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Calipari: “We have to be more desperate to start games”

After two very disappointing starts in the first two home games of SEC play, John Calipari hopes his team will realize they have to be ready to play as soon the ball is tipped. Vanderbilt jumped out to an early lead and never trailed until the second half, when Kentucky finally locked in and played like the better team. The Cats can’t wait that long to get going, Cal said in his postgame press conference.

We have to be more desperate to start games,” he said. “We have to be more desperate for 40 minutes. We have to understand that every team that plays us is excited, and in the beginning of the game, they’re coming.”

First it was Texas A&M with a hot start last Tuesday, and then Vanderbilt did it Saturday night. The Commodores led by as many as 12 points in the first half.

“Understand, in the beginning of games, they’re playing Kentucky,” Cal explained. “They’re in Rupp Arena, they’re going to make shots, they’re going to play sharp… but as the game goes on, if you stay desperate, you’ll have your chances.”

Despite the back-to-back slow starts, Cal is happy to put together two wins in a tough SEC this year. He began his press conference by noting Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State and Arkansas all lost at home on Saturday.

“It looked ugly early, but we didn’t. Now we move on to Georgia.”

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

29 Comments for Calipari: “We have to be more desperate to start games”

  1. LouisaCatFan
    11:20 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    I have ideal change the starting 5!

  2. VirginiaCat
    11:28 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    Cal is one to state the obvious. Tonight he says, “We have to be more desperate to start games.” Yes, Cal, that has been apparent to everyone for most of the season. He makes these observations like he is a bystander. It’s like a firefighter lamenting that houses are burning down and that has to cease. You are the coach, Cal. You are getting paid millions and millions and millions of dollars to fix such problems.

    • No more excuses cal
      11:45 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      That’s the problem he can’t fix it. you can’t ask players with there own agenda to play for the team. when you are all about yourself and the June draft this is what you get.just look at how he handled the Jared Vanderbilt situation last year.he sat the bench cal acted like he didn’t know if he could play or not. And the program suffered because of him.but hey cal got him drafted. It may have cost us some games and a final four. But the gold standard only expect draft numbers. Come on June draft can’t wait till it’s here. Players first

    • trumpetguy
      12:16 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Va. Cat. UK is starting to look like Va. in the half court

    11:37 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    “We have to be more desperate to start games” ….YA THINK!? Good call coach.

  4. KYjellyRoll
    11:55 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    One thing is for certain, the games will start whether these players are ready or not lol. You’re a basketball player. You shouldn’t need desperation I start a game. Wtf. Maybe the correct term would be “eager”? Or even “ready”?

  5. VirginiaCat
    12:12 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

    Cal is paid around $8 million to produce an outstanding product. He has failed to do that the last few years. When you get paid that much money, it is rightfully a “what have you done for me lately” proposition. Worse yet, he disrespects the employer who pays him so much money by valuing his own agenda over the good of the program. That is tantamount to insubordination. In what other line of work can you make so much money, pursue you own agenda, and fail to consistently produce an outstanding product?

    • UKPROF
      12:29 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Which is MORE important to Cal, recruiting kids that he can get drafted into the NBA (after a year at UK) OR winning basketball games/tournaments at UK?

    • No more excuses cal
      2:05 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      You’re exactly right great point

    • catsarerunnin
      7:52 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Idiot birds of a feather flock together…

  6. michaelb
    12:24 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

    Start Q , sit Herro just to see if that helps . It would be nice to have his scoring off the bench. Plus Tyler likes that underdog challenge

  7. C-RobKY
    4:31 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

    The haters on KSR seem to all rally on the idea that firing Cal would be the answer to any problem we have on the basketball court. Unsurprisingly the same commenters want to fire Stoops and Gran if the football team had a bad game. It’s almost as if they think the answer to any adversity is firing the coach. In most successful organizations, sports included, maintaining a continuity of leadership is paramount. No one can seriously argue that firing Cal would lead to more wins or championships. Who’s walking through that door if we so that to a coach with his record?

    • bigbluebanana
      4:49 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      I e been saying the same thing for months, these people have no logical answers or intelligent argument. Same type of people who would eat at McDonald’s three times every day then bitch and sue once they get fat and have a stroke.

