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Q&A: Everything John Calipari and Co. said after UK’s Sweet 16 Loss

JOHN CALIPARI: Congratulations to Kansas State. They played well. They played the kind of game, a physical game, and did what they had to do. Shot 35 percent and won a basketball game. My hats off to them. I’m proud of my team. Had our chance to win, didn’t play particularly well for us, but still had a chance to win.

I should have called that time-out late with 19 seconds to go, but we had worked on something, and I thought we could catch them off guard. Veteran team, should have called a time-out. Can’t put that on these guys. That’s right on my shoulders. Proud of our kids, though. Proud of their effort.

Q. PJ, you had a tough time making free throws tonight, but you still had 15 rebounds and 18 points. How would you assess how you played today?
P.J. WASHINGTON: We lost. I didn’t play good at all. As you saw, I went 8 for 20 from the line. I feel like if I would have made at least half of those, we would have won the game, so I didn’t play really good.

Q. Shai, what was the plan on the last possession of the game, and how did you feel about the look you got to tie it?
SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: It was a pin at the free-throw line for Wenyen, but it took a little too long to progress. And then I had to take a tough shot, and obviously I missed, and I’m disappointed with the result.

Q. When you get that 7-0 deficit, when you get that 13-1 deficit, what’s going through your head at that point?
KEVIN KNOX: We just wanted to keep fighting at that point. We was down 12 early, but we knew we still had a lot of game left. We made our runs, they made their runs. We wanted to make sure that we just get back close in the game going into halftime and come out in the second half and fight, but we didn’t get the results that we wanted.

Q. Yesterday you were talking a lot about your team drinking the poison. Do you think they drank it at all?
JOHN CALIPARI: No, I think the game was physical. You know, there was the freedom of motion to cut and do it. It was a physical game. And it kind of got us a little out of rhythm, and it wears you down. I mean, I thought Shai got worn down. We were doing some things late. We had some turnovers that — we have a lead now, and we turn it over a little bit. And there was a foul called on a free throw, and we have a one-point lead at that time, and playing like we did, which was amazing. We had our chances.

But I come back to the big play for us was down 2. We were going to run a play to go weak side corner for a three, and we end up not having it, throwing it to Quade, I was trying to get a time-out at that point. But that’s on me, that’s not on these kids. That was a choice I made.

The last play was a curl. We were trying to pop Wenyen, and it kind of got messed up. But look, you can’t — these kids fought. They were down 13-1. I mean, I called them in and just said, hey, guys, there’s a whole game left. By the halftime, I said we won the rest of that half by seven. Just keep playing. There were plays in the game that we just didn’t make. But you’ve got to give Kansas State credit. They played in a way that they had to play to win the game, and they did.

Q. I was talking to a couple Kansas State players who were upset. They said your players left the court before they could shake their hands. I wonder what you saw with that, what happened there?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, I went down to shake their hands, too, and they were turned and celebrating so that I walked off. I had no disrespect for anything, just that they were celebrating and I was happy for them. I walked off, too. But I went down, I shook all the coaches’ hands, I went down to shake their hands — which I understood. They’re in an Elite 8 game now, a chance to go to the Final Four. My team is not like that, neither is our program. There’s no disrespect in any way. They beat us. They deserved to win the game.

Q. Obviously there were a lot of fouls on both sides. Do you really feel like a game that moves at a snail’s pace like that really drains the energy from the crowd?
JOHN CALIPARI: I don’t know. You know, you just have to — again, it’s a hard game to play. But if it’s allowed to be that way where there’s a lot of physical contact and stuff, then you’ve just got to play. However it’s being officiated, you’ve got to play.

Q. You’ve called this your most rewarding season. Now that it’s over, do you feel like you got the most out of this team?
JOHN CALIPARI: Yeah, again, both individually and collectively, this was a rewarding year for me. I wish it could have ended in another week, but you know, for me to see how individual players got better, for me to see how this team came together, for me to see Jarred in, Jarred out, all the stuff that went on with injuries, and they hung in there and played a bunch of freshmen. I thought they really performed.

Q. Do you expect to get the bulk of this team back, more players than usual, and do you think all the things that it’s gone through this season will pay off next year?
JOHN CALIPARI: I don’t know yet until I sit down with all the guys, sit down and talk and see where they are with things and where their families are. I have no idea. We haven’t discussed it.

Q. Just to follow up, Tai Wynyard hasn’t been making any trips in the postseason. Do you expect him to be back next season?
JOHN CALIPARI: I don’t know that yet until we get back on campus and we get with all the players.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

23 Comments for Q&A: Everything John Calipari and Co. said after UK’s Sweet 16 Loss

  1. John
    1:29 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    F**k Cal. Tired of his S**t.

  2. dakich is stupid
    1:29 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    We played to our rank!

  3. makeitstop
    1:36 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    “I think the vast majority would do well to come back and polish some things up but I’ll talk with each of them.” THAT is the answer, Cal. You better get them back, you’ll need them. This “gee let’s see what their AAU coach and uncle Fred say and then they will do what’s likely to get them to Lithuania” is not the answer.

  4. bluecrowe
    1:44 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    makeitstop….that was hilarious. Brilliant line. There is so much truth in what you said.

  5. backwaterd
    2:29 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    To the vast majority who think Cal is a good coach, you know nothing about championship basketball!!! Period the end! He is a used car salesman using our program to make money. That’s it! Cal lost this game, players were held back!!!!!!! We will not win another national championship under Cal….. if u think different, u r stupid!

