John Calipari must be bored because he decided to go on a little media tour today. Cal will speak to the local media at 11 a.m., but first, he hopped on “The Dan Patrick Show” to shoot the breeze. Well, he and DP shot the breeze for a bit, then things got awkward fast.
Calipari brought up the platoon system about halfway through the interview, and said that although it worked for the players in that seven of them will go pro this summer, it hurt the team.
“I’ll tell you what they killed us with this year: platooning,” Calipari said, presumably of other schools negative recruiting against Kentucky. “It didn’t hurt a player. Obviously it hurt us, we did not win the national title. But it didn’t hurt anything doing it. I’m never going to do that again. When am I going to have ten guys of that level?”
Patrick asked Calipari if he thought Kentucky would have won the title had they used a 7-man rotation instead of platooning, which launched Calipari into a lengthy defense of the platoon system. Oh boy.
“I don’t know. We didn’t go seven deep. We went ten deep and then we went nine deep,” Cal said. “We almost won 40 games. And we were given a tough path in the NCAAs. Playing Notre Dame and Wisconsin, come on. Think about our path there.”
From there, Calipari went on the defensive, telling Patrick that if you’re worried about results, look at his players who are in the pros right now. As for his results at Kentucky…
“If anybody wants to question me, like results, like ‘I don’t care about results’? The last six years have been a pretty good run. Now, maybe you think I should have won five national titles and been the next John Wooden. I don’t know. But I do know we were right there trying to win them every year. Didn’t do it. It’s hard to do.”
Patrick asked again about the platoon system, which led to another round of reasoning from Cal.
“All ten of them will eventually be in the NBA. Why would I be the one choosing who not to play? Why don’t I give them all a chance to play? We won 38 straight games, how much did it hurt our team? No one’s ever done what we did.”
Patrick tried to wrap things up, but Calipari wouldn’t let him off the hook. “I’ve got other legends, I’ve got guys who won national championships,” Patrick said.
“I don’t know very many people who could stand you, that if you called, they’d come on,” Cal quipped.
Check out the clip below for the ensuing awkwardness. I almost crawled under the table like Ryan Lemond:
We’ll have the full interview up as soon as it’s available.