    • UK Maine-iac
      5:16 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Good post, C-Rob. I’m sure these are the same people who wanted Sean Miller to coach here. Or think Brad Stevens is just waiting for that call. Reality is not their strong suit. We have a great coach. But spoiled people are gonna spoil, I suppose. I just wonder are Villanova message boards firing up the torches to get rid of Wright? The dorks in our fan base would’ve already put “Home for Sale” on his yard.

    • IrishCat
      7:50 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Good post.

    • The Big Lebowski
      7:56 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      I see exactly zero people hereon saying “Fire Cal!”

      I do see people questioning his ability to produce.

      Coach K now out recruits Calipari R E G U L A R L Y.

      His teams come out soft and disorganized.

      Sure, they come together and make it to the Sweet 16 or Elite 8. And that’s really cool from some people. Some of us would like to be a little bit more than competitive. A bit more on the dominant side of the game again.

      Cal did a good job with super HIGH level elite recruits.

      He also flopped in the Final Four with one hell of a team that was, up to that point, undefeated. He lost that game. His coaching did. He gets conservative with small leads and loses games like that. It’s happened more than once.

      Cal has spent his wad. He will not make another Championship game because he can no longer recruit those super teams or the Top 10 Elite players in the numbers that he could 6 or 7 years ago.

      I suppose you are cool with that.

      I called it with Tubby in 1999. I said that he’d never make another Final Four. He did not.

      Call will not make another Final Four.

    • CATandMONKEY
      8:59 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Look out people!
      The Dude has called it.

      He says he did it back with Tubby so you know we are dealing with a sage.

      Abide, just abide.

    • makeitstop
      10:36 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Big blue that’s hilarious! It’s fair to question game prep or dumb calls or bad execution (thinking of uncovered receivers, not going w Bennie to win against TAMU or not calling TO when we were clearly disorganized against Seton Hall as examples.) But firing coaches – or any executive – should only be done for malfeasance or u have a better option lined up and it’s an upgrade. That’s rational. But as we know, Hope is not a strategy. There are no credible alternatives better than our HoF coach who has produced some of the best results in our history. It’s on him to get them ready, and he could do a better job of owning that, and addressing it, and frankly Mark Stoops does that part of the job better than Cal.

    • henderblue
      10:57 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Excellent points C-Rob…And Lebowski-open your eyes!! Are you blind? The idiots BigolBluedumbass and the grammarretard, Nomoreexcuses,are leading the charge to dump Cal!! For who? Like C-Rob says, who would want the job if they dump a Hall of Fame coach with Cal’s record?

  8. J. Did
    10:35 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

    Well. it is the Coach’s job to impart a sense of urgency…which is a part of the process.

  9. catsarerunnin
    11:01 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

    Oh really? I’m writing that jewel down!

  10. KYjellyRoll
    11:19 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

    Tired of hearing that all cal worries about is getting guys to the NBA…Cal takes the best he can get or the best available and tries to get them to all play for the team. That is something none of these kids are used to. They’re all about themselves in high school. It’s usually a one man show except on AAU circuit. I think what he’s doing is amazing. And the amount of money he is being paid doesn’t make two sh*!s to me. I hope he’s here another 15 years and every player he recruits is one and done! For someone to go out and find these good kids with these personalities that can be taught to play together for one year baffles me. I know I couldn’t do it. I’d pull my hair out. Go Cal Go Cats! We will see what March and April hold for you haters.

  11. Wildcat_blues1029
    9:00 am January 14, 2019 Permalink

    Rupp has no home court advantage for our team let’s be honest. Majority of our games no matter if we’re playing Tennesse State or if we’re playing Mississippi State our crowd is awful. Anyone who’s been to the games over the past years knows what I’m talking about. Our crowd only cheers every blue moon and the final min of the game instead of having a wild and crazy environment from start to finish. Compare us to other teams home games and you see the lower levels full of students building a excitement and energy to their teams. Not what is at Rupp Arena. We have majority fans 65 and over who can barely see, hear or stand up taking these seats and aren’t even bringing any kind of energy to our boys. Yea it’s Cals job to have our guys amped to play but my goodness once tip-off goes up its the FANS job to add a advantage that we simply will never have.