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The Cardinals know their roles, the Wildcats do not

John Calipari sees a lot of good qualities in the 2013-14 version of the Louisville Cardinals, the nation’s sixth-ranked team. They’re a good rebounding club; they are veterans; but most of all, the thing that stands out the most: “they know what their roles are.”

“What Louisville does best is, the two guys take all the shots, the two guards,” he told reporters at this morning’s pre-Louisville press conference. “The other guys that are supposed to shoot threes, do it. The rebounders rebound. The screeners screen. The post plays behind, and they go rebound. Collectively, they know what their roles are.”

He said the guy on Kentucky’s team that does his role better than anyone else is Dominique Hawkins, who is UK’s seventh, eighth, maybe ninth man in the rotation. “What this team needs him to do, he does,” Cal said of Hawkins. “We’re trying to get everyone else to understand what they need to do to help our team become better.”

The question is, how much longer until these guys understand and embrace their roles? It’d be nice if they picked it up over Christmas break just in time for, oh, ya know, tomorrow’s game against Louisville.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

19 Comments for The Cardinals know their roles, the Wildcats do not

  1. Elwood Blues
    11:04 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Gotta give credit where it’s due. The dirty birds have a decent team but are very well-coached. On paper they’re meh, but Pitino knows how to coach them. Every time I see Pitino vs. Cal, I always view it as Coaching vs. Talent. Go cats.

    • blueballs
      11:23 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

      well if thats all you see…you see talent win most of the time 4-1 Cal

  2. Gman
    11:13 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Cal, the one and done has got to go. what happen to beating teams by halftime.

  3. Mc
    11:16 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    That’s coaching to teach kids their roles. UK players used to have roles. Now they have 9 month plans. Maybe UK coaches could recruit kids who are willing to listen. Bottom line whether we like it or not Rick Pitino ALWAYS has got the most out of his players whether he was at UK or UL. That’s a good coach.

    • I agree
      11:22 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

      As also Tubby Smith. If he recruited like Cal he would’ve had even more success…

    • lonnieb
      11:31 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

      That could not be more false. He is terrible at player development. He does a good job getting guys to but into his system….which is great for college but terrible for player development. Think just recently…..who has actually improved at UL outside of dieng and from what I have read he worked a lot on his own on his jumper. Siva, blackshear, behannan, T will, earl clark……none of them improved. Pitino is a better X/O coach; however cal is better at recruiting and player development

    • symphonist41169
      11:50 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

      So why didn’t he develop last year’s team into more than a first round NIT loser?

    • M
      3:48 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      Just a reminder that Pitino has taken UL to 2 NITs, 2 first round exits and 3 second round exits.

  4. rick
    11:18 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Elwood, If you look closer at the cards i don’t think you will find that any of their players weren’t heavily recurited. Don’t act like the card players weren’t any good till they got to louisville.Rick is a good coach but he has good players to, he just can’t out recurit Cal or all our players would be playing at louisville.

    • Dude...
      11:46 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

      Please learn to spell recruit. R-E-C-R-U-I-T.

  5. yeahright
    11:24 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    I think Cal’s philosophy (on trying to simply out-talent everyone) may be changing a bit, based on the upcoming class. I could be wrong, but that’s my early perception.

    • daniel
      1:48 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      Not true, the top recruits just realize they have options other than UK now so they want to go play for a real coach like Coach K at DUKE.

  6. yeahright
    11:29 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    He even said in today’s press conference, as he’s said multiple times, he hates the one-and-done rule… but his philosophy is get the best players possible, but NEVER hold a kid back if the money is there, unlike some other coaches (coughpitinocough). That’s what he means by “player’s first”… which should make people proud that he’s not USING kids like the NCAA and most universities, both of which are making boatloads of money of these kids and their talent.

  7. sammydog
    11:51 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Pitino pressured Russ to stay another year for selfish reasons. He would have gone higher in the draft last year when there weren’t many good players in the draft. This year will be loaded. Not a players first program. It is a coaches first program.

    • steve
      8:28 am December 28, 2013 Permalink

      rick has his flaws but I don’t think selfish is one of them. he could have risked Derek Anderson’s career in the 97 final and more than likely have three rings.

  8. Tim
    12:01 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Bull Sh!t
    If KY had played UL schedule they would have only maybe lost to North Carolina. We would be saying KY is a big favorite. If UL had played UK schedule they would have lost all three that KY had lost and maybe more.

  9. MC
    12:30 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Long term Kentucky fans could care a less about pro ball. I don’t want to hold any kid back either. Go pro if you want. I don’t blame them. I want to recruit kids to UK like Darius, Pelfrey and Dominque Hawkins though who care as much about UK basketball as us fans do. We are not recruiting that now and it shows in the heart and option of the players. I am done with only the 9 month recruits. It’s not UK basketball anymore.

    • Come on
      1:37 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      I respectively disagree. Cal has made UK the place for the most exciting
      players to come , thrill the fans, be a force every year and forge a lifetime
      of involvement with the University. The number of players that come
      back to UK for different events on a regular basis is unprecedented. They really
      seem to love it here and Coach Cal. They give back to the fans by doing that
      and every time one of their names are mentioned in the NBA, we get
      to say “that’s one of ours”. Even with the anomaly of last year we get
      to watch Archie play this year and Nerlons next year . This years years
      team is like a young colt getting used to it s legs.

  10. Hendo Blue
    2:56 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    @2: you’re an idiot.