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Only positive for Calipari is that Cats get to play again Saturday


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — There was only one positive Kentucky coach John Calipari could take away from Thursday’s 64-50 loss at Notre Dame.

“The good thing is we play in 36 hours (against Baylor Saturday). We cannot sulk over this. We didn’t play well. They played extremely well. they made shots. We didn’t defend them,” said Calipari after his team shot a season-low 40 percent and let Notre Dame go 8-for-15 from 3-point range.

There was a lot that Calipari didn’t like from his team.

“Guys stopped on defense. Played 25 seconds and fouled. Played and then lost their man. Guys didn’t talk and a guy shoots a 3,” Calipari said. “We weren’t looking for each other (on offense). Whoever had it was trying to score and we do not play that way. I hope we watch tape and figure some stuff out.

“We were out of control. My whole thing is we can play poorly, but we can still defend and compete. Two teams battling and Notre Dame wins … that was not what this was. This was Notre Dame throwing Kentucky around and winning by as much as they needed. I am disappointed. Maybe we can get back to do everything to compete and playing more physical.”

Kentucky jumped in front 12-6 in five minutes before the Irish went on a 21-6 run to take control of the game.

“They responded to us coming out the way we did and just out competed us. They got to balls and we didn’t. They went to balls and we didn’t,” Kentucky senior guard Julius Mays said. “They played harder on defense. They played harder on offense. Just all-around. They competed harder than we did.

“We just weren’t going like we usually do. I think we came out a little shellshocked that they came out like they did. We started playing their game. They like a slowdown and we are an up tempo team. Once we got to playing their game, we didn’t compete. We got away from what we do best and just did not play our game.”

Kentucky got back to going inside the second half after it fell behind by as many as 18 points.

“They did throw to the low post and started to get to us,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “My feeling with the lead was that as long as we did not give up 3’s, it would be hard to come back on us. If they were 2-point jump hooks, I think we can absorb that.

“Early they were so excited in transition and they were running by us. (Archie) Goodwin traveled in transition a couple of times. We dodged bullets.”

Calipari turned to sophomore point guard Ryan Harrow, who had missed the last four games, at times. He was upset that Harrow left a 3-point shooter open in the corner in the second half when UK was trying to come back, but overall was glad to have him back.

“He wants to play but he has got to play tougher, play with more energy,” Calipari said.

Even though he has little time to make adjustments before Saturday afternoon’s game, Calipari said that’s part of dealing with basically a new team because of the one-and-done players UK has had.

“That is hard. It’s part of what we have to deal with,” Calipari said. “I didn’t expect us to come in here and play out of our minds, but I thought we would compete. Against Duke (in a loss), we competed and battled and fought like crazy. In this game, we didn’t. We were trying things. Maybe there were different things defensively and offensively I could have done to help. Obviously, they needed help and didn’t get it from me.”

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  1. john4uk

    Maybe expectations are too high for this team,especoally Ryan Harrow.Ryan haf a year to adapt to Cal and his system,and apparently has’nt made it.I know based on the information from the UK camp last year ,i expected Ryan to step in and be a real take charge point guard.Maybe he is one of those guys Cal always mentions that is not ready to be here.
    Hopefully Archie and Alex can get back on track,and Kyle will develop a backbone.We shall see as the season moves forward.And maybe the entire team woll begin to realize that they are their opponents “Super Bowl.”

  2. lunchbox

    we all no 1 thing, these guys are goin to work their butts off to be great an to be a great team….if not sum of these guys will be back 4 nex season, but I think this is nothing to worry about, were young, theirs no liggins or miller this season which will hurt us early but may even b better come march

  3. lunchbox

    fills good to watch teams storm the court,jus don’t hurt no1. no1 was doing it when tubby or billy g was here…. this was uk’s 1st real road game, a team that’s learing eachother…let the same teams play in march

    1. Anonymous

      Amen lunchbox!

  4. eric stevens

    my feelings are this…look, common sense tells you that this is not the same team like we had last year…we were SPECIAL last year..not so much this year..no anthony davis..nerlens noel is not anthony davis..no kidd-gilchrist..alex poythress is not kidd-gilchrist…we have a completly diffrent team..look..its a loss..plain and simple..but its not the end of the world..coach calipari will work on getting things straight..i seen alot of things i really did not like last night against notre dame…BUT YOU CAN NOT EXPECT TO BE GREAT EVERY NIGHT WITH A YOUNG TEAM LIKE THIS…WE HAVE A VERY LONG WAY TO GO AS FAR AS THE LEARNING CURVE IS CONCERNED…..BUT AGAIN…BBN..DO NOT LOSE FAITH!!!!!…REMEMBER,….IN COACH CAL WE TRUST!!!!!!

