By LARRY VAUGHT
Remember when even Kentucky coach John Calipari was not backing away from talk of a 40-0 season. Now that UK has already lost three games — and remember Calipari warned two weeks ago that UK could lose to Belmont (which beat North Carolina) and Louisville in December — it’s no secret he has to be disappointed with how his young team has played.
“My hope was we would be, like, the best team in the last 12 years. Reality says, until they get knocked in the teeth a couple of times, and then accept responsibility for what happened. Like if you played a guy and he kicked you, he just was way better than you? You have to accept that, say, ‘You know what, he outworked me today. I didn’t get a rebound, I didn’t whatever may be the case.’ Like I said, they deserved to win the game. They played well. They fought like crazy. They played physical,” Calipari said after Saturday’s loss at North Carolina.
“I thought we did enough to keep ourselves in the game, and they gave us a chance to win. This is kind of like the Baylor game, and I’ll be honest you, the Michigan State game. You had a chance to win this game and you lose it all in that one span of three minutes, and then when you look back, it was an effort play, it was a team play. You broke down on our team. And then you came back and followed up with this.
“Now all the sudden, we’re in trouble. That’s what they got to learn – learning how to win.”