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Calipari easily explains difference between Bahamas trip impact in 2014 and 2018

Keldon Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky went to the Bahamas for an exhibition trip in 2014 and then went 38-0 before losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four.

Kentucky went to the Bahamas again in August and looked sensational in four wins. But it opened the season with a 34-point loss to Duke and despite winning its last five games  has not looked overpowering.

What’s the difference?

“We had the No. 1 pick in the draft (Karl-Anthony Towns) and we had four lottery picks and we had pretty good players and six guys got drafted from that team. It was a pretty good team,” Calipari said about the 2014-15 team that also included Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew and Aaron Harrison, and Tyler Ulis.

So that 2014-15 team doesn’t compare talent-wise to this current team?

“I don’t think so at this point. I would say no. Now, by the end you watch what happened with Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) and (Kevin) Knox and Hami (Diallo) and the guys by the end (of last year),” Calipari said.

“But where we were at the beginning of last year, I would say the same with that group. But I don’t, you know, could we have four lottery picks on this team? Yeah, if they want to be that.

“But it’s going to start with we’re all going to commit to defending. We’re all going to commit to doing this and rotating and listening and executing on defense. Then the offense will come. I mean offense hasn’t been the issue.
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3 comments

  1. I say the competition this year in the Bahamas was poor. UK was never really challenged, and for that reason everybody thought UK was “all world.” So far UK has lost one big game, against Duke, (that is on Calipari) but they have won the rest, so I will cut them some slack. I don’t care how you win, just win. The Louisville game, and the SEC schedule going forward will tell the tale on this latest Calipari experiment. It is still way to early to write this team off despite their lack of defense, and domination against lesser competition, but they must pick it up very soon or this season will turn ugly quick..

  2. I agree with you, Larry.
    UK should beat 0-7 Monmouth by 30+.
    If they can’t do that, it will be very disappointing, IMO.

  3. So which is it guys, just winning, or how you win?

    I believe it is how you win. That is why the 5 wins on the books now are a major problem, as is a 34 point blow out at the hands of Duke.

    This team is not top 10, not top 20, not top 50. At present this team may not be top 100.

    As for the competition in the Bahamas, one UK victim in the Bahamas beat down a very good Michigan team 2 weeks later. I am not convinced the answer is so simple as UK did not play anyone of note in the Bahamas. I believe there must be some explanation for the deterioration of a team that played hard, played well, and played as a team in the Bahamas to what we have seen so far this season.

    What has happened to this team Coach!!!!!

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