you have 15 turnovers a game.

    • syrin23
      7:09 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Did you watch this game. We MISSED open threes all night. They GAVE us the outside shot. We missed front ends of one and ones all day. I would let this team shoot from outside all day long if I played us. West Virginia lost because Knox got streaky hot, and we got to the rim on drives because of their press. That’s it. If Knox shoots the way he usually does, we lose that one too.

  9. jim tom
    7:02 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Upside my ass

  10. jim tom
    7:07 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Please spare us the bullshit

  11. jim tom
    7:08 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Hard to win when you have a team that can’t put a round ball in a basket consistently

    • syrin23
      7:10 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah, but didn’t you see the KSR high school highlight reel of these guys dunking on people half their size in high school? Did we mention Diallo has a 70 inch vertical and 4 dunks on the year?

    • jim tom
      7:19 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Heard that.

  12. JDG3566
    7:08 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    The upside is the season is more than halfway finished.

  13. Luether
    7:50 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    “I still believe in this team and I still think we have the most upside of any team in the country.”

    My sources say that if the Queen had balls, she’d be the King…

    • 4everUKblue
      8:38 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      And if you only had a brain Luether you’d stop commenting on the fan site of your biggest rival, who by the way owns your ass.

  14. sp
    8:09 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    The Darryl Issacs add sucks

  15. Bleednblu
    8:11 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    I love how everyone wants to hate Cal now. Maybe you’d all like to go back to the Gillespie days or maybe Tubbyball…when everyone complained about everything then. Everyone wants to win. If they didn’t they’d have some serious issues. It’s the same every year. If we’re winning you’re happy, if we’re not you’re jumping ship. Well…get a lifejacket or learn to swim. You all act like a bunch of over entitled 16 year old kids. If you are blue and white then stand behind your team and coach. Don’t show up when they win and run when they lose a couple games. Rant over. Now the scholars can chime in…

    • 4everUKblue
      8:33 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Well said Bleednblu. I will stick by this team come hell or high water, not giving up on them. They’re kids, imagine if one of them were your kid.

  16. Bleednblu
    8:14 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    And if you don’t like it here, go ride Coach K…seems they’re doing great…losing to a 0-11 team…guess Cals not the only one having trouble huh?

    • 4everUKblue
      8:19 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      ^^BAM!! Thank you Bleednblu. He also has by far the most elite talent in the country just like he did last year. How did that turn out?

    • rockatao
      9:39 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Do you two seriously think UK would have ANY shot at beating Duke thi year?

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      11:16 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Rockatao did you actually read what was written? ST. John’s beat Duke so the obvious answer to your question is YES.

  17. Bleednblu
    8:32 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Thanks 4everUKblue. It’ll probably be the same next year as well. Just like with Giles, Tatum etc…. A bunch of top guys playing nearly the same position with little to no returning starters. But everyone wants to hate on Cal…

    • 4everUKblue
      8:38 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Because they’re all so much smarter than Cal.

    • BlueDew
      10:29 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      I will not go root for another team. However, we can voice out opinion about our players and coaches, just like some of you defend them to the hilt. They can’t score for lengthy periods in games. They have not recruited shooters. Yeah, they dominate in high school, YMCA league, or whatever league they play in before they get here. When they get here they have to play at a different speed; which is all out all the time. This makes a huge difference in how they play at this level. It’s up to the coaches at U.K. to evaluate that when they are recruiting these players. Well, they missed on this group. People are getting tired of this young stuff. We are about five weeks away from when it really matters and people have not seen improvement or hope with this group. Cal is being paid millions to set the ship on a corrective course. I think people are disappointed they haven’t come around, and may not. The WVU win is not looking too good after they have lost 5 of their last six.

    • henderblue
      11:04 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

      Then cheer for this team. They are shooting 48%from the field coming in to this game. One bad shooting game and you knuckleheads want to throw everyone off the bridge and jump too. Why don’t you just go on and jump and let the others alone

    • jrdh13
      8:51 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      We did go out and sign an underrated very skilled shooter, he just so happens to be injured for the year. Next year will be our best shooting team ever

  18. Big Meech
    10:22 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    St. John’s beats duke. Coach k can’t coach. Iu might beat mich st. Izzo can’t coach. Kansas sucks bc they lost. Teams sometimes play bad and lose. I’m standing with my team not matter if we are 0-30 or 30-0. If u don’t have that mentality then u r not a true fan. These are young men trying to figure it out, and when we shoot like shit then we lose. Oh well, we will come back and win against Tennessee and keep moving to March.

