Admit it: when you saw Doug Shows and Doug Sirmons were calling tonight’s game, you got a little worried; however, for the most part, the officials weren’t an issue. John Calipari didn’t even mind the technical called on him with 1:16 left for challenging a basket interference call on Nick Richards.
“Oh yeah,” Cal said when asked if he deserved the technical. “Yeah. I mean, yeah. My thing is, real simple: if an official — this is just my belief, I may be wrong in this — but if you miss a call and don’t make a call, it don’t matter what the coach does. Take it. Take it.
“And so, in that case, I did enough to deserve it. But I’m just — we’ve had a couple games now, I’m getting kind of up to [my neck] now and so, I’ve got to stand up for these kids. I can’t let stuff happen, or it’s okay to — I’m not going to let that happen.”
Fourteen fouls were called on Kentucky, well below the 29 that were called on the Cats Saturday at Auburn. Twenty-five fouls were called on Mississippi State, but as Cal pointed out, most of those were in final minutes when the Bulldogs were desperately trying to get back in the game.
“Now, this crew tonight did a good job on this game I thought. I mean, if they called a foul down here, they called a foul down here. You can’t take the last ten fouls they fouled us on purpose. You have to eliminate those. But you know, it was a physical game. They were physical. And guess what? We were physical.”