By LARRY VAUGHT
What went wrong for Kentucky this season? How did a program that lost only 14 games the previous three years lose 12 this season? How did a program that won 102 games the three previous years and made consecutive Final Four appearances lose in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris? How did John Calipari, who had seven straight seasons of 29 or more wins, lose control of this team?
“I think it was a little too much of fighting coaching,” senior guard Julius Mays, who transferred to UK this season in hopes of playing for a national title, said after Tuesday’s season-ending loss. “Sometimes I think guys think they know more than what the coach knows but that’s part of being young. You come from being that guy and you basically did what you wanted on that team and you’re asking to come into a system and be coached by a great coach, but it still takes guys longer to overcome thinking they know more than the coach knows.
“When you’ve got guys fighting coaching it’s hard for it to come together. I was young once and a coach told me something and I heard it but it in one ear and out the other. It takes time.”
Mays said the loss to Robert Morris was like what happened way too often all season.
“It was the same things that happened all year. No fight, no toughness. Soft, just playing scared, not thinking about the team, just thinking about ourselves,” Mays said. “It is the same thing that happened all year. You would like to change it, but it’s just maturity. I think these guys have more years of college so they can learn now to fight and how to be coached and learn how to be more tougher.”