We will write a lot of words about tonight’s 85-65 loss to Alabama, but Dontaie Allen only needed six in the postgame press conference.
“It was a butt-whooping, for sure,” Allen said.
John Calipari used several more, but the message was essentially the same.
“Not one of our players played well. I obviously didn’t coach well but what I told them after was, ‘I’m going to find five guys that will fight and that’s who I’ll play.’ We got beat every which way but loose. We were late to everything. We were backing away from players, probably because they’re afraid to get beat on the dribble and look bad, so I’ll just back away and give them a three. And they shoot 30 and make 14. But give Alabama credit. They came in here and — you know. One of their players asked me at the end, ‘What’s the score? I said, ‘You know what it is, 85-65. You killed us.'”
Ouch. Calipari continued, bringing up how many times his players got beat to the basket, one of the most frustrating parts of tonight’s abysmal performance.
“We reverted. I’m not sure I’m even going to watch this tape, to be honest with you. Move on to the next one. And in this league, it’s not going to get easier. People were playing the way they are, which is face the court and beat people on the dribble. Let me ask you, do we have anybody that can stay in front of anybody? I don’t know. It didn’t look like it.”
Freshman guard Devin Askew was a lone bright spot on offense, finishing with 12 points off 4-9 from the floor, but refused to make excuses for the loss.
“We didn’t show up today. We didn’t execute that well and we didn’t play to the best of our ability. We are going to go back to practice and look at film and keep working to get better.’
With Keion Brooks back in the lineup, Calipari has had to redistribute minutes. After logging only six minutes vs. Florida, Lance Ware did not play tonight, a decision Calipari said he regrets in retrospect.
“I said after, ‘If I had to do it over again — because we didn’t fight and battle — I would’ve just put Lance in there. But again, did you expect us to play this way or anybody? Now you’re giving some guys a chance to play through it thinking they’ll wake up. Sometimes you look back and say, if I would’ve known you wouldn’t have woken up, I would’ve just played this guy. But that’s not how this goes. Lance has been great and like I said, I’m looking for five fighters, battlers that will come in and play confident. You can’t play confident if you’re getting hit in the head. Now if you’re hitting somebody in the head, you’ll be confident. If you’re taking all the shots instead of giving shots, you’re not going to be confident. We got kind of worked there a bit, pushed around, shoved around and you gotta fight back.”