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John Calipari: “If you’re going to be mad, be mad at me.”

Following three consecutive losses for the Kentucky Wildcats, fans are growing restless. Thoughts of the 2012-13 season are crawling to the forefront of the collective minds of the Big Blue Nation, and quite a few individuals have (wrongly) taken to social media to criticize the players directly.

During the John Calipari Call-In Show, Coach Cal told fans to direct that negative energy toward him, not the 18 and 19-year-old players on the team.

“Are people being negative? If you’re being negative, be negative towards me. Don’t be negative towards the kids,” Calipari said. “If you’re going to be mad, be mad at me.”

Calipari followed up by telling Tom Leach that he “wasn’t cracking,” and said the recipe to turn things around and get the fans back on board is easy: Just win the next one.

“Here’s what it is, and I’ve been doing this a long time, you’ve gotta win a game. We lost a couple in a row, you’ve gotta win a game.”

And with the team heading to Auburn to take on the No. 1 team in the SEC, he knows it’s not going to be easy.

But the team needs it.

“We’re going into a top-ten, top-five, whatever the heck they are, on their court,” said Calipari. “It will be a hard game, but you know what? It’s exactly what’s called for. It’s exactly what we need thrown at us.”

Calipari said he’s excited for the challenge, but his Wildcats are going to have to earn it if they want to pull off the upset.

“Road game, a bunch of young players, hostile environment, against a really good team that’s playing well on offense on defense,” said Calipari. “I’m excited about it. I know it’s going to be hard, and if you want to win it, they will not give it to you.”

One way to not only pull off the upset, but get started on a hot streak going into postseason play? Develop similar habits to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, both on and off the court.

“Getting them to change some of the habits they have. We’ve got a guy like Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) in the gym at seven o’clock in the morning. Never misses a weight training, never misses a class, never late for anything. Who’s our best player right now? Shai. Guys, take it from him. If you’re disciplined in other areas, you’re disciplined on the court,” said Calipari.

After taking a day off from practice, the Wildcats got back in the lab this afternoon to get things fixed.

One big victory on the road against Auburn could stop the bleeding in a massive way.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that may be the only option at this point.

Let’s get it done.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

44 Comments for John Calipari: “If you’re going to be mad, be mad at me.”

  1. robin barry
    8:29 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    I know mostly bout possums

  2. Willrich1970
    8:29 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    The problem is not the players or Cal. The problem is the calamity that is college basketball. The sport is suffering from rules put in place by the NBA. A bad product with no reason for the fans to by in.

    • ilovekaturday
      8:56 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      So it’s the rules and the nba’s fault we aren’t good?

    • KYJelly
      9:50 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      Literally the dumbest post I’ve ever seen

    • dismore
      10:44 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      Nah…..if it’s the NBA’s fault then explain to me why the NCAA requires baseball players to stay three years. The NCAA continues to blame the NBA and some of us are smart enough to see through the BS.

    • ilovekaturday
      11:05 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      The NCAA requires baseball players to stay till they’re 21 or 3 years. Baseball isn’t the same sport as basketball half these kids are ready for the nba immediately. No one besides a Bryce Harper is big league ready immediately. So that’s a dumb point. It’s not the rules fault. You’re ignorant cal recruits to the rules he wants the kids to leave so isn’t it his fault then?

    • unbridled
      11:54 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      Ilovecaturday, you are a small minded person and like to pontificate about things well beyond your grasp. Please stop embarrassing yourself.

    • ilovekaturday
      12:18 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Unbridled please keep your inbred irrelevant thoughts out of this. Grown ups are talking.

    • ilovekaturday
      12:21 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      You probably couldn’t play dead in a army movie. Yet act like you know something. Cal loves the ones and dones it’s what gets him in the spot light so you take that away and he’ll actually have to coach and develop players and he can’t.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      3:06 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      The NCAA doesn’t require baseball players stay 3 years or 3 minutes. It’s an MLB rule. They draft teenagers all the time but once a kid starts playing college ball he has to complete his junior year or reach 21 years of age. Again, not because the NCAA can gestapo a kid into indentured servanthood but because MLB has its own rules.

    • unbridled
      10:20 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Wow! Profound thought ilovekaturday. Again you’ve said nothing relevant. You are crying and complaining about a rule that has brought UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS to the university of Kentucky. That’s hilarious and you can’t see the forest through the trees. Grow up scooter.

