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Calipari on Randle’s defense: “That’s a baby. That’s what babies do.”


On the postgame radio show, Julius Randle talked about UK’s “ugly” win over Mississippi State after he scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

And even though coach John Calipari told Tom Leach on the show that he was “happy” to get the win, the coach didn’t seem overly happy with what Randle did.

“There were plays when he didn’t pass the ball when he should have. There were other plays when he didn’t … he’s 250, 260 pounds. You have to get your hips lower than the other guys hips and seal them. Sometimes in the middle of the zone, it’s a guard. He’s always tip-toe. He never demanded us to throw it to him. And we’ve been going over it and over it and talking about it,” Calipari said.

But there was more to come.


“Defensively, he didn’t help Dakari (Johnson) and then to make a point, he over helped to give up two 3’s. That’s a baby. That’s what babies do. ‘I’m going to show you. I’m going to give up two 3’s. What do you want me to do.’ And then you’re out. Next guy, in. Again, he’s a great kid. And this is all a learning experience for him.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/calipari-on-randles-defense-thats-a-baby-thats-what-babies-do/


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  1. TheProfessor

    It is long past the time to separate myth and reality.

    Myth: Randle is a beast. Reality, he posts up 4 to 8 feet further from the basket than he should making any move to the basket require circus like athletic maneuvers that take too many steps, dribbles, and time, and either he turns it over, or misses more than he makes a basket.

    Myth: Young is the best shooter in the country. Reality, James Young is not a very good or consistent shooter from the perimeter. Yet, he shoots, and shoots, and shoots. He has taken the most shots on the team, 266, and made only 41% of his shots.

    Myth: Andrew Harrison is a great point guard. Reality, it is almost impossible to distinquish Andrew’s body of work in 2013-14 from the much maligned work by Harrow last season. After the season last year, Harrow was invited to leave, and has been one of the big scapegoats for the coaches and the fans. Andrew Harrison can do no wrong in the minds of many.

    Through 22 games, last year’s team was playing at about the same level of efficiency as this year’s team, but the efficiency of play was clearly rising. This year’s team, through now 23 games shows no sign of elevating the efficiency of its game.

    But for the Nerlens Noel injury last year in the Florida game, this is the worst of Calipari’s five teams.

    1. Kokamo Joe

      This comment deserves a separate response. Both last year’s and this year’s teams were talented but young and devoid of the experienced players that Calipari had used in his first three years.

      Records will be different, but then supposedly the talent level is much higher this year. The question is a team with more talent a failure than a team with less talent which has a worse record.

      Professor, I respect your knowledge and your dedication to the program. I know that the home court is an advantage. But why does UK almost always win at home and struggle away from home? Why do we make 35 free throws and Ole Miss 10 at home and get out scored from the free throw line at Mississippi? Why do our players often get in foul trouble away from home and almost never in Rupp?

      Well into his five years here Calipari has lost two games at Rupp. It seems that we could beat anybody there and lose to anybody away from home. Why?

      1. TheProfessor

        Joe, home court advantage is a reality of sports, and it has been for as long as I can recall. It is not unique to UK, it is universal. Some teams seem to have a stronger home court advantage than others, and perhaps that is true. I am not able to measure it for anyone but UK. For UK, the statistical measure of home court advantage has been +/- 6 points over the years. It has not been a constant however, and has varied year to year within relatively narrow ranges, say between 4 and 7 1/2 points.

        I do not know why this home court advantage occurs, and any ideas I have about that question, are purely subjective. You have yours, Little Baron has his ideas, and I suspect that others have theirs as well. I have heard several ideas floated to explain home court advantage. 1) The home routine is familiar while the road routine is unfamiliar. 2) The officials have an unnatural bias in favor of the home team in response to the demands of the home crowd in the arenas. 3) The players are more comfortable in the familiar environment provided by their “court,” their “baskets,” their “lighting,” their own locker rooms, etc. 4) It seems to me that a “home court” advantage, e.g. (road court disadvantage) is a function of the strength of teams (my idea). For the visiting teams, the inverse of these ideas would naturally apply.

        I suspect the explanation is some convoluted combination of these and other factors, and I have not been particularly interested in answering the “why” question as I have been in measuring the affect, which as I said, for UK has been +/- 5 to 7 points, and for my analysis of games I universally use +/- 6 points for all teams, all venues, all years.

        While I have not assembled nearly enough data to support the strength of team v advantage idea, the data does support such a relationship. For example, the 2012 team’s “advantage/disadvantage” was at the low end of the scale while this year’s team has been at the high end of the range. Those variations seem to apply evenly to home and away adjustments. That suggests that the best teams (like the 1996 Cats) play their game regardless of venue, regardless of opponent, and the weak teams do not. Perhaps one day, I can have enough data to explore this last idea and test it.

        There have been 70 SEC games played this year, and of those 70 games, the visiting team has won 19 times. That is a road winning percentage of 27.1%. Last year, the visiting team won 38 of 126 SEC games, 30.2%. In 2012, the road win rate in the SEC was 29 of 96 games, 30.2%. So, over the years, the visiting team wins about 3 out of 10 games in the SEC.

