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Despite loss, Calipari liked Kentucky’s fight

Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Right now, it’s hard to find silver linings in Kentucky’s loss to Seton Hall aside from a ridiculous shot by Keldon Johnson, but John Calipari said he liked his team’s fight at the end of the second half.

“I like the fact — I told them after the game, we fought. We fought. That was good. I thought we started the second half and we just kind of did what we had been doing, which is letting guys beat us to balls and all that. And all of a sudden, it’s anybody’s ball game. But at the end, I thought the second part of the second half, we fought.”

“All in all, for our kids to fight in a ‘road game’ and give us a chance to win and go to overtime? We made strides. We’re a better team than we were two weeks ago. We just still — I’ve got a lot to figure out offensively. We played such great defense. You’ve gotta get to 40 somehow.”

All season, Calipari has said he’s not worried about Kentucky’s offense because this is one of the best shooting teams he’s ever had. Not today. The Cats were 43.5% from the floor, but only 25% from three. Tyler Herro, one of Kentucky’s best shooters, was ice cold, going 0-6 from three and only 4-13 from the floor.

“We couldn’t get baskets,” Cal said. “Tyler, 0-6. And I hate to tell you, every one of them was wide open. He just didn’t make them today.”

Cal insisted he’s not discouraged with this team, but admitted that the annual process of teaching young guys is draining.

“We’ve got a ways to go. Every year I go through this and it’s painful and aging. Trying to figure out your team. Trying to win games while you’re trying to figure them out. How you finish games and get them to mature quickly? It’s just hard. You know what? I’m going to have to go through it again.”

If you’ve ever wondered what this team would look like on its worst offensive day, this may have been it. If you believe Calipari, that won’t happen too often.

“When you fight and you defend like we did in the first half, you’ll be fine,” Calipari said. “We just missed a lot of shots we couldn’t afford to miss.”


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.

29 Comments for Despite loss, Calipari liked Kentucky’s fight

  1. Smyrna_Cat
    4:28 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    Sounds like “Cal Speak.” I am sorry, but that was not a good game.

  2. Bigblue7982
    4:35 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    We played terrible.

  3. Jiminy Crickets
    4:35 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    We looked terrible for 30 minutes, then let them go nuts, and lost on a neutral court to a mediocre team, but yea he likes the fight

  4. A_Blue_Wildcat
    4:37 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    A for effort guys, at least you tried right? Don’t worry some of you will get drafted and probably flame out in the NBA but hey we got our McDonalds All-American count and our Draft pick count up so its a great season right?

    • Smyrna_Cat
      4:39 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      That is a bit harsh.

  5. UKinIN
    4:41 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    As much as I hate games like today we can look at this year’s football team as an example of why basketball struggles. Stoops has his most experienced team and he’s had his best season. A historic season Calipari never has a really experienced team. If their are juniors or seniors on the roster they’ve most likely been recruited over multiple times. As UK fans we should not be surprised that EVERY FREAKING YEAR the team will experience growing pains.

  6. Kat4Life
    4:45 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    If we are not good enough to beat Seton Hall on a technically neutral court, better to find that out now so we can properly brace for UNC, Louisville, Kansas, and the upper half of the SEC. This could easily be a 10+ loss, 10+ seed team……All the summer, all that Bahama’s bullshit is long in the past. Right now, like it or not, we are a pretty marginal team. Still do not have a starting 5, weak guard play, and an immature rotation that is “Jeckle-Hyding” us to death, one game Quade looks like Tyler Ulis, next game he’s horrible.

    To be frank, Cal hasn’t exactly distinguished himself this year, that much talent should be playing better, and that’s on him. If the national press saw enough on the roster to rank us #2 pre season, talent shouldn’t be the issue. Getting it to mesh, in the right way, is a tough job……still time to get it figured out.

  7. Mc12
    4:45 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    We don’t have a legit rim protector. We don’t have a point guard that can get to the rim off the bounce and finish consistently or that can get to the hoop but pass off the drive consistently. Hagans is the only pg that gets to the hoop with some level of ease. Quickley is more of a 2. These are areas you can’t fix. However, if the team learns to move the ball, and can run some good stuff to overcome these limitations they may be fine. I still like some of the players but the chemistry and mix of talent is off. There is also some issues with awareness and effort but hopefully that gets better as the season progressea

  8. BigolBlue
    4:50 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    Hey Banana and others. Coaching prospects:
    Will Wade- LSU
    Nate Oats- Buffalo
    Eric Musselman-Nevada
    Chris Beard- Texas Tech

    • A_Blue_Wildcat
      4:59 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      Will Wade is going to put LSU on probation and will be showcaused within 5 years guarantee it.
      Eric Musselman is just living on luck from getting great transfers, will have to see how successful he is after this year.
      Oats and Beard I would take in a heartbeat after Cal though.

    • terwilliger
      6:03 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      Really? Nate Oats? The fool that had to apologize to Cal for talking trash after we whipped their azz last year? Yeah I want that guy coaching UK. ? Smdh

    • BigolBlue
      6:18 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      Put cal at buffalo with those players.

    • henderblue
      8:30 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      BigolBlue delusional. That’s your list? What a joke…

  9. Irish son
    4:59 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    He needs to get off his fat lazy ass and get some top 5 players in here. Because if we depend on his coaching we won’t win 15 games

  10. Cousins Fake Tooth
    5:11 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    How is Richards 6’11, but can’t dunk without bricking it, nor make a 2 footer?

