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John Calipari: “We just need something good to happen”

Aside from his stint in the NBA, the last time John Calipari had a losing record was 1988-89, his first season as a head coach at UMass. With Kentucky sitting at 5-13 with six games left in the regular season, Calipari is determined not to give up on this team, if not for the slim chance they make a run in the SEC Tournament than to show them how to deal with adversity.

“Am I happy with where this is?” Calipari said in his press conference this afternoon. “No. Come on you guys know me. Like you asked the question, it’s been – I was in my 20s when I coached a team (with a losing record). But this team, that team had no chance at the end; this team does. And we’ve just got to figure it out together and I’ve got to continue to try and motivate, and push, and hug.”

“What I’m trying to do is to show my response to all of this stuff,” Cal added. “And I’m not talking about in games. I want these kids to see that when things go bad, how, what is your response to it? Do you blame? Do you throw people under the bus? Or do you evaluate? Do you take responsibility? Do you keep trying? Do you try new things? Do you block out all of the clutter that everybody throws? Because when things aren’t going good it’s there and everybody has an answer. I want them to see and I want other people to see the response that we have. I haven’t stopped, stopped believing, stopped coaching. I’m trying to give them a chance to win every game they play, and I won’t stop until they say the season’s over.”

Nothing has gone Kentucky’s way this year. From the pandemic to injuries to losses and subsequent criticism from fans, the dream of being a Wildcat has turned into a nightmare; however, Calipari is encouraged by how his players haven’t given up, still coming in for extra work after practice.

“I have respect because these kids haven’t stopped. I looked out in the building last night and there are guys conditioning. They’re conditioning. It was after practice. Four guys stayed in there and were getting extra work in. I have great respect for these kids. I told them, ‘I believe in you. We have some flaws on our team, but you know, we have flaws in the coach.’”

Calipari has been criticized for not only his coaching this season, but his often bizarre and defensive comments to the media. Today, he made it clear where the fault lies for a historically bad campaign.

“I’m not making any excuses. Our record tells what we are and what I am as a coach this year. I’m not making excuses. All I’m saying is I’m not giving up, and if anybody wants to give up. I’m fine. I’m not going to be mad. If anybody wants to take off on them or me, that’s fine. I’m not mad. It’s what it is. I’m not talking down to anybody. I’m not. All I’m saying is my job is not to deal with that. It’s to look at these 12 kids and say, ‘How can I make sure I’m looking after someone’s child? How do I help them play their best?’ I’m with them every day. I know who has got the confidence to go in there when things are going bad and who doesn’t.

But I can say this, this group hasn’t given up on anything. And what I told you, conditioning, extra work, someone was in the gym the other day and they said after he worked out, he got conditioning. It was one of our starters. So, hopefully we start playing a little more consistent. Hopefully we throw one off a light that hits off the floor and bounces in the basket and we win on a play. How about an unbelievable block they’ll call a foul, and we shoot two free throws and win a game? I don’t care what it is. We just need something good to happen.”

Please let it be tomorrow. We all need something good to happen.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

31 Comments for John Calipari: “We just need something good to happen”



  1. millertim
    7:52 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    Good speech Coach… now I know why we’re 5-13. You seem confused and w/o any answers other than “we need something good to happen”— doesn’t exactly inspire confidence… I have offered a number of suggestions on here throughout the season– including the idiotic idea of yours before the start of the season that had a high school senior (Askew) starting over Mintz (probably our best player). Amazing how YOU see these guys everyay but couldn’t “figure out” that Mintz was infinitely better— but you’re a HoF and know much better than any fan. I also promoted the idea of using Allen much more than Boston and in the games we won (Allen played well). But your stubborness and loyalty to 5 star Freshmen has killed this team all year. Let’s hope you get thrown out of another game so we can win!!



    • mashman 93
      9:38 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

      Dontae can’t get open he’s to slow and he has to work on that I just hope the kid doesn’t transfer.



    • millertim
      9:56 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

      mashman I agree with that to some degree… as a spot up shooter he does need to constantly be moving to make himself open and accessible to the ball. However his teammates, and to a great degree, their coach, need to make him a priority and look to get him shots. Too often they move the ball laterally with little penetration… too often trying to shove the ball down on the block. Ball movement is a HUGE problem for this team. They really need to either hire a young NBA assistant or get one of their assistants to watch/ study more NBA teams in how they move ball to free up 3 point shooters. Once you establish 3 point shooting, the lanes open up for your “athletes” to drive the ball to the rim…



    • Bluehender
      10:35 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

      Bingo millertim..



