By LARRY VAUGHT
John Calipari says he has failed his players. However, his players say they have failed him.
“I wouldn’t put any of this on Cal. It’s on us as players. We’re the ones competing,” freshman Jarred Vanderbilt said. “We’re the ones that gotta go out there and fight.
“Cal’s going to coach us. We just need to come together as a team and just fight. Like I said, pretty much just fight, come together.”
Freshman guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander says he would give Calipari an “A-plus” for his coaching this season.
“I don’t feel like he’s failed us. I just feel like there’s just been some miscommunication and we just haven’t been really trusting him,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.
“I think we have leaders on the team and we all try to influence each other and stuff like that. But I think each and every guy is just going to have to find it within themselves. They can’t trust him for you. You gotta find it within yourself.”
Kentucky has lost four straight games going into Saturday afternoon’s game against Alabama. The Cats are in seventh in the SEC and have nine total losses already this season.
“We know that this thing is winding down and we’re going to have pick it up soon. We’re all trying to get to that final game and we gotta win some games to even get to the (NCAA) tournament right now. We’re all just trying to win,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.
Vanderbilt says the team is staying positive by spending extra time in the gym trying to stay confident.
“Right now we’re still positive because I feel like we’re not at our best right now. We have so much better that we can get, so I feel like once we reach that point we’ll be a great team,” Vanderbilt said. “I feel like right now we’re kind of in a slump, but I feel like that one win would just change the whole atmosphere and it would hopefully start a spark and a streak for us.”
Gilgeous-Alexander, UK’s most consistent player this season, says one win could get UK on a roll just like one loss started the losing skid.
“I think once we get that one win we’ll be good and we’ll see what worked and I think this time we’ll continue it and we’ll go on a winning streak,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “You can’t be stubborn and lose. You have to give in. We’re all trying to win and trying to be good, so we gotta give in.”