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Calipari takes blame for Louisville loss after not calling late timeout

UK’s Archie Goodwin


LOUISVILLE — As he drove into traffic with less than 40 seconds remaining in Saturday’s game, Kentucky freshman Archie Goodwin knew he was in trouble against Louisville’s trapping defense.

Kentucky had rallied from a 51-34 deficit five minutes into the second half to get back in the game and was down 78-74 thanks in large part to Goodwin, who had 10 points in the final four minutes of the game. However, he threw a pass that Louisville’s Chane Behanan intercepted and turned into a dunk that sealed No. 4 Louisville’s 80-77 victory.

“I thought maybe I should call timeout, but I didn’t know how many we had left,” said Goodwin. “I didn’t want to get a T (technical foul).”

Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t fault Goodwin for his lapse in judgment. Instead, he blamed himself for not calling a timeout and costing UK a possible upset.

“I told my team, ‘You get us close and I will help get you over the edge,’” said Calipari. “Down four with the ball and I did not call timeout. That effectively ended the game. This one is on me.”

Calipari said UK will “hopefully win more than I cause us to lose” as he explained why it should have been his move to take a timeout — something he always says he does not like to do late in games — before Goodwin committed his turnover.

“That was a coach’s play. We were down four and had our chances,” Calipari said. “I liked their fight. We have a ways to go, but it is unexcusable what I did.”

Why didn’t he call the timeout?

“I don’t know,” Calipari said. “As soon as he threw the ball away, I looked at (assistant coach) John Robic and said, ‘What was I thinking (not calling timeout)?’ They deserved to win, but I did not give my guys a chance at the end.”

Calipari joked he would have set up a “four-point play” at the timeout.

But he was serious about another mistake he said he made.

“The other thing I did, I did a poor job. I coaches this team like I have others against the press. And then you saw what I ended up doing. I brought the big guy up so we could just get it in and then play from there,” Calipari said. “After then, the press didn’t hurt us. There were a couple of bumps and grinds and grabs where we may have lost the ball, but it had no effect on the game. But again, why didn’t I do that earlier? These kids are 18 years old.”

Goodwin wanted no part of blaming his coach for the loss.

“He steps up and take responsibility for it. Even if he thinks it was our fault, he would come up and do that,” Goodwin said. “I wouldn’t blame it on him. I would blame it on us as a team. We missed 12 free throws and that’s really a big thing that we have to make those. A couple of hustle plays we didn’t get as well. All those things contributed to us not winning this game. It is not coach’s fault.”

Still, Calipari was saying something different.

“Look, I am coaching this young team and their job is to make it a close at the end.  My job is to give them a plan to finish it off,” Calipari said. “They got us right where we wanted to be, and I dropped the ball.”

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  1. Doug Ridley

    Proud to be a Wildcat fan tonight! They made some mistakes but fought like Wildcats.
    Go again Big Blue!!

    1. Larry Pup

      A hearty AMEN Doug!!! I was proud of our boys in Blue. Great fight.

  2. Larry T Clemons

    Very Proud of this Team and The Whole Wildcat organization…

  3. Rhysman

    Go big blue fought hard found pg in harrow and those darker blue jerseys look nice

  4. LindaS

    I’m proud of them also, they have really come a long way thanks to Camp Cal. However, was it my imagination but didn’t that guy in white step out of bounds, Noel got tripped, they had flying elbows and they were holding and pulling on our jerseys? Am I going blind? little slick quick rick was standing on the floor a lot too. And then The takedown on Nerlens, then call Nerlens for walking. Did little slick quick rick give the refs gift cards to Porcini’s and have them delivered by blondes? We could have and should have won that game if they refs had been fair. I’m glad it was just 3 pts. but him really excited about them and proud of them and Cal.

    1. Tcat

      The refs did not cost us the game, if anything they called more cheap fouls on UofL… We got away with as many if not more off ball fouls than they did…

      1. Larry Pup

        UK guards were getting mugged every time up the floor, all day long. No calls.

  5. King Ghidora

    The Cats showed how much they have improved over the last month and they still have a lot of room to improve. I saw the look on RP’s face after the game. He does NOT want to play UK in the tournament because he knows his returning Final 4 team will lose to a much more talented team. Only a few things remain to be fixed IMO. Free throw shooting is a big challenge. Being more consistent is on the list. But some players looked far, far better than they have before in this game. If they play that way all the time and they get their FT game down this is easil a Final 4 team. I might be biased of course but I can see the talent on this team. They just have a few things to work on. The defense was there tonight and that has to be the strength of this team. WCS was a force out there and so was Noel of course. Those guys can dominate the paint against almost any team. And they are steadily improving. By March they will be a team to reckon with.

  6. Tcat

    Coach Cal has done a great job, I can’t believe how much this team has improved. This game changed my out look completely. If we can improve our free throw shooting and back court play we will be a tough out for anyone come march.

  7. Bluecat

    I can not believe how much this team has improved in one month. We are getting better and not even near the peaking point. Cal has this team right were he wants and will have them them firing on all cylinders come March. Very proud to be a Cats fan.