    • Brady
      11:20 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

      We have NO ONE who can create & penetrate & no one can beat their man & get around them & get into the lane to b able to kick out for the 3. & even if we did we literally have ONE shooter on Allen which u said that can make a 3 & it wouldnt take an opposing coach long to shut that down by putting a denying man just on Allen & never help or leave him & deny everything which that’s what most coaches have done since he started making shots so tell all of what u said Is great thinking but we don’t have the team fir it this year & to be it really all boils down to not having a good or great PG that can consistently beat his man every night & get into the lane & rim & create . It would make everyone better including our bigs , Jackson to b specific , he has been pretty good but would b incredible if we had that PG that could do that & lob to rim for him & then of course we NEED MORE shooters obviously , Allen can only do what he can , the kid has had both knees Blown out , of course he isn’t gonna run around like Steph Curry & not gonna b extremely quick laterally , he simply can’t . This year is not what Cal visualized for sure , they just r not that good & it is what it is now..



  2. KYCat4EVER
    8:03 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    “We just need something good to happen”

    Agree Coach… now how about RETIREMENT??

    GO BIG BLUE!



  3. Catcasey1
    8:08 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    Kneeling has cost u more than u thought!!!!!!!



    • rockyou
      8:18 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

      Yeah, how about apologizing for that stupid idea to allow the “kids” to kneel, you were the adult and should have known better. I can’t believe you thought it thru and decided to alienate at least half of your fans. Be a big man, and you and the team apologize to our veterans and the people that support them. Show the “kids” how to man up and admit when you are wrong, until then you can KMA!!



  4. Trevathan
    8:48 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    Just maybe cheer for a different team? Like army or navy or air force? No? Oh, okay.



    • Tom Bombadil
      1:57 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

      Cancel guy right here…why do you get ‘triggered’ when someone brings it up? Go figure?? Wtf



  5. Nokneeling
    9:06 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    Something good will happen. The Wildcats will invent themselves as Kneel Team Six!



  6. yoshukai
    9:23 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    Since 2015 we are 22&23 against ranked teams, so it’s not just about this year . Kneel on out of here Cal .



  7. jaws2
    10:17 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    You Allen lovers need to give up on the more time idea. The guy is to slow, gets beat on the dribble, and has to shoot with no one near him. The kid just needs to get better.



    • unbridled
      9:48 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

      Gotcha. Yeah that makes sense. On a team where literally everyone is slow and completely sucks…the best offensive player shouldn’t play. Brilliant!!



    • millertim
      10:06 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

      Wrong!! Allen on the court creates better spacing as defenses now have to commit to staying on him and can’t sag off. Why is that so difficult to understand?? What Allen needs from his coach is more CONFIDENCE and the love/attention that Askew, Boston and Clarke received. I’m sure Allen feels pressure to shoot every time he touches the ball, but isn’t open. I concede that he needs to work on getting open, move more w/o the ball, especially on the weak side– watch more tape on prolific shooters in the NBA (Curry, Harden, etc…) and he needs to work on an explosive first step past a defender. He already has an advantage in that many defenders are running at him, use that to blow by them. He’s shown that occassionally. But mostly he needs a coach that BELIEVES in him and won’t sit him the rest of the game for attempting only 2 or 3 shots. Shooters must be confident and play with a chip on their shoulder– Allen had that early and then Cal killed it…



    • unbridled
      11:50 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

      Millertim I agree to some degree. My only issue is that while yes Allen would benefit from better off ball movement….I’m not sure the coach cal “dribble drive” facilitates that. Away from the ball movement is minor in coach cals offense. Always has been and it maddening



  8. AppreciateTheCall
    10:22 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    Love our coach and out players. They’ve been so bad this year but as far as I can tell they are still giving effort and not throwing in the towel. We may not be as talented as we’re used to but I like the character that I’m seeing right now.



  9. Swizzle
    11:12 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    Maybe wear a third mask dumbass



    • Tom Bombadil
      2:04 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

      Now that is some funny shit right there swizzle!!! Lol lmao! Thing is….he will probably wear it!!



    • Matt10
      12:54 pm February 13, 2021 Permalink

      Yeah Swizzle, if Fauci says covid doesn’t drift below 4 feet, obedient, uninformed, 2 mask Cal would go around on hands and knees like a good little slave.



  10. duner
    11:52 pm February 12, 2021 Permalink

    Not saying Allen needs to play more but he threw Allen under the bus all season in an effort to justify not playing him. Yes he gets beat defense but no worse than Boston who gave up half the points in the first half against UT. Askew bless his heart He tries but the kid just isn’t ready for this level of basketball. Sarr is soft and after the last game we now know that he has been misused all season. Brooks disappears during games. The shot selection of this team is just horrible and I blame Cal for that. He gets onto the players if they don’t take what he deems as a open shot. How about letting the kids take shots that they deem were open. I truly believe that this years freshman class was historically weak. Some players got high rankings by default it seems. Look at teams that rely heavily on freshman and they are struggling as well.



  11. sharpshooter81
    12:55 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

    Cal should know this already but practicing at shooting doesn’t make you a better shooter if you are just a bad shooter. He has no go to shooter at all for this level. He crapped the pants on this recruiting class and just needs to re-evaluate what type of players he recruits. Go for kids that are hungry, have great basketball IQ, and know the basic fundamentals.



