By LARRY VAUGHT
Maybe some of John Calipari’s players didn’t like what ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg said about them being spoiled and not connected as a team after UK blew a 14-point lead in the final 11 minutes and lost.
However, the Kentucky coach said Friday even though he didn’t see what Greenberg, he had no problem with what he heard Greenberg said about the Cats.
“One thing about Seth: he doesn’t have an agenda. He’s not going to try and hurt anybody. That’s not who he is. He’s not going to hurt this program or me so when he makes statements – he was probably – they need to be addressed. I mean if you watched us, you probably would have said the same thing,” Calipari said.
He’s right about that. Kentucky did collapse at South Carolina because its offense fell apart.
“He (Greenberg) just left me a message, and my text back to him was, ‘Be easy on them. They’re young.’ You know I can take the stuff. I’ve been doing this, well dog years here, so long time,” Calipari said Friday. “These kids are young, and right now we’re just trying to get them. They’ve got to accept.
“Yesterday we watched tape, the last five minutes, last 5:50 of the game up seven. We just threw the ball to them, and the breakaway layup. I made each of them say, ‘That’s on me.’ We did it unison so they knew how to say it. ‘Let’s do it together: that’s on me. Louder, I didn’t hear that.’ And then okay, what, and the guy had to say, ‘that’s on me coach.’
“One guy was, ‘mumbles.’ No, I didn’t hear it. We all need to hear you say you’re responsible for that because again, you have to self-evaluate. You can’t be defensive about how you’re playing. If you’re playing good, why are you playing good? Keep playing good. Can you take it to another level?
“Don’t be satisfied. If you’re playing bad, why are you playing bad? How can you change it? You can’t keep doing the same things over and over and think it’s gonna change. That’s insanity, there you go, you guys have been listening to me. That’s the definition of insanity: I’m going to do everything the same, but the result’s gonna change. It doesn’t.
“And so as a group we’ve got to make the game easier for each other so they can have fun. And that means pass the ball.”
Freshman P.J. Washington says going into Saturday night’s game with Florida that UK is learning that it must “fight” for a full 40 minutes and not just parts of games.
“When we do a good job of that, we win games. When we don’t, we lose games. We just gotta keep doing that and just get everybody else healthy and once we do that we’ll be all right,” Washington said Friday. “But we try to learn the lessons from the game and I feel like we did that and we just try to apply it to practice and we did that yesterday and we’re going to try to do it again today.”
Was it easy to put the loss Tuesday behind them and focus on Florida?
“You have to focus on your next opponent and you can’t underestimate anybody in this league. That’s what we’re trying to do and just trying to go out and get a win tomorrow versus Florida,” Washington said.