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John Calipari: “I don’t enjoy coaching the way I coached today.”

John Calipari felt he had to call too many plays. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you thought John Calipari was a little loud on the Kentucky sideline Saturday, you were right. But it was his team, not officials, that he was battling most of the time.

Calipari is still waiting for his team to be “empowered” and show more discipline and didn’t see what he wanted in Saturday’s win.

“What I don’t want to have to do, is battle. Me battling my team to play more disciplined, to do all the things we’re working on and talking about in practice, do them in the games and let’s do them for 40 minutes, and let’s see how good we are,” Calipiari said after the game.

“You can’t – here is what happens. Whether you’re undisciplined on offense or defense, they don’t. The team won’t trust each other enough to be special. Because you’re not disciplined, they don’t trust you’re going to do what you’re supposed to do. There’s a breakdown in trust. Now all of a sudden, everybody plays their own man and plays for themselves.

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Again, not brain surgery, not psychology. It’s just what it is. So until you get a team that plays with great discipline, they are not going to trust each other enough to get to be a special team.

We, at times, play with unbelievable discipline, and all of a sudden we just do our own thing. Shoot a ball with 22 seconds left in the shot clock, with two guys on us and I’ll fade kick it. What? Why would you do that? I mean, drive the ball. Try to get fouled.

“‘Well, I thought’ – no. Just undisciplined.

Those are the things that we have to work on and I think it’s going to take time. I still think we’re a month away to being what we need this thing to be if we’re going to be one of those teams at the end, because we’re not there right now.”

He trusts sophomore Isaiah Briscoe but was furious he got his fourth foul for an illegal screen after handing the ball off in the second half right after De’Aaron Fox got his fourth foul.

“Why did you do that? Undisciplined.

And again, I had to fight them the whole game. I don’t enjoy coaching the way I coached today. I should be a cheerleader. Obviously they are not ready for that,” Calipari said.

“And what bothered me in the second half, as they made their run, I had to make a call every time down the floor. That’s not how you want to coach. You’re not going to be that team, if you have to – and if I have to do that, I will. But at some point, this team’s got to be empowered, and they are just – they are not ready.
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4 comments

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  1. Grant

    I’d like to know how come Mulder isn’t being utilized more? Is he a liability in defense ? Man I can see this guy helping in the tournament with his shooting. I personally would like to see him get more time. I would like to see him more than Willis that’s for sure , who seems to has gone backwards in his basketball life. And I can see that he is a defensive liability . Mulder just seems to me, only from what I can see on tv he can be a long range weapon.

    1. Mike

      Wenyen showed some promise with his rebounding and overall game except the FT shooting which he has done well with since beginning of the year. Let’s hope this was his “coming out party”. Willis is another matter and continues to be a liability on defense and has lost confidence is his shot. He should be showing senior leadership and production. I would guess no one is more disappointed than his parents and girlfriend.

      1. KingGhidora

        Actually Willis is playing far better defense than he has in the past. He’s never going to be a lock down defender because he isn’t fast enough. But he does pretty well most of the time. It’s most likely the reason his shot has suffered. He works much harder on defense and that makes it harder to shoot on offense because you’re more tired than when you don’t play hard D.

        If you think that’s what Cal is complaining about you surely don’t understand the game at all. He wants Monk to not take contested 3’s with 20 seconds still on the shot clock. And he wants Fox to pass the ball more based on what he said at halftime in the Auburn game and his comments here about trusting your team. Fox didn’t really do that against Auburn. Monk ends up standing around as a spectator instead of becoming the super dynamic player he can be. Notice the score when Fox went out and the score at the end of the game. That’s what happens when Monk gets his hands on the ball more. The lead more than doubled after Fox went out. There’s a reason for that. Both Fox and Monk are young and they still make freshmen mistakes. Cal is trying to get them to stop it. They’re too good to play that way.

  2. Cats79

    I agree Grant, also if we can get Greabel involve on the offense side this team could be really dangerous. Were just not there yet in my opinion.

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