  12. KyZoneBlitz
    1:06 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

    The team IS playing better. Hopefully they continue progressing. I like Allen,I like Boston as well. I’d love to see a lineup of Mintz, Boston, Allen, Jackson & Sarr for a few minutes. I think they could do some damage offensively & also play pretty solid on defense. J Love Askew as well, but for whatever reason, it seems he hasn’t realized that even if your sliding your feet, if you open your hips up & give the opponent a driving lane, they will get to the basket pretty much at will, causing other defenders to collapse down, or our bigs to rotate over, which then leaves a man open for a backside dunk/layup or wing open for 3(If we do actually continue to rotate, its always late. Even though there wasnt a real preseason camp this year, they’ve still had plenty of practice time, but it appears the team still hasn’t learned to continue rotating until you make the offense kick it out & reset. Instead, after the first rotation, if we try to continue to rotate at all, were always late on the next, leaving someone open. That cost us numerous times against arkansas down the stretch, but the good news is it can still be fixed, & we can still make a run & get in the NCAA Tournament. We’re right on the verge of everything clicking IMO. I think there’s enough talent & all the pieces needed to win 4 games in four days, giving us the Auto-bid into the Tourney. Given the adversity this team has faced this season, they should have plenty of experience to push them hard enough to make a deep run. It can be done!! Go Cats!!



  13. dave1964
    5:54 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

    Simple how about you coach better.



  14. Rabbi Li
    7:05 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

    Wow… it’s all right there:

    For the first time publicly Calipari share his latest message with the team embedded in a bunch of other nonsense. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!

    “What I’m trying to do is to show my response to all of this stuff,” Cal added. “And I’m not talking about in games. I want these kids to see that when things go bad, how, what is your response to it? Do you blame? Do you throw people under the bus? Or do you evaluate? >>>>>>>> Do you take responsibility? <<<<<<<<<< Do you keep trying? Do you try new things? Do you block out all of the clutter that everybody throws? Because when things aren’t going good it’s there and everybody has an answer. I want them to see and I want other people to see the response that we have. I haven’t stopped, stopped believing, stopped coaching. I’m trying to give them a chance to win every game they play, and I won’t stop until they say the season’s over.”"



  15. Stop Hammer Time
    7:19 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

    During Cal’s first year they seemed to always have the cameras in the huddle during timeouts. I remember him telling Wall to make a play several times through the season. Just make a play. Guys like Wall have always made Cal look good. Those guys could get it done despite Cal’s roll the ball out there style. And even Kenny Payne has told people that Cal runs a very disorganized practice. It is on the level of AAU ball.



  16. kurofmi
    7:48 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

    I’m looking forward to the next Greatest Day in UK basketball history. 1:2 winning record….BUT 2 kids make the ‘Draft’. Ohhhhh. How glorifying!!! The NEW UaK is Only about the Draft, correct? But our coach did have a few good teams last decade, yes??? So let’s lay prostrate and pay homage!
    And another thing….he will leave our cupboards bare.



  17. FatDaddyCat
    9:55 am February 13, 2021 Permalink

    I despise the kneeling trend in sports these days. To disrespect the Nation that affords pro athletes the opportunity to make ludicrous amounts of money playing a game? Horrible. To try and make a statement of any kind by dishonoring the men and women who serve and protect, or our country’s flag and anthem is deplorable, in my view. But, I have a suspicion most of you kneel bashers are the very same people who run their mouth, don’t remove your hat and look at your phone when the anthem is played at my local High School games.



    • The Big Lebowski
      1:08 pm February 13, 2021 Permalink

      I hate the organization called Black Lives Matter. It’s a Marxist organization bent on the destruction of America. That said, the movement that is called Black Lives Matter is bigger than those criminal marxist scum.

      You miss the point on the kneeling. Period.

      These kids aren’t kneeling for themselves. They were kneeling for those who have no voice.



  18. just a guy
    12:50 pm February 13, 2021 Permalink

    Push, motivate, and hug. I’ve said it 1000 times. Cal does not COACH. He takes talented kids and gets them to gel better than anyone, but he does not teach fundamentals, an inbounds play, change his offense or defensive schemes, or draw plays to get shooters open. He is a motivational speaker not a basketball coach. He had losing record at UMass until he got Camby, he went to the NIT with Dejuan Wagner. He didn’t hit a HOF stride until WWW started bringing elite talent to Memphis. 2015 Www left Cal and moved on to Duke…. anyone seen the recruiting difference? Yes Duke is having a down year but they will be loaded next year with ATLEAST 2 top 5 recruits while Cal is praying for another reclassification to play PG



  19. JT55
    1:29 pm February 13, 2021 Permalink

    Want something good to happen? Let’s cancel the season and change coaches.