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      2:42 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      You can’t even spell, use proper punctuation or write a sentence and you’re calling other people stupid? SMDH

    • Rembrandt
      8:06 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Out come the idiots. Great.

    • Al B. Frank
      8:21 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      The guy writing “u r stupid” is calling us stupid. The trolls are out in force today.

  6. backwaterd
    2:34 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Get this bozo out of Lexington, COACH CAL

  7. backwaterd
    2:38 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    National championships is what we are about! Hope all u other folks love the green room!

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      2:46 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Name a coach at UK that has more championships than Cal, besides Rupp. Guess what, it’s not the 1950s anymore. There’s parity in college basketball and 68 teams in the tournament. Heck, name another coach that has more wins than Cal since he’s been at UK. Guess what, we’re not getting, and don’t want, Coach K.

  8. backwaterd
    2:43 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Props to P.J. , he keep us the game, all r kids are awesome, wish they had better guidance.

  9. backwaterd
    2:51 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    National championships, K,Roy, ….. Cal has got one, with a program that had 7!!! Wake up dude!

  10. backwaterd
    2:55 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Looking for proper English? Let’s match checkbooks?

  11. Al B. Frank
    8:19 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    These aren’t fans posting here. These are trolls. This is not how fans act. We went to the Sweet Sixteen in a supposed “down” year.

    People are whining that we didn’t win the National Title. Grow up. Trolls and sore losers. Makes me embarrassed to be a UK fan.

    No coach has ever won more consistently at UK than Calipari. He tells you it’s all about the kids and their futures. He IS a college coach. This is college. But you think he can’t coach and he doesn’t care about winning, talk to some of the players. They will tell you how hard he pushes them to win, to sacrifice their own statistics for the good of the team. They will tell you how important winning is to Cal. Don’t believe every piece of rhetoric you read. Who would you take over Cal? Name names, and I will point out their flaws that are worse than Cal’s. We put a competitive team out there every season with a chance to win the whole thing. We are in the running for the best players every year. Sometimes those players happen to be good enough that they feel they are ready for the NBA. Should Cal recruit lesser talented players? Does this mean he doesn’t care about winning? What does Cal have to gain from putting players in the NBA? These are things he says to get THE BEST players to come to our team. Why does he want the best players? Because he is trying to give us the best chance to win. In our history, we have never been this consistently good – year after year.

    It was a “down” season, and we still went to the Sweet Sixteen and won our Conference Tournament. The sky is not falling.

  12. Jiminy Crickets
    8:34 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    The truth most fans can’t seem to remember is this team is NOT good, and haven’t been all year. I heard matt making fun of KState for losing to vandy. Guess what they almost beat us twice, and actually should have until their best FT shooter suddenly missed everything in BOTH games. We were not supposed to get out of opening weekend. We bragged about blowing out buffalo but with 5 minutes left that was a 4 point game.
    However, no one can deny that we were gift wrapped a road to final 4. If they made it to FF, no team in history of NCAA would have faced collective lower seeds to get there, and again let’s face it, KState is not a good team.
    This game however was lost in the coaching box. Poor decisions from slowing pace, to blown timeouts, to feeding the all to s guy that was visibly shaken at the FT line, to the STUPID technical. I know cal doesn’t play defense when we allowed the smallest team ever to drive to the rim for game winner, I get he doesn’t shoot from 3 or FT line, but KState is a bad team, without their best player, and they embarrassed us.

    Bruce Webber decided he would make Knox run all over the floor, and double Knox on every drive. We made no adjustments, no set plays to get Knox open, never posted him against the smaller defender, and never had SGA push the ball after missed shots. We had TWO points in transition against a team half our size. We allowed KState to slow the game to a crawl, and play body ball. This is coaching, and all the Cal lovers can say what they want, I knew Cal would get out coached in this tourney, but getting out coached by Bruce Webber is inexcusable

    • Jiminy Crickets
      8:35 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Double SGA on every drive (not Knox)

  13. Speakonit
    9:09 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Whew buddy and to think I got blasted for speaking on it a day ago. I said I’m a fan of the university of kentucky and not the NBA, I count national championships and final 4’s hanging in rupp and could careless what these players do after leaving this program because nothing they do afterwards results in a win or a loss for this program. I see most people on here bragging about putting 80 kids in the NBA and me personally I believe they’ve lost sight of what being a true UK fan is. I mean we fired tubby cause he hadn’t made a final four in 13 years. So cal makes a few improbable runs based of prayers of shots being answered by Brandon knight and Aaron Harrison, then takes the best team in who knows how long and flames out in a semi final game. He doesn’t call timeouts cause that’s his scapegoat for the players… don’t blame them blame me cause I didn’t call a timeout. Well I call bs as a collective fan base we’ve lost sight on this being about adding to the legacy of kentucky basketball. Increasing the wins, final fours, national championships not adding to the watered down NBA and seeing how many millionaires we can make!! For you people that never see no wrong get off cal’s and these players jocks and get back to rooting for what has made kentucky a blue blood program!!

  14. scwhite9
    10:29 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Chill, folks. We lost a basketball game. I’m sure it hurt the coaches and players. They didn’t try to lose. They just did. I hated it as much as anyone. But, we had a great season, the SEC tournament was one of the best I have witnessed, and they are a great group of young men. I am proud to be a UK fan. Go Big Blue.