    1. Kokamo Joe

      Calipri is a very good coach and I expect that he will get this team to be as good as it can be by tournament time….But…In Cal we trust? Is he that much god like to you?

      1. Jim Boyers

        Joe, I really like and usually agree with most of your comments, but it is a little unfair to jump eric for his “In Cal we trust” comment. I have made that exact same statement on many posts. It is not used in the “God” sense of the saying, but rather in the spirit of how amazing he is as a coach and our belief in his methods. We, as UK fans, should believe in Cal and revere him AS A COACH because he has certainly proven himself worthy of that. No one is comparing him to God.

        1. Kokamo Joe

          Perhaps I jumped the gun on my comment. Yes, I trust Calipari as a coach to get the most out of his kids. I like the one and done thing, especially since we can actually get excited about what is to follow this team and even recruits for 2014. The phrase “In God we trust” is sort of a national motto and it appears on our money. I thought that you were using that to indicate that Calipari was more than a coach.

          As far as Calipari’s one and done philosophy. I like it, but I think that the teach and build system can work just as well. A part of me questions if keeping kids in school for a few months is really what college athletics should be about, but the majority of me relishes the wins…so Go Big Blue.

  5. SuzieCat

    It is not time to jump off a bridge. We have talent. These kids played like the individual high schoolers, they were just a little over a month ago. If Cal didn’t have their ear, you can bet he does now. They will not want another embrassing performance like this one. If Cal can’t have them playing like a well oiled machine, no one can. Some personalities never blend, just ask Tubby.

    1. Karen Sprinkle

      Totally agree, Suziecat. Cal is one of the best, if not the best, at blending young stars into a team. He’s said all along that patience will be required for this year’s team, and it has become apparent he was correct.

    2. LarryPup

      Right on Suzie Cat! He’ll get er done! If we are still playing like this in Feb. we got problems. Right now, shucks they had a bad night. They will learn from it.

  6. Good Riddance

    This is the best thing that could have happened to the latest crop of little boys Coach Cal has recruited. The all needed to be knocked off of their collective high horses and hopefully will begin to listen to what the coaches are attempting to teach them. They have been coddled and praised their entire young lives and have probably never taken a thumping like they took last night by a bunch of men that played as a team. I have faith in Coach, but this is definitely going to be his greatest challenge yet during his tenure at the helm of Camelot!

    1. Kokamo Joe

      Good Riddance: As I posted earlier…a calm sea does not teach an inexperienced sailor anything. You are right about the attention and praise that these and almost all of the recruits that Calipari has or will get. These special kids get discovered as early as the 6th or 7th grade. Their AAU teams travel across the country. Most do not go to a standard high school. As early as the 9th grade these kids have been recruited and praised. Many have special “handlers” who guide their recruiting. I expect that it would be very difficult to try to mold these recruits into a smooth team. I would say that their NBA ambition would be Calipari’s greatest weapon.

      If these players want to play in the NBA, and they do, last night’s game will be a great lesson. Not only should they learn that there are teams that do not hold them in awe, but there are places where fans will be loud and will be very much against them. Also there will be places where the other team has a bit of “home cooking.”

  7. Mike Flannery

    Cal always works on offense first and lt was obvious the defense is far behind, of course the offense fell on it’s face also. I was not suprised with losing and how the players responded, this is part of the learning curve, once ND started hitting their shots, they also had 2 or 3 “prayers” go in also, It will be fun as well as frustrating to watch them grow this year. I would not trade this group for any team in the country. They will look totally different come late February!

  8. Bob

    I’m unsure what we are suppose to exspect from this team this early . They are very raw and as i exspected they are going to loose alot of games before they mature and come together as an team . Lets no remember the season the Cards had last year and stood tall in the final 4 .Go Big Blue However one more thing i had forgot my boy Digger whom i place with coach K on my fav people list . Go Big Blue

    1. LarryPup

      Digger a legend in his own mind. He is great, just ask him!

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