After R.J. Barrett’s unstoppable 38 point-performance against Team USA, John Calipari shouldered the blame for failing to make defensive adjustments.
“R.J. (Barrett) had it going. I told the team after the game, I needed to try some different things – go zone, trap pick and roll, trap him,” Calipari said in a postgame statement. “I kind of rode it because I thought we would figure out something, and that is my mistake. That’s not these kids’ mistake.”
The Americans shot just 33 percent, but Calipari believes they did enough offensively to win. They just couldn’t stop the Canadians from scoring.
“We got 30 offensive rebounds. We scored enough points to win. But then it came down to some breakdowns defensively.”
Calipari is never happy after a loss, but he did not have sour grapes.
“The reality was, one kid really went crazy, and then the rest of their kids did what they did,” Calipari said. “Hats off to them. Congratulate Canada, they deserved to win the game.”