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John Calipari to players: “We don’t need cool.”

Nick Richards (Vicky Graff Photo)


After starting the last two games, sophomore center Nick Richards didn’t play the first 16 minutes of Wednesday’s 90-44 win over Monmouth. He played just nine minutes and had six points, three blocks and two rebounds.

So what was going on with Richards?

Kentucky coach John Calipari said it was nothing more than P.J. Washington, Reid Travis and EJ Montgomery playing better than Richards has been.

Like in the Bahamas, you do understand I only played three big guys — because everybody wants to talk about the Bahamas. Only three big guys played. I didn’t play four. So now who is the fourth big? Whoever chooses not to play with energy. Whoever goes to practice and if you’re not practicing then you’re the fourth big, you’re out for a minute,” Calipari said.

“Now you’ll get a chance to play, but you better play well because you’re that odd man out right now. So if you looked at our practice you would say the fourth big on your team is Nick. At halftime you saw what I did. What did I do? Did you watch the game? Who did I? I started E.J. because he played with more energy than anybody else.”

That’s going to continue based on what the coach said.

“I’m just going with the guys that are going to go with energy. We don’t need cool, I don’t care what it looks like, we got to get going,” Calipari said. ” And holding them responsible for it and but when for me when I don’t have to coach that, I’m happy.

‘Like today was a fun game for me to coach. I got on them a little bit like why would you do that, you’re doing what you’re choosing to do not what we’re asking to you do. So there were a couple of those. A couple crack downs that we didn’t get to to rebound balls.

‘But the reality of it is we just played harder. Are you watching any games? I can’t stand watching games to know TV compared to how we were playing before. We’re not playing as hard as some of these other teams and I’m not used to that. Then I get frustrated, then I get mad, and then I’m not happy coaching.

‘I am going to be happy coaching. You may not be happy because I’m not playing you much, but I’m going to be happy coaching. I’m just coaching guys that are going to go crazy and play hard and talk and fly around and we’ll play a little more random so you can play, but we got to get better.”

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