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How did Kentucky come back?

Kentucky's Patrick Patterson dunks during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Miami of Ohio in Lexington, Ky., Monday, Nov. 16, 2009. Patterson had 17 points and 10 rebounds in Kentucky's 72-70 win.  (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Kentucky's Patrick Patterson dunks during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Miami of Ohio in Lexington, Ky., Monday, Nov. 16, 2009. Patterson had 17 points and 10 rebounds in Kentucky's 72-70 win. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)


Ask John Calipari a simple question and sometimes the coach gives a complex answer.

Here is what the Kentucky coach said Monday night when he was asked how his team rallied after falling behind by 18 points to Miami in the first half.

“The defense turned up a notch. I couldn’t get them early in the game to go up and really play somebody. I said, `Go up and make the guys make plays. You guys are letting them run around and make jump shots,” Calipari said. “Make them make basketball plays. Make them put it on the floor and make plays in traffic.’ That is what they did.

“John Wall pushed up and Eric Bledsoe pushed up and Darius (Miller) pushed up. They didn’t go away. We made our run but they didn’t go away. We were down 18 with a freshman team guys. And every time that we did something they just took the air out of our sails by making a shot.

“We still won the game. There was good here, but I will be honest with you there is no reason to be upset with any of these kids. It all goes back on me. We have to do a better job on shot selection and take care of the ball better. We were out of control I can’t tell you how many times. We need to get inside better but the guys inside have to catch the ball and make a layup. Now they did late in the game because they were exhausted and early in the game we weren’t. You know, deliver the ball and then you catch it with two hands make a play and hit free throws.

“Again, I am happy that we won know. But I think that any time that you can be tested like this is good for your team. This team is going to do really well in the MAC, if they don’t win it they will be one of the teams in the running. Morehead the same way and Sam Houston State is picked to win their league and Rider is too and they have already beaten Mississippi State. Those are our first four games.”

See what I mean. Simple question, complex answer.

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  1. Courtney Garnett

    Love how our kids never gave up! This team has heart.

  2. gmoyers

    You are so right Courtney and maybe it comes from now having a coach with heart

  3. Linda

    You are both right plus the fact the boys are welling to listen to the coach, they have respect for him, he respects them and they ae playing for the school with the most tradition in college basketball.

  4. Jim Boyers

    He didn’t mention the offensive rebounds and stick-backs. The team was following up on each others shot very well in the second half. The fact that we only ended up with 15 turnovers was huge (I would have sworn we had a lot more, the way Miami was stripping the ball on the drive). This UK team was solid and did what it needed to do to get the win. You can’t teach a player to be tough and hungry. This team is both and it showed last night. For the last few years I would have been listening to all the UC fans, in my area, making fun of us losing. NOT THIS YEAR!!! What an effort and what a win. GO BIG BLUE!!!

  5. TrueBlueJohn

    Coach Cal has told us repeatedly that this was going to be a work in process. What we are seeing now is a very ragged product with flashes of brilliance. If I was an opposing coach, I would dread having to play this team in February and March once they get used to Cal’s system and playing with each other. Whatever “advice” he gave to Cousins, he probably ought to can it for later use. Demarcus was a different player when he went back in to the game.

  6. EdwardB

    I think all of us deep down knew we weren’t going to lose this game but I seriously saw some really awful basketball last night. I know it’s a work in progress and I know we’ve only had 4 scrimmages (let’s be honest here any difference between Clarion and Miami of Ohio) and I know it’s full of freshmen. But man oh man did we look like a bunch of dogs that finally caught up to the car – now what? We got Wall and it looked like it was the first time they’ve ever played together. At one point it looked like our offense was send in Wall to get him hurt and get fouled and then go 1 for 2 at the line. If that’s the DDMO at 51% foul shooting – then ummm hmmm yeah. Our second 5 could win the MAC so I know our first 5 is practicing against good talent. We looked totally confused.

  7. gmoyers

    Edward, be a little more patient. Early in the season and Cal has said all along team would struggle early. The team was out of sync, but Cal and the guys readily admitted that. Have to learn how to balance Wall and Bledsoe and also getting Patterson more involved. The more they play, the better they will get. I am just glad to see heart and fun back in the game at UK

  8. Andy

    Miami’s transition defense was fantastic. We had ONE run out in 40 minutes of basketball. Last years team would have been 0-2 at this point.

  9. gmoyers

    You are so right Andy. Somehow Miami was back all night. Give Coles and his kids credit for that. I wasn’t sure anybody could do that to UK. Of course, nothing helps like making all those 3-pointers

  10. TRUBLU69

    Exactly right larry, If you don’t make free throws and the other team shoots lights out, you can’t get the tempo that you want,Miami Plays a great two Man game out High..Against a young team It will be effective..Look to see alot of it this year..But like Coach COLES said His kids will never shoot that well again, Hopefully no one else will either…..GO BIG BLUE!!!

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