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By LARRY VAUGHT
Even when UK was behind Monday against Cleveland State, Kentucky coach John Calipari insisted he was “calm” and ready to accept a loss if it happened.
Did the players sense his calmness?
“He was loud. I couldn’t really tell (if he was calm),” Julius Randle said.
So he fooled you if he was calm?
“Yeah, I guess,” Randle said.
Calipari insisted he was calm no matter what it may have looked like during the game.
“I was. I mean, I know when I wasn’t (calm). The main thing is, this is a process of getting this team to change how they approach the games, how they think about the games, their mentality of the games,” Calipari said.
“The only way that can change sometimes is a crisis. So you got to get beat and you got to lose. Not to a Michigan State where you come back and you almost win and you think you’re okay. All right. You know, Cleveland State now. They deserved to win this game. But you guys fought the last seven minutes, down seven, and played. So these are good experiences for a young team.
“I told them after the game, ‘Don’t worry about losing; you play to win.’ That’s how I coach. I’m never thinking that we’re losing. My whole mentality is we’re going to win, how are we going to win. Losing doesn’t enter my mind until the horn goes off, I look up and say, ‘Dang, they got us.’”