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.
“ 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. ”