        One last question about venue that I find interesting, but have not had the perseverance to incorporate into my analysis is the proportion of home/away/neutral venues in the mix for particular teams. The idea stems from a reality that some teams play 20 of 31 games at home in a given year, and others play perhaps 10 of 31 games at home, at the extremes. The NGE values I use are arithmetic averages of all data, regardless of venue mix. For teams that have a predominant home schedule, that average ought to be shifted to a higher level than if the mix of venues was even between home and away games. Similarly, a team that plays a predominant road schedule, their average NGE should be shifted downward. For those reasons, when those two teams meet on a neutral court, the NGE analysis would give an unnatural “advantage” to the home dominant team over the road dominant team. This is an issue I have been working on the last 2 to 3 seasons, but I am not ready to incorporate that into my game analysis, yet.

  2. Kokamo Joe

    The hype from the press and Calipari was that this was the greatest collection of talent in the history of the game. 40 wins was mentioned and many of us went out and bought t-shirts, and tossed them after the Michigan State game. We believed they hype. What is worse, I expect the players believed the hype. The truth is that this collection of talent must prove itself as a team. We have beaten nobody, but Louisville and they have no threat at the five position and we are loaded. We still are thinking that jelling is just around the corner, and that may be true, but that corner better be turned soon. No more squeaking by SEC weak sisters. No more depending on wins at Rupp for pride. The Cats will face bigger and more talented teams in the NCAA tournament and they will play them away from Rupp. It is time to kick it in gear.

  3. Little Baron

    I agree 100% with the Professor’s evaluation of myth vs reality.

    If Polson had the majority of PG minutes last year and this year, both seasons and both teams would be more consistent, more confident, more prepared for post-season play. I now wonder how much responsibility was on Harrow vs Calipari, and likewise this season when Cal has refused to bench the starting PG when needed.

    Young has been a gunner in this team and SELDOM has a decent FG % in a game. Hood would probably have done as well or better if give so many minutes, and h DEFINITELY would have been more of a team player!

    I also agree that we are running out of time to jell – and probably won’t.

    Calipari is out of line win his “baby” comment. Some readers get upset when comments we made about the heartless play of some players, but Cal’s remarks are much worse because he is speaking to the media. If he can’t get the job done in practice, he should no use the media to put the blame on the players. He has chosen to unjustly leave older players on the bench so he can let his one-and-dones have their way on the court. He has NOT used the bench as he has said he will do the past 5 years.

    1. nancy perry

      …I agree that Calipari should not have used the media to make that kind of statement…uncalled for and unbelievable!!!

  4. cats79

    First of all i don’t think Cal is out of line on his baby comment. He’s just trying to get them to play better in which this team is not doing. I think we as UK fans and the media haven’t been fair to this team as far of all the negative comments has been made about this team. Sometimes it takes more than one season for the players to jell as a team and that’s what this ream needs.Were gonna have to accept the fact what they are and be more positive about them after all there 18-19 year old kids trying to do there best. Life goes on regardless how the out come goes. I haven’t give up on them and will cheer them on untell season ends. GO CATS

    1. UKFMLY


    2. Kokamo Joe

      Personally I don’t think that a coach should use PR to embarrass a player, but that is just my opinion.

      I don’t have a problem with negative comments when they are deserved. Clearly this team has underperformed. Therefore fans are justified for expressing an opinion. Others are justified for sticking with the Cats win or lose. It is a personal decision.

      Calling a player a baby in public is the worst negative comment that I have heard about this team this year. More bench time might be a better motivator.

      1. cats79

        You are an example of what i said about fussing about this team. Expecting too much and not accepting what they are!!!!

        1. Kokamo Joe

          Understand that I honor and support your opinions. Not being in lock step and agreeing to disagree is one thing that makes life interesting.

          Yes, I do expect the team to perform. I frequently post that with the talent that this team has a great 8 ought to be a measure of success or failure. I personally think that a reasonable goal is important for much of what we do in life. A team which is touted as the greatest collection in the country should be able to progress to that level, I believe. If it does not, then the stars leave and Calipari starts over again and we will see about next year.

          For 60 plus years our football team has flirted with the bottom in the football SEC. There were many who were disappointed but seldom was there enough dire hard fans willing to leave their Commonwealth seats empty frequently enough to send a message that enough is enough. That happened. Now we have Stoops. Now we have Commonwealth upgraded. Now we have recruits. IMO fans who were disappointed caused this.

          This is a free country. If you love the Cats, win or lose…say so, just as you did. If you think that there are problems with the team…say so, just as some have posted on this site.

  5. "Write 'em Down!"

