John Calipari was a lot happier during the Alabama game Tuesday than he was on Saturday when he was ejected from the loss at South Carolina. His players noticed, too.
“That’s just the type of person he is. He’s real loud and animated, but I guess wanted to see we would react to him just being quiet,” freshman center Dakari Johnson said. “And he did a good job just calling plays for us and making it player-driven. We were out there by ourselves, and it was kind of weird at first, but I think throughout the game we kind of adapted to it.”
Calipari said during Tuesday’s postgame press conference that his team was “rattled” by consecutive losses — something that didn’t happen his first three years at Kentucky.
“I’ve only lost two games in a row other than this year one time in my career and that was last year,” UK senior Jon Hood said. “One time since I’ve been here. I think all of us were a little rattled to a certain degree. We just had to rediscover, redefine what we were and we did that to an extent tonight and now we got to move forward.”
How does a team redefine?
“Go play. That’s the thing, go play. Players are going to play. Coaches are going to coach. Officials are going to officiate. You can’t get all boggled up with the officials and how they’re calling the call or how the coach is on you, whatever. We’re 18-year-old men and above. I’m 22. We know how to play basketball at this point. Just go to go play,” Hood said.