    • ilovekaturday
      1:57 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Are you two retarded? I was saying it is not the rules fault. This clown above me was saying it is the rules fault. Please read if you need help sound it out ask a friend to read it too you. So much success a million draft pics……….1 ring

    • 4everUKblue
      2:40 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Katurday you are a bigger idiot than Slater….or are you really Slater? Sure sounds like him.

  3. Mc12
    8:42 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t get mad and don’t freak out after a loss. My main frustration is the lack of hustle. I don’t think the coach can take the blame on that. If you lose, but you play with passion, as a competitor, I’m okay with that.

    • Han
      9:43 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      Ultimately the players have to execute, but Cal recruits them and he teaches them in practice. If they’re not performing, it’s still on the staff for not reaching them in practice or for recruiting guys who don’t have the right attitude.

    • Mc12
      9:48 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      I hear you. I’m just saying, as a competitor, if my shots not falling I’m justifying my time on the court by locking down on defense, getting back on fast break d, diving for a loose ball, and rebounding. I feel the lack of effort and hustle is on the players, not the coach. Sure you can take bench them as a wake up call, but ultimately competeting is on the player

    • unbridled
      11:56 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      Of course the blame falls on the players and of course coach cal wants to shoulder the blame for his young team. It’s pretty simple. If you think this team is executing as the coaches instruct….you don’t know basketball. It’s is what it is. Coach cal is just being a players first coach.

  4. Alleykat16
    8:49 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    If people are attacking these kids they are not real fans, the real fans feel bad for the players after they lose and happy for them after a win its just down right stupidity to attack a kid for not winning a game. These are not NBA players they are kids. They dont want to lose it just happens and the fans that’s doing this we dont want you as a UK fan go watch WWE that’s more your game because your both FAKE

    • ScoggDog
      9:12 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      And that comment, right there , is a pretty big illustration of the Calipari Effect. You’re either With Him, or Against Him. Nothing in between.

      It’s a Coaches Dream. I get why Cal – and every other coach – pushes for it. There’s no room for criticism. Cal works pretty much as hard as Tom Jurich ever did at Louisville to control the conversation. Shape the narrative. Why ?

      Because it works … in the short run. On some people.

      But long run ? I think the jig is up. I’ve seen a sub-group of Kentucky Fans, spurred on by Pro-Kentucky Media, get this militant before in a “Love It or Leave It” fervor.

      Happened at the end of the Tubby Smith era. I think it’s happening again.

    • Mathlete
      9:48 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      @Scogg – I think Alley is referring to people making vicious and personal attacks directly at the players on Twitter. They’re a small but annoyingly loud corner of BBN who should be ashamed of themselves

    • Alleykat16
      8:39 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Yes thank you for being able to understand what you are reading there’s no sense in berating kids its a game we all want to win but sometimes we lose

    • BluKudzu
      9:49 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      I enjoyed reading your take on his comments. I do think there is some circling of the wagons, now that the season has gotten away from him.

      But I do not think this is close to being considered the beginning of the end.

      Cal leaves UK when it will be more advantageous for Cal to leave UK.

      Not too many folks can compensate him in this manner, and frankly his exposure elsewhere is still tarnished.

      I think he goes when he wants to retire. Any other coaching position is a step down.

  5. RexRox
    9:50 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    Maybe need a ‘Breakfast Club’ like the 2012 team had.

  6. timewilltell
    9:52 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    Under Cal
    2010- Elite 8
    2011- Final Four
    2102- Final Four NC
    2013 – NIT
    2014 – Final Dour
    2015- Final Four
    2016- Second Round
    2017- Elite 8
    2018- ?

    What happened in 2013 and 2016?
    2013 Marques Teague did not come back
    2016- Dakrari Johnson did not come back.

    Sums up Cal’s tenure in Lexington. It is about players and more importantly-key players.

    • unbridled
      12:07 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Look at that record and please explain to me how you have a problem with that success?!? I’m all ears. You people are clueless.

    • 4everUKblue
      2:39 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Well Scogg? Crickets?

  7. bosch8184
    10:04 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    It is undeniable that the fanbase is losing interest because of the constant turnover and turning the program into an NBA predraft camp.

    Fans are voting with their attendance at home games, eyeballs, and lack of travel to this neutral site games.

  8. bigbluenation90
    10:22 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    I just hope we don’t get matched-up with Robert Morris. I heard they are tough this year.

    • na8vecat
      11:07 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

      I agree with Cal, no one should personally attack these kids on social media , thats just not very classy.