    I remember the days when UK used the long depth of its bench like a devestating weapon to wear other good teams out. I believe Rick Majerus could testify to that fact if he were still with us. Sadly, the Kentucky bench now seems to be just a metaphorical arm tied behind the team’s (I use that word somewhat loosely here :-) back. I also remember the times when coaching comments about personal play of individual players were reserved for the locker room only. Can’t remember Rupp, Hall, etc. making any “baby” comments for the public or media to air out. I do recall, though, that those coaches simply reserved a toddler seat down on the far ends of their benches for players exhibiting such behavior.

    I wonder if some coaches could use a sub themselves every now and then. What do you’un’s guys think? Maybe have a long bench for coaches instead? Maybe try to fly up Pat Riley or bring in Dan Issel for a game every now and then when the stress of the One-and-Dones brings on the occasional cognitive flame-out or two (see KY vs WVU game a couple of years back).

    Aw, enough of this stuff, dad-burn-it. What about all the recruiting headlines I love so well? And remember, football season is just around the corner.

  6. Little Baron

    What a ridiculous double standard…
    Calling out fans who express they are discontent with the team’s heartless efforts, on a website with a very limited number of readers, composed primarily of other fans, many who are UK grads that have followed the CATS for decades, even over half century, and witnessed the FRESHMEN and all classes giving 110% every game.

    While at the same time…
    Endorsing the coach to publicly make childish statements, demeaning individual players, speaking on a platform where millions of sports fans, from many different programs can hear and read such NEGATIVE comments.

    What a joke! How ridiculous!!! Cal has a free ticket to trash his players by name to the media, but posters cannot express discontent with HEART and EFFORT. ?!?!?!?!?!

    I do not agree with ANY childish name-calling, whether by posters or coaches. However, to point out heartless, indifferent, selfish, lazy, non-caring play is simply identifying the style of play by some, just as great, energetic, bleeding blue, etc define the type of play UK fans expect to see.

    1. cats79

      Little baron i have follow the cats since the late 60’s and time has change that we forget were in different ERA of collage basketball compare to the good ole days. We and yes you going to have accept the fact that Cal is recruiting players to be ready for NBA that just my opinion. That 2011-2012 team that won it all had a mind set to bring home no.8 and it is one of the all time teams that was put together in collage basketball history. Were so spoil in what that team did and expecting to happen every year is highly impossible due to the level of talent is spread out thru out the country.GO CATS!!!

  7. Little Baron

    Write ‘em Down…
    I really like the Idea of sub coaches – at least hire an assistant capable of coaching and willing to speak up and tell the coach when he is out of bounds

    You always have interesting posts, & a few I disagree with… And you are right about the times being different… TV & whatnot have impacted the game – how it is played, officiated, coached, etc. I still think Cal needs to chill on SOME of his comments and he needs to play the deep bench WHEN starters are not competing. That would also be true to his word.

    1. cats79

      Your right little Baron i agree with you!!!

  8. Bryan M.

    I find it interesting that fans don’t have a problem critizing the players, fans complain when Coach Cal says they’re young and that’s why they’re making mistakes, but then complain when Coach doesn’t make excuses for them.

    1. Little Baron

      Cal has day after day to coach, critique, complain to the players in practice & gets paid millions to translate that into a TEAM the fans pay to watch. He has a 8 players on the bench to sub in to express dissatisfaction with starters. Instead he rants and raves at players with the ball or when they are FINALLY benched (usually due to fouls forcing him to sub). The media is NOT the place for the coach to blame the players and call them childish names

      Fans can voice their opinions on web sites to LIMITED readers. That is not even clcompldifferent

    2. Little Baron

      Cal has day after day to coach, critique, complain to the players in practice & gets paid millions to translate that into a TEAM the fans pay to watch. He has a 8 players on the bench to sub in to express dissatisfaction with starters. Instead he rants and raves at players with the ball or when they are FINALLY benched (usually due to fouls forcing him to sub). The media is NOT the place for the coach to blame the players and call them childish names.

      Fans voice their opinions on web sites to a LIMITED number of readers. That is not even close to the same as speaking negatively to the entire nation via media vultures.

    3. Write 'em Down!

      Bryan M:

      I find it interesting that you seem to be complaining about fans complaining ;-)

      In all seriousness, I believe most of us old-codger fans are Cal supporters (including paying ticket prices towards his salary, etc.) and don’t mind at all if he does criticize the actions of individual players. We simply posit that such critical cleanings might be best reserved for the locker-room sink, where neither the public nor media types can examine them for any dried coaching egg (please see unhappy Coach exiting post-game press briefing in abrupt, “baby-ish”[?] manner). That would also help prevent some of his young INDIVIDUALS from untoward public scrutiny and fan complaints.

      But shoot, I like Coach Cal. I appreciate the caliber of his recruiting headlines and the championship banner he helped bring home a couple years back. In addition, deciphering / diagramming the verbal syntax of his coaching comments keeps me from descending to boring crosswords and keeps my BP prescription at hand as well. He’s not infallible though, and he screws up just like his players and the rest of us malcontents. And I think Coach will realize that criticizms of the public sort had best be dished out with caution unless one is willing to chew on some as well.

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