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Calipari’s wrong decision cost UK at Florida — or that is what the coach says

P.J. Washington (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It was John Calipari’s fault that Kentucky lost at Florida Saturday.

Or at least that is what he implied Monday as he starts preparing his team for Friday’s game in the Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinals in St. Louis.

“I didn’t scrimmage the week before Florida. Basically, it was a quick turn. Prior to that, we were scrimmaging every chance we could, and I made a decision (not to scrimmage),” Calipari said.

“Every once in a while my decisions aren’t right, few and far between, but there are times they’re not right, and this is probably one of them. It took an edge off some guys that we needed to compete and have more of a competitive spirit.”

But Calipari didn’t stop there. He went on to explain why that “competitive spirit” came out more in scrimmages — or at least I think that is where he was going.

“See the thing they’ve got to learn, especially before you leave us, is that you’re not exchanging baskets. That’s high school, that’s AAU. You’re not exchanging baskets. You are competing with someone else. You’re trying to play harder,” Calipari said.

“You’re trying to keep them from scoring and you’re making plays to get them to foul you or make baskets. You’re not exchanging baskets, and if you’re in that mode, normally you’re going to get beat.”

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  1. Well Cal was in my home town last night in Henderson, Ky watching Dettorion Ware of Christan,Co and Tandy Of UHA this ware kid can flat out play I hope he offers him a scholarship we can use him. The Tandy kid is just a jr and has made a visit to UK it be interesting how these two turns out.

  2. Why would a coach change something that is working, like a practice schedule, etc. especially with a bunch of freshmen? I realize it was an away game. Calipari talks in riddles. Sometimes it might be better to just take your medicine and try as best you can to get your team ready for the next battle. Florida had their number, and beat the living tar out of them. Give credit where credit is due, and just shut up. With the exception of a couple guys on this UK team, they are a soft bunch, not at all typical of a UKbasketball team at this time of year. I’ll blame it on youth and cut them some slack.

  3. Not sure the word “youth” is relevant at this time of the year, and I am just as tired seeing it as I am hearing it. These guys can’t connect the dots with UK tradition and understandably so with “one and done” philosophy.
    Cal and some of the rating agencies missed big time on some of these so called 5* athletes. It seems that only our guards have passed the test of Basketball IQ 101.

  4. I don’t think it was his fault. I think it was all because the boys flat out couldn’t shoot. Knocking down some baskets especially from outside make up for a lot of sins. We would have had lot more assists if after we feed the guy at the post and he actually makes the shoot, or when we swing the ball around to a guy for an open 3 and he misses. Diallo and Knox misses alone could have put us in double digit assists. Hitting some of those outside shots would have opened up the lane for drives. Florida clogged up the lane because they could leave us open on 3 point line. They wanted us to shoot those.How about knocking down some free throws, we missed a bunch. I’m got my tickets and I’m be in St. Louis cheering the boys on. And I have tickets to the first round in Nashville where I figure Ky will be. This team can advance but they must be able to shoot consistently especially from outside. I agree with Calipari, you need to be in the 80’s point wise to win many tournament games.

  5. Yawn…

  6. The problem is all the sins that great shooting much cover up, not the nights when the ball simply does not fall through as often.

    The fix required is to eliminate the sins, not cover them up.

  7. Its past time for these kids to have grown up. Cal keeps saying its his fault and he is right but he needs to let them own this or it never will change.

  8. At least proman1954 is being positive, while the others whine a dine worst than CNN news being so negative as they have all season long. You just gotta suck it up and cheer them on. GO CATS!!!

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