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Five Things John Calipari Said Today

John Calipari met with the media on Thursday ahead of his team’s upcoming game against Southern Illinois. But most of the conversation was about the Cats’ last game, the embarrassing loss to the Duke Blue Devils in the Champions Classic.

Here are five comments that stood out:


He wants the Duke loss to hurt.

Before Kentucky and Duke tipped off — so, before any of us knew a beatdown was ahead — John Calipari said a potential loss would be put in the rearview mirror and serve as a learning experience for his team. Well, it was a loss, and now he wants it to hurt.

“First of all, you want it to hurt,” he said of how he wants the game to impact his players. “I want you to look in the mirror and be real, no delusion. They were a better team and they played as a team. They worked together. We worked against each other. They played harder with more of a chip, which is usually us. And I’ll even go further and say they were better coached than we were. Let’s all look at it and let’s learn and move on.”

Maybe the Bahamas did more harm than good.

Looking back, the four-game run in the Bahamas gave us all a false sense of confidence, within the fan base and within the team. Calipari said he was never blown away by the Cats’ four convincing wins in the Bahamas because he knew there were no game plans and the opposing teams weren’t there to grind it out.

“I knew even then, boy, we got a ways to go,” he said. “And so that may have hurt us more than helped us.”

The loss to Duke, though — “it may have helped us more than hurt us,” he said.

Players weren’t playing for each other Tuesday night.

Calipari always preaches “brothers’ keeper” and playing as a team to his young players. It’s his message every year. This team did not do that against Duke in the Champions Classic.

“We were out there, instead of playing for each other, they were trying to get theirs,” he said. He also said a friend called him the next day and said, “It looked like your guys had their hair on fire.”

Cal told his team, “We gotta get five guys who will fight like heck and leave them in and play them as long as they can play. Find those five who will fight together and play together and leave them in and then the rest of you will sub in when they need a break.”

Guys were acting like it was high school.

“We took bad shots. Quick, contested. Guys were acting like it was high school,” he said. “Then we got down, ‘I’m gonna get mine now.’ What? You don’t play that way at Kentucky. You tried to get yours and now we’re down 30. Why’d you do that? ‘Well, he did it.’ Oh really? So he does it, so you do it, what about him?”

“I like this team.”

“I’ll say it again: I like this team. I like the people, the players, the way they treat each other. Now, we gotta have a little chip. We gotta get hungrier.”

If they get hungrier, they’ll have a chance to eat tomorrow night when Southern Illinois comes to town.


See the entire press conference below. It’s worth your time.

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

13 Comments for Five Things John Calipari Said Today

  1. J. Did
    6:20 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

    Yes, Duke is good. Really good. At this juncture – and what is it, day 3 of the season – perhaps the best ever. As fans, we need to continue the narrative. Because they are that good. We need to encourage their belief…because.

    What goes up, must come down. There’s a song in there.

    In time, they will fall. In time.

    Mike will, with purpose aforethought, have them lose a game or two – on the way to the ‘ship.

    The challenge is in figuring out out how to prevent that.

  2. Wade
    6:32 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

    They got 2 guys but we let them just go off and acted like a bunch of puzeeez. They hit everything but they got good looks had all the momentum and confidence. Cal needed to have a plan instead of allowing that. I hate his version of learning. When does he learn! IT may make them hungrier or it may crate doubt in big games. it’s ok to lose but not quit and be out coached like that. Especially with recruiting on the line between us and duke and we have no bigs next yr. duke won’t have Zion rj or reddish next yr but they will look at the coaching!

  3. KYCat4EVER
    7:02 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

    OK Coach! Enough of all the common blah… blah… blah… you use to deflect. Instead, can you explain why Coach K had FOUR FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICANS, had lost all of their 2017-18 starting five, and Coach K still had his players, his team, “Sharp as Knives” and our Cats were NOT CLOSE to prepared or coached???

    • 4everUKblue
      8:29 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

      LOL! The sky’s falling.

    • BigolBlue
      10:01 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

      4 ever still thinks uk can beat Duke in march and is a championship calibur team. 🙂

    • henderblue
      10:20 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

      Maybe we should all jump off a bridge with KYCat4EVER. Bigoldumbass, you go first…

    • Skooms
      8:24 am November 9, 2018 Permalink

      Big Ol Blue Douche still thinks that people think he’s actually a UK fan. Yeah we know you’re NOT.

  4. chris43
    7:18 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

    I know that it’s super early. I also feel that we have a good team. But a dominating performance would be quite comforting tomorrow night.

    • henderblue
      8:01 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

      It certainly would help chris.

    • Willdcat
      8:02 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

      This video’s audio is not in sync. So it’s unwatchable. This seems to happen alot with KRS video’s and it is annoying. Cats will win the nation championship!!!!! Mark that down!!!

  5. Jiminy Crickets
    7:18 pm November 8, 2018 Permalink

    Reading coach Cals dialogue is enough to make me nauseated. He gets into his fictional conversations he has with these guys about “why did you do that” and he said, he did, blah blah blah.
    You’re an 8 million dollar per year coach. If your guy is not playing team ball, or your guys are not playing like you want ITS YOUR JOB to correct it, not wait til you’re down 30 to have a psych therapy session on the side lines. I’ll say it again. Duke played like a team, UK played like a collection of talent. They both lost the vast majority of players from last year, and both had preseason games in August. duke looked prepared UK did not

  6. bige
    6:23 am November 9, 2018 Permalink

    More salesman talk than coach talk…typical.

    Watched the first 5 minutes and saw that this team doesn’t want to play defense yet and went to bed. Duke swas on fire so there you go.
    Cal let’s them flounder in man to man like it’s some prep course.
    Switch to zone a few times a game to let your kids get there bearings at least. Especially when you’re getting killed of the dribble and losing the boards. That stubbornness cost a couple national champs IMO. NBA has been playing zone for years now so there’s no reason besides stubbornness. He’s paid a lot of money to win national championships, not just recruiting. One leads to the other.

    • Alex90
      11:30 am November 9, 2018 Permalink

      Wow you are the smartest guy in the world! You should definitely be the UK coach…..