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This was a “rewarding year” for Calipari

Vicky Graff Photo


Kentucky didn’t reach the Final Four, but coach John Calipari didn’t back off calling this is most rewarding season again after Thursday’s 61-58 loss to Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament South Region semifinal.

“Both individually and collectively, this was a rewarding year for me. I wish it could have ended in another week, but you know, for me to see how individual players got better, for me to see how this team came together, for me to see Jarred in, Jarred out, all the stuff that went on with injuries, and they hung in there and played a bunch of freshmen,” Calipari said.

“I thought they really performed.


Now he has to wait to see how many players off this year’s team will be back at UK or headed to start professional careers.

“I don’t know yet until I sit down with all the guys, sit down and talk and see where they are with things and where their families are,” Calipari said.

“I have no idea. We haven’t discussed it.”


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  1. What else can Calipari say than what he said here. Their season is over. The way I see it, they accomplished some good things after the Auburn loss, and into the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, no doubt. That said, the youth on this team I think hurt them in many ways against K-State. This was certainly not a great Calipari team, let’s be honest. Now if they all come back another year, they could do something very special. Calipari, as usual though, was very vague on this question. Calipari always seems more interested in how many young men he can send to the NBA early than he does encouraging a very talented group to give it another year or even two for the University of Kentucky, and for their own educational value. As a fan, I hope they all return. If they do, dues will be paid in the SEC next year I do believe, and maybe a national championship in the making. I pull for UK. There is a time for everything. Put the University first for a change.

    1. I agree with putting the University first part. I would not want to hang my hopes on getting drafted after the KState loss…NOBODY looked good. There will be 3 or 4 who give the draft a shot just the same and there will also be a couple of transfers. Lets see who stays and who comes and then we can start working on next year.

  2. Sister Jean’s team up by 12 at halftime..very difficult reminder about what should have been. Believe Cal’s last 2 visits to the big dance marred by coaching cramps. KU has already picked up 4 W’s on us this year and probably couple more coming. This begs the big ?..will KU pass us on Cal’s watch?

  3. Sister Jean Rocks!!!…wonder how many 4-5* players?

  4. Loyola just showed how to put a beat down on K State. They did it running the ball, hitting their shots, and playing great defense. UK did not try to run the ball, they did not have a consistent outside threat all year, and about any decent guard in the country could get inside against them. To be a great team, you must have at least one player that is a consistent threat from outside and you have to stop dribble penetration. Stopping the 3 does no good, if a guard can regularly get the rim and pick up a few and-ones.

  5. The Cats will be better shooters next year, but Cal better learn how to love and coach playing zone defense. I agree with Cal in theory…anyone playing for UK should be able to play lockdown man to man, but in reality this year’s team wouldn’t do it and neither will next year’s team.

  6. This year was a very rewarding for Cal, the team and many others but ended in a massive failure and collective thud. KSU had a game plan and worked it to perfection. UK probably had a game plan as well, but we may never know what it was because of lack of visible game planning in key losses this year and lack of fundamental execution as well. Look at all the games we started and looked like we were totally clueless as to what we wanted to do due to lack of basic basketball fundamentals. Cal took some hits on recruiting front this year and hopefully learned some lessons in the process but will be the last person to ever admit that. He and the staff also failed in player development and improvement during year as well. We saved our best for last game and paid the price.

  7. Now that it is over for the Cats, I am disappointed in this team, and the season they turned in. Would have been nice to have Charles Matthews on this team, but that begs several questions including why Charles Matthews left in the first place. I know the stock answer, because he did not see PT moving forward due to Calipari recruiting over him, but the more important question is why would a kid like Charles Matthews reach that conclusion.

    Color me frustrated as we enter the next phase of our basketball cycle, “Who Is Leaving Early?”


      I apologize to Coach Calipari and Charles Matthews for my myopic view of that situation. I encourage all BBF’s to read this article about Charles, that is now over 1 year old.

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