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John Calipari to fans: “Be mad at me (not players)”

John Calipari says not to be upset with players like freshman Immanuel Quickley. Instead, be mad at the coach. (Jeff Houchin Photo)


After Kentucky struggled more than expected to beat VMI Sunday night, John Calipari did what a good coach does — he told fans to blame him, not his players, for any shortcomings the team might have.

“This is going to be a process and it’s not easy, it’s not easy for these kids, it’s not easy for our fans. And I would tell our fans, I said it on the radio, you should never be upset with these kids … they’re 17 and 18 and 19, they’re doing exactly what I’m trying to get them to do. Be mad at me,” Calipari said.

“You don’t need to be mad at the kids. Cheer them on, it’s hard to play here.”

VMI guard Bubba Parham went off for 35 points against UK and hit 10 3-pointers in a game that Calipari joked the player would have his grandchildren watching one day.

“I mean, that’s every game we play is this way. And so they don’t need anything extra, they just need to just get better and you’ll break through and try to continue to talk on those terms,” Calipari said.

Then he did have a not so subtle message for his players.

“And here was the other thing. That locker room, even though there’s some guys that really didn’t play well, they better be happy for PJ (Washington), happy for Reid (Travis), happy for Quade (Green), hugging those guys,” Calipari said.

“So when you play well they hug you. That’s a learning process too. If I don’t play well I’m mad. We won. We won a game we easily could have lost. So anyway, thanks, guys.”


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  1. I appreciate what Coach is saying–but, I’m a little offended that he thinks he has to tell us not to be mad at the kids. Additionally, I don’t need permission to be “mad” at him.

  2. I think you’ll find an individual right here, on this blog, who is not hesitant in calling out a 18 year old kid by name when attempting to establish his superior knowledge of the sport being discussed .This is the “computer warrior” mentality to which Cal is referring . They are present in every fanbase I’ve ever seen. Real heroes !!

  3. YES, I’m mad, but more than that, I’m tired…tired of hearing excuses.
    A 34 point thrashing by our most hated rival and now to be spurned by the number 1 recruit who chooses to play for a rookie college coach…
    all in the month of November.
    Things are not looking good for Coach Cal and Kentucky Basketball.

  4. PK…as I have told you many times before, I appreciate all the attention you give me, and yes, you are one of the reasons I get to tell it like it is. Cal continues to get shrinking ROI on his recruiting budget each year.

    1. Re-read my post four times and still haven’t found a reference to couch coach mikey. It would appear that you aren’t only obsessed with coaches Stoops and Gran but you also have a self obsession. We all knew that mikey. It became apparent with your first submittal.

  5. November and December always come before March and April during basketball season. I think this team will be just fine and ready to make a run for the title in March. To expect a national championship every 5 years isn’t realistic. It’s going to be a good season. Go Big Blue

  6. Fire the guy, bring Tubby back.

  7. Some of you guys are not been fair to the players, you weren’t perfect at there ages. like Charlie Brown famous words GOOD GRIEF!!!

    1. Good Grief !!!
      “I’m here because I can recruit the best of the best here.”
      Do you know who said that?

  8. No one should be upset over a young man choosing his high school coach over UK no one. The thought is just laughable. Anyone who didn’t see this kid and the other UK commit doing this prior to today must live under a rock or just want to hear themselves speak. All of my friends expected this. Cal expected this. The young man signed with his coach and mentor to stay close to home and rebuild a program. No surprises with that recruit and “The Sky is not Falling”. And remember as you quote Cal he also said “UK ain’t for everyone”

    1. You may be laughing, but I’m not.
      I just hope I’m not crying in March.

      1. Wow. My apologies Horn. I was talking about a recruit for next year, not sure why that would make you cry at the end of this season(tongue firmly in cheat). Do you cry every year we don’t win a Championship(you must have tear ducts the size of a semi)? Again I apologize. I said I would not respond to the negative comments on this site(you sucked me in shame on me). I hope that your tears from last year have dried up and that this team lives up to your expectations. But on the off chance (1 vs 350) that they don’t win it all this year. I have a box of tissue set aside just for you.

        1. More Troubling News:
          Vernon Carey spurns Calipari’s recruiting pitch.

  9. tongue firmly in cheek

  10. Go CATS, beat Louisville!!

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