Here is the opening statement John Calipari had at his postgame press conference today after Kentucky’s loss to UCLA in Rupp Arena that ended a 42-game home win streak.
“First of all, you’ve got to give UCLA credit and what they did. I mean, what Leaf did, he basically dominated the game. We had no one, unless I was going to go big lineup, which we haven’t done a whole lot, which shows me maybe we have to be prepared for that. But he killed us. Straight line drives, rebounds, making shots. We left him a couple times. He played,” said Calipari.
“They also played to their strengths. Now, we turned them over a bunch, got a lot more shots than they did. But when we had our chance down seven, turnover, dunk, give up a three, all within 13 seconds. It’s all discipline.
“So for us, this wasn’t about offensively. We gave up 10 threes and I’m guessing six of them we left a shooter. All we talked about for two days is the one way they’re going to beat us is bouncing it, they’re not beating us shooting standing threes. I’m guessing six of them, maybe seven, plus the one right before half, which you have to give it to them, it was a heck of a shot.
“This is a lesson for us. We didn’t have the energy. I had to call a timeout a minute into the game. I mean, just wasn’t the same team. How about this one? We had 16 assists. Why didn’t we pass it today? Because it was national television, it’s my time? We all look bad. There are great lessons out of this. I wish we would have come back and won. I would have liked to learn from that lesson a little bit more. But sometimes you need to get hit on the chin, especially at home.
“Steve (Alford) and the staff, they were ready. We missed a lot of lay-ups, one-footer stuff. But it all comes back to the same thing: we didn’t have discipline defensively, we just didn’t. We fouled on drives instead of giving them space. Now all of a sudden you put them to the foul line when they were having a tough time scoring.
“I have to give credit to them. To come into this building. It’s 12:30, 9:30 their time, to come in and do what they did to us, and they manhandled us, they physically manhandled us. You don’t see that very often, especially in this building.”