  11. Shively1978
    6:24 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    Even if we can’t get top 5 guys got to be better at recognizing talent. Richards is just not good. Green is mediocre. There are guys we could have kept such as Chris Matthew’s and guys we could have gotten like Moses Brown who is playing very well out west. Instead we get top 20 guys who are over rated lately and let the ones go or wont recruit them that end up being good. Brown wanted to come to UK.

  12. wyatts1
    6:30 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    Tough game against a strong tourney team but we will be fine. Coach had a bad game but last I checked he is human and humans as a species does in fact make mistakes from time to time. Still having a top 3 recruiting class every year but with the one and done saga these coaches (including coach Cal) is at the mercy of the following years crop of talented players, if the class just isn’t very good then it’s gonna be a off year, especially if you miss out on some of your top targets. However come March we will be fine and we will be scary good. If you don’t agree that’s cool, but try to remember come March we always seem to come through in the end, except for last year that sucked.

    • jaws2
      7:59 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      Soooooo Seton Hall is going to the NIT??

    • KYCat4EVER
      1:49 am December 9, 2018 Permalink

      LOL! Let’s see…
      -We get totally HUMILIATED by #4 Duke…
      -We play nothing but UNRANKED “Cupcakes” while a small contingent of fans laud our “defensive prowess” and “improvement”.
      -Going in to today’s game, we have played the 316 toughest schedule in college basketball , which tells most UK fans “we have NOT IMPROVED at all… just played cupcakes”.
      – And today, one of this UNRANKED Cupcakes, which even Louisville beat, beats us!

      Yet we still have the small, paint your sky blue with sunshine”, fans trying to SPIN the loss, deny the poor coaching, and ignore the FACTS!
      LOL! ?
      These are the same traits of the Indiana and UCLA fans who sunk their programs while their heads were stuck up!

    • BigolBlue
      2:44 am December 9, 2018 Permalink

      Very good point kycat

  13. henderblue
    8:33 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    Where’s the rest of you sorry ass fans? Where’s your list? Bottom line, we missed shots we got beat. Make those wide open shots Herro had, half of them, we win. Then it woulda been like Christmas around here…Silent Night

    • Trueblue44
      9:01 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      Hit shots against West Virginia in ‘10 and we win. Don’t dribble out the shot clock against Wisconsin and we win. Am I right? If, if, If……..sorry ass fans……..let’s not question the lack of adjustments, let’s just blame the fans. It’s our faults. You are right. But I’ll ask, if we can’t hit shots, then why settle for a 3 at the buzzer when you are only down 1? Wouldn’t it make more sense to set up a play from the post since “we couldn’t hit shots”?

    • henderblue
      9:40 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      Name your coach Trueblue. Let’s go after him

    • Trueblue44
      10:22 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

      And here’s a single thought to ponder…..Since we were all told that the competition in the Bahamas was far better than ever before, is there any correlation to the fact that our kids played their best they’ve played so far, with very few practices up till then, with Cal in the stands and not on the sidelines? You can’t tell me the constant screaming at an 18-19 year old kid doesn’t have some effect, especially when shooting is an act that is made better thru confidence.

    • KYCat4EVER
      9:56 am December 9, 2018 Permalink

      LOL ! Thanks for calling it SPOT ON Trueblue44! You are a TRUE CAT FAN, and willing to look OBJECTIVELY at our team and hold our Coach ACCOUNTABLE.
      Lastly, this SMALL contingency of UK fandom that blames you because you refuse to ignore the failures of our Coach and team and stick your head up, you will find the exact same mentality inside Indiana’s and UCLA’s fan base: and we all know how far those programs have fallen!
      Thank GOD above YOU, BigolBlue, and 90% of the UK fan base continue to uphold what Adolph Rupp instructed UK fans to do:
      Although the Wildcats’ broadcasters are employed by the university, Ledford tended to call games as he saw them. The renowned Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp once told him, ”By God, Cawood, when you see one of our teams dogging it, by God, burn ’em.”
      GO BIG BLUE!

    • henderblue
      12:50 pm December 9, 2018 Permalink

      More like 10% KYCAT4EVER,

  14. Trueblue44
    10:15 pm December 8, 2018 Permalink

    Honestly? I’d give anything if Cal would just learn to make adjustments, or to actually design an offense, or would learn to defend the pick and roll. Honest question: if a kid goes off on us for 20 in the first half, do you feel confident he won’t do the same thing in the 2nd half as well?

  15. CellarDoorx06
    3:42 am December 9, 2018 Permalink

    How the #%*~ did Tyler Herro miss EVERY shot he put up…while, most of the time, He was WIDE OPEN! STILL misses.

    This Team just gives me a headache…UNC and Kansas and yeah…even Louisville will each SMASH us in ridiculous fashion more than likely. I wonder how the fan base will react if it ends up that we lose all three of the signature games above I just mentioned.

    I think something may be going on in the Locker Room too, for SOME reason…I may be right, I may be wrong.b Either way, this sucks.

  16. katmandue2you
    12:33 pm December 9, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t know if we will lose 10 plus games and I don’t know if we will be great. What I do know is either can occur. That’s why we play the games. This “sky is falling” mentality is a way over the top reaction. Nick Richards could be here 4 years and be all conference in two years or still be relatively ineffectual…which idk. I’ll take the odds on Herro being a huge offensive force to be dealt with by season’s end. He’s in a slump and figuring things out. Y’all need to chill. I’m not happy with where this team is either right now but I also know the chances are very high that they will be dominant by years end. You guys need to give these kids a chance to put it all together. It may take a all year or they may start by beating UNC and not look back.