  19. BigBlueNationDude
    10:28 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Cal is so full of it. I swear

  20. CombatMedic_98
    10:34 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    Patience young grasshoppers…he will make another tweak next week…coaching is hard and days are ahead of us for some good games…!

  21. Alleykat16
    11:06 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    So what we have a bad year if these kids dont figure it out So what its not the end of the world. Three games in I knew this team was not going to win the championship this year the best shooter on the team got hurt and is not going to play that much the one of the best players broke his foot and just got back a few games back and looks totally lost out there on the court which is 100% understanding so if any of you think this team is going to win the championship you dont know basketball they won’t even win the SEC tourney much less the ncaa so watch and back these guys for as long as the ride goes and when it ends then its on to next year which should be alot better

  22. chris43
    11:11 pm February 3, 2018 Permalink

    I’ve said it many times….down year….it sucks but still a fan and watch every game. What kills me is the effort and heart (or lack thereof) it appears some of these guys play with. Vanderbilt and Gabriel…..hustle their butts off! I wish they’d find their offense but I can get behind their play just the same as Killeya-Jones. If Alexander had an outside shot he’d be deadly with the way he drives. If we can get lucky and only Knox/Diallo go pro we should def be a contender next season. This year? Who knows….could get beat out very first game of the tournament or if they’ll actually play and make some shots…Sweet 16.

  23. Lip Man 1
    12:11 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    “I still think we have the most upside of any team in the country.”

    Sorry Cal…you don’t.

  24. AllBall
    12:32 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Even reaching their “upside” I’m not sure they have enough offensive skill to go as far as we’d like in March.

  25. Bleednblu
    1:32 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    I’m with all the ones that actually have a grasp on how this works. You have years that you struggle. Instead of saying Cal is paid x amount and he’s paid to do this and that. Think about what he’s done. He’s done nothing but spoil all of us which is why there are so many complaining right now. That’s the problem, we’ve been spoiled and made to think we should win every year. I’ll admit I’m one that would love to win every year ..hell who wouldn’t? It’s just not reasonable… Understand reason and understand he’s doing the best he can with what he has. We may have expected more from this team but guess what…were not coaching them. I’m not going to say they’re not a final four team because as we’ve seen before…when we’ve doubted, Cal’s shown us his teams can make a run. If they don’t…fine. we may lose a couple players. We’ll have a lot of returning key and role players. A great looking group of freshmen coming in, with a shooter or two which is what you all are dying for. If this year doesn’t go great then it’s ok. The world isn’t ending. Cal is still one of the best recruiters and coaches. We’ll have one of the best/deepest teams and all the whiners will be praising him once again. Just understand the sky isn’t falling. If we win or lose you’ll wake up tomorrow and life will go on barring a life changing moment. Enjoy the ride and support your boys in blue and white!

    • rockatao
      9:46 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Losing is not the issue for me..I can live with a UK team playing well and losing. I can’t get very excited about a team that plays bad, dumb, and boring basketball.

  26. henderblue
    8:10 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Well said Bleednblu. I agree with everything you said except for a small minority of the whiners. They will still be whining. They’ll find something. It’s what they do

  27. Bull Filmer
    9:44 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Have these kids hit rock bottom? That’s a moot point. The talent is there. Just sayin’.

  28. antiquefurnitureandmidgets
    11:20 am February 4, 2018 Permalink

    If you can’t see the upside then I don’t think you really know what you’re watching. I doubt any college coach will be adding many of you to his recruiting staff.

  29. StevieGotLoose
    12:41 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    They can’t shoot, and next year won’t make them better shooters either. So, there better be shooters coming in next year. It takes hard work and not just in practice. They have to do it on their own year round. We have been struggling or under achieving when the coaching staff started changing. We are missing on the top tier players and getting the second tier and they are not improving. I don’t know what Justus and Barbee bring to the table.

  30. kjd
    7:49 am February 5, 2018 Permalink

    ” The most upside……” ?