      But I dont recall a Ky team that just stands around and watches on defense ! They let guys drive the middle and they just stand there. Another thing that i cant believe no one else comments on , they let them drive the baseline too! They have done that all year ! Man you are taught that in elementary school ball. Also when they play zone , it would be much more effective IF THEY PUT THEIR HANDS UP!!! Jeese! Talk about low basketball IQ

      Hey i am not giving up yet , I think Cal will light a fire under their butts before we go into March. At least I hope he does

  9. Ez21
    10:30 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    First thing I do if I’m
    Cal is tell them the 1st time I see a player beat you down the court or you not run the floor hard offensively you’ll sit by me rest of the half. Same thing for talking back to teammates or coaches. We lose, we gonna lose my way if I’m Cal. Then I have a talk w Hami and ask him if he wants to be a part of this team? After that I’m meeting with PJ to ask him where the hell he’s been?

  10. BigBlueNationDude
    11:18 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    No problem. I’m mad at Cal. It’s his team. He makes an absurd amount of money. He has vecome arrogant and complacent as the coach.

    • 4everUKblue
      2:41 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Pick another team. dUKe would be happy to have you.

  11. Lip Man 1
    11:24 pm February 12, 2018 Permalink

    Cal doesn’t stand around on defense. Cal doesn’t not make the extra pass. Cal isn’t the one who can’t shoot free throws. Cal doesn’t snap back at teammates in games. Cal isn’t the 6-10 guy who keeps missing dunks (how does THAT happen multiple times?) and Cal isn’t the one who can’t make an outside shot.

    Finally Cal isn’t the one with the low basketball IQ.

    It’s the players, first, last and always.

    Same as when they play well and win games.

  12. BigBlueNationDude
    12:06 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Cal has been saying Kentucky will eat first. Not so much lately. Soup kitchen

  13. unbridled
    12:13 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    The snowflakes crying about John Calipari are clueless and comical. You will rue the day that he is not the basketball coach at the university of Kentucky….if you are truly a fan. It’s obvious you don’t get it and never will. It’s kinda sad actually.

  14. Jiminy Crickets
    12:29 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    I appreciate Calipari’s candidness, but what is he supposed to say? He can’t come out and say that he’s given up, he can’t come out and say I’ve done all I can do these kids suck, he can’t come out and say these kids aren’t as good as I thought they were. And he has to say I’m not going to crack, and don’tblame the kids. If he didn’t do that he would look like the fool.

  15. chris43
    5:40 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Cal still has my faith and 100% backing. There’s not another coach that I’d rather have at UK. I’be been a fan for decades and truly watch every game. I’m by no means mad or frustrated. I can handle the losses because win or lose my blood bleeds blue. However it “appears” that there are some on the team that don’t hustle and show very little heart or any at all. In my opinion this is what’s ticking fans off not the losses. Just play hard guys and leave it all on the court and win or lose you’ll have BBN’s support.

  16. John Henry
    7:15 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    I have to agree with Coach Cal. A coach will be fired or he will get an extension based on the team’s performance. We are currently an also ran in college basketball and Coach is going to have to roll up his sleeves and work a little harder the next couple of years. He can start by recruiting players with more heart. Athletic skill is nice but a little toughness and basketball IQ helps too. The word is out and teams know Kentucky can be beat.

  17. TB112162
    9:20 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Dismore that’s not and NCAA rule jack leg that’s a MLB rule SMH

  18. jameehkyfan
    9:30 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    It’s simple you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink. It’s up to the players to play with effort, heart,toughness and most of all pride. Cal is the great manipulator but bottom line it falls on the players. These guys want to be pros but with the effort being put forth I just don’t see it. I love the players, I love cal, I love kentucky basketball, hell I even love you the bbn that is tearing each other apart yet preaching about not doing it. Name calling and belittling one another doesn’t fix it and the end of the day, only the players can fix it, they have to dig deep inside themselves or collectively as a team. If they were pro players and performed this poorly, would they be in the d or g or whatever league it is now or simply not in the NBA and overseas. When has a uk scholarship become so trivial and meaningless? When I was a kid growing up in ky ,it was a dream to play for uk and there are alot of boys from ky that would love to have that scholarship. Not because they know they are using uk as a stepping stone to the nba but because it means something to them. If only these players could have the pride in the uniform and the scholarship. It’s a business now and if that’s the case in the real world, you don’t perform you are held accountable. Just my thoughts no need for your derogatory remarks just expressing my thoughts as a fan because true fans realize it’s just a thought not an attack on somebody’s intellect or person. Enjoy your day and stay classy kentucky