By LARRY VAUGHT
John Calipari is doing his best to make sure panic does not start because of Kentucky’s loss at Tennessee Tuesday night.
“Every team I coach is so different. That game (last year), the way that happened had nothing to do with this. Tennessee led from the start in this game, ‘til the finish. Start to finish, they led. We didn’t turn them over. We had no active hands. We were more concerned about what we were going to do on offense,” Calipari said.
“We wouldn’t throw Bam (Adebayo) the ball until I said at halftime, ‘That’s it. You either throw him the ball or you’re coming out.’ Again, let me say this: Doing what’s right for the team isn’t always right for you personally.”
That better change before Kentucky hosts Kansas, which lost at West Virginia, on Saturday night. After that, it will be Georgia visiting Rupp Arena.
“I can’t remember who the next game is. I know those next two. But it may be—I hate to lose, but sometimes it’s good. Either you’ll listen. We’ll have two days of—let me tell you, everybody that’s watched this team, you know what we usually look like? Pass, pass, pass, pass, in, out, drive, kick, go. You know what we’re doing right now?” Calipari said.
“Whoever has it holds it as long as they can until they make a pass. And the pass they want to make is the hero scoring pass. We’re not playing how we were playing two weeks ago. Maybe we got arrogant. Again, it comes back to what I’m accepting as a coach. And obviously I’m accepting this kind of play from young kids and I’ve gotta do a better job and I will.”
Calipari took to Twitter Wednesday and said it had been a “day of grieving” for him.
“I like my team. We’ve got good kids and a good team. Tennessee was simply better than us last night, and that’s on me,” Calipari tweeted. “If our kids are playing a certain way, it’s because I’ve allowed them to play that way. I’ve been accepting that. But I will say this again: These are good kids. I hate to lose, but it’s January. We aren’t where we want to be, but we have time.
“The kids had today to take care of their academics and then we are back at it tomorrow with film, practice and meetings. Saturday is going to be a tough one against one of the best teams in the country. We will need the # Saturday at Rupp.”