John Calipari had a lot of interesting things to say following his team’s loss at Auburn, its fourth loss in as many games.
If you were too frustrated or too tired to stick around for his postgame comments, here are some of the big quotes you missed.
“My concern is that I have a bunch of young kids that at times don’t listen, they don’t trust.”
As he has said in the past, and as we can all see through our televisions, the Kentucky players have a listening problem. Of all the young teams Calipari has had, this one seems to be having the toughest time accepting his coaching.
“I told them that I failed them.”
“I failed them because I haven’t built enough trust where when I talk to them, they are going to do what this man says,” he explained. “I don’t know if it’s outside stuff, but I told them I failed them. I told them they also failed each other because they don’t play for each other.”
Calipari said he’ll be fine, but he is worried he has failed the players and there are some ways the players have failed each other.
“All that comes back to trust.”
“It’s probably good for the soul.”
Calipari wonders if the losing skid is good for the soul, although, he wishes it was someone else’s soul.
“Good news is I’ve done this for 30 years,” he said. “Haven’t had one of these for a while. It’s probably good for the soul. I wish it was good for someone else’s soul, not mine.”
While fan frustation is at an all-time high with Hamidou Diallo’s lackluster play, Calipari feels bad for his freshman guard, who was a highly regarded NBA prospect not long ago.
“I feel for them. Poor Hami. He’s making strides and getting better. He needed that three to drop. And that thing went (all around the rim). We would have been up seven and it just didn’t go. I feel bad for him. I told him, ‘Just keep working, man.’ But he looked rattled out there.”
“We made strides today.”
Kentucky had a late lead on the road against the first-place team in the SEC, but couldn’t finish in the final stretch. Despite the loss, Cal still said, “They did good. We made strides today.”
“I kind liked that smaller team.”
We may see more of Kentucky’s smaller lineup with Wenyen Gabriel, PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt playing inside over Nick Richards or Sacha Killeya-Jones.
Cal said, “I kinda liked that smaller team. And they’re not small — 6-9, 6-9, 6-9, 6-9, maybe. I kind of liked that team in there.”
He also knows it won’t work all of the time, but it was good against a smaller team like Auburn.
“I really believe if we win a game we’ll get going.”
Kentucky isn’t worried about NCAA tournament seeding or qualifying; they’re only worried about winning a game again.
“Let’s just try to win the next game,” Cal said, when asked if he’s worried about the postseason. “Just win a game. I really believe if we win a game we’ll get going.”
PJ Washington said, “Right now our main focus is just on our next opponent, just trying to get back on the winning column. I feel like if we work hard at practice every day we’ll be all right.”
See Calipari’s entire press conference: