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Calipari on winless Monmouth: “If we don’t guard, anybody can beat us.”

John Calipari (James Houchin Photo)


Kentucky coach John Calipari has not been overly happy with how his team has been playing despite its five-game win streak. He’s been particularly unhappy with the defense, especially the 3-point defense that has been one of the worst in the country.

So what does he do to get his team focused against winless Monmouth Wednesday night in Rupp Arena?

“Again they have nothing to lose. It was a five-point game with West Virginia, who is a pretty good team. At halftime it was five. It was like nine late and then two or three 3’s and it spreads out,” Calipari said. “I’ve watched enough tape. They play fast. They play around a post player.

“I’ll be honest though, I think (coach) King (Rice) does an unbelievable job. But, I’m not worried about them. I know they can beat us. If we don’t guard, anybody can beat us. So, this comes down to let’s really guard.

“They have a three-quarter court trap that’s pretty good. They have a good two-three zone that they can go to. They’re aggressive man-to-man. They’ve been in almost every game except one and in that game a kid had 30 points at halftime. Every other game they’ve had their chances to win.”


  1. Curious. Calipari wants to talk about West Virginia, so let’s do that. He says WVU is a “pretty good team” but I suppose that depends on how one defines “pretty good” in a college basketball context. WVU is 3-2, having lost to Buffalo at home and lost to #128 Western Kentucky on a neutral court. WVU’s best win so far this season has been over #83 St. Joseph’s by 7 on a nuetral court. WVU currently stands at #78 while UK stands at #94, so I suppose when you find yourself looking up at someone else it is natural to consider the other one “pretty good” but for me, this WVU team has been anything but “pretty good” and neither has UK.

    His real message is his team must wake up and play real college basketball NOW or they will soon find themselves looking up at future opponents. Tonight, UK gets to “enjoy” its last cupcake of the season, From here on out, all opponents will be tougher to digest.

  2. Once again, you have nailed it professor.
    I took a three game hiatus from watching UK after the Duke debacle.
    I watched the last game and I will be watching again tonight.
    If we don’t see considerable improvement, I fear it’s going to be a long and frustrating season.

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