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Calipari says team still needs to learn “how to win”


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.”

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    I honestly thought we would win the game up until the last 90 seconds or so. I st ill believe this team can get to a final four and win it all. The talent is there, and the coaching is there so those two thing need to get closer together. I for one still believe that can happen.



  2. AndyP

    Horrible officiating totally took us out of that game. Had the game been officiated fairly we would have won by 20, so I’m not jumping off the cliff over this game like many are.

    1. Kokamo Joe

      Andy I have to dissagree with you. The refs did not beat us. We finally played on a quality opponets’s home court and tasted home cooking. It is unfair to the visitor, but we get it at Rupp. Quality teams have to overcome the refs.

      Our players seldom get into foul trouble at Rupp and we get used to shooting far more foul shots that they teams that we play. We expect that on the road. It does not happen, especially at places like North Carolina, Kansas or Duke.

      By game’s end both teams were in foul trouble. They made playes and we did not. Maybe the players learned a lesson by playing in a place where they were not idolized and where the refs where not partical to them. If they did they will be better for the loss.

  3. Theresa

    I agree with UKFMLY…I believe in this young team…the parts are there…but the well-oiled machine has not yet begun to work as designed yet. When the light bulb comes on for this team, watch out. I just hope that it comes on very soon.

  4. Ira

    I am far from one of the basketball nuts, but every time I watch, I see the same thing, we hold the ball to much don’t pass it to a team mate as quickly as we should, seen it in transition. Plus they still pass the ball to soft. Seen to many balls stole almost stolen, because they still pass the ball like they are in HS. Just my 02 cents

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