  8. Jim

    Cats played tough. Missing free throws hurt them in this game. My only complaint is to not play a kid that can’t hit free throws in a close game at the end.

  9. donv

    Nobody will want to play the Cats in March. Don’t recall ever seeing a point guard play in such a big game with zero turnovers. Harrow with only get better. Mays needs to find his shot. Liked the two bigs together. We will be ready for league play. Go Cats.

  10. Larry T Clemons

    Ryan Harrow is our secret weapon…the secret is getting out. Now, WCS is on the radar…

  11. Mike

    Can someone explain why Alex shows no emotion on the court ? At all ?? He looks like he has no desire to be out there.

    1. larryvaught

      Mike, Alex is just a difficult guy to figure out right now. Don’t believe it is lack of wanting to win or succeed. He’s a great kid. Just seems lost and very unsure of what to do or not do right now

  12. nw

    Kentucky lost because calipers refused to take Goodwin out of the game the kid has to be accountable for turning the ball over if he makes 20 points but turns the ball over 8 times and 16 points are generated from it than the kid only had a four point game and cost us the the game in the last 3 min with that key turn over when we were only down 3. Cal always favors one player over another and then says freshman are accountable if Mayes or harrow would have had that many turn overs plain would have played the whole game

    1. larryvaught

      NW, don’t forget Goodwin also had 10 points in the final 3 minutes and sometimes not a lot of guys on this team seem to want the ball in close situations. Goodwin is fearless and not afraid to try and make a play

      1. Larry Pup

        Goodwin is a good problem to have. Before its all said and done, he will get it done. I like him!

    2. Rodney

      Kentucky lost mainly because of free throws. If they make a few more of the freebies they win……period. Mays gave us virtually nothing offensively, Poythress was a virtual no show, and our free throw shooting was horrible. We could’ve overcome two of these things, if only one of the other had happened differently. All three happening at the same time is a recipe for defeat. As for Goodwin, if not for him coming down the stretch we have no shot. I think Goodwin found his identity again at the end of the game. Lets hope he can carry it onto future games. And how bout Harrow??!! Zero turnovers!!! Thats impressive considering the pressure he was facing. The point position is in good hands and is a good sign for this team going forward. There are many things to work on, but after this game I feel this team showed it is capable of making a run in March for the first time since the Duke game.

      I don’t think Cal cost UK the game. As I said, I think free throw shooting is the main reason for the loss. But I will admit that I was screaming for a timeout when Goodwin had picked up the dribble and was trapped on the wing. He ended up throwing a wild pass, Behannan intercepts and drives for an easy two. That pretty much ended the game. I wonder what would’ve happened if we used the timeout there to save the possession. That could’ve been a potiential 4 or 5 point swing, which could’ve changed the outcome. We left with an L and an unused timeout. Of course there are alot of “what if’s” in this game…….

  13. UKFMLY

    They really played well. I thought we could beat them and I still believe it. UL played better that I have seen them in a long time. But our boys have a LARGE UPSIDE

  14. Wayne

    I think coach Cal and our team did a great job. We need to practice shooting free throws. Alex you need to let the game come to you and play the way you did in high school. No one can stop you if you just play like you did in high school. Man you are a beast. Just unleashe that Beast. So lets go we are behind you man.

  15. Larry Pup

    Patience my friends, this team is growing right before our eyes. They will get the FT’s down in due time.

  16. cmpop77

    This coming from a die hard UofL fan. Your team is much better now than at the beginning of the season and will more than likely keep getting better. It was an awesome game, officiating was off on both ends. If it’s any consolation the cats nearly gave me diarrhea during that comeback lol.

    1. larryvaught

      cmpop77, well said. I still think Cards are going to be hard for anyone to beat in March. love the effort and physical play of Pitino’s team. But do think Kentucky has a chance to get a lot better, too, before tourney time

  17. Larry Pup

    cmpop77 nice comment dude. I didn’t think you had it in you. Happy New Year. I’m just an old die hard.

  18. Billy Taylor

    Practise free throws over n over n over this week guys :) Love my Cats and it was a good game guys you look much much better….I saw some bad calls and some calls not made easy to see calls,but needless to say we truly lost that game to free throws missed with just 4 of the 13 missed we could have missed 9 and won,,,got to make em guys…..Other than that you guys played great I loved the game at the edge of my seast the whole time,GBB………..

  19. Clif Richardson

    I’m an old World War 2 guy and friend of some of Rupp’s runts. Ky. basketball is
    once again an exciting and satisfying experience. However, MONEY now dominates
    the college game, unfortunately. This “one and done” thing destroys any building
    concept for College basketball. Think where Ky. would be now if only the last two season of players were still in the line up ??? With that in mind, it is no wonder
    the parents of these kids encourage NBA thinkimg. But I marvel at how well these
    young men can step from a high school level and suddenly be thrust into venues
    like Rupp Arena. Coach Calipari and the kids deserve our praise.

    1. larryvaught

      Well said Cliff and agree 100 percent Billy Taylor. Got to hit free throws

  20. Clif Richardson

    Aleady been said….

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