By LARRY VAUGHT
Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson enjoyed the hospitality at Kentucky so much before his team lost to UK that he decided to climb on his pulpit and offer some unsolicited advice for fans still upset about the season-opening 34-point loss to Duke.
“You need to read the book of Job; you need to have a little bit of patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day. These guys are 18, 19, 20 years old. And, you have children, you have children of your own. And, you want to microwave the maturation process and you can’t do that. It takes time,” Hinson said after Friday’s game.
“So back off and let these guys go through the maturity process and let Coach (john) Calipari do what he does best. And by March, you’re going to have something on the floor that you’re going to be really proud of. Has anybody every come into the pressroom and gotten on Big Blue Nation before?”
No, not really. Some have complained about officiating. Many have praised UK’s team and fans. But I can’t remember an opposing coach lecturing fans before.
But considering that even Calipari admitted he’s worried about some parts of his team, I asked Hinson why he’s so sure Kentucky will be something special in March.
“Well the first thing that makes me sure is the guy that’s sitting over there on the sideline driving the bus. He’s one of the finest coaches — that’s hard for a Kansas Jayhawk to say that too,” Hinson said.
All that could be coach speak. His next reason should give UK fans more reason for optimism.
“The second thing is I’ve seen those guys. I’ve seen those guys play high school. I’ve seen those guys play AAU. I know how good they can be,” Hinson said.
“I just think it takes time. I go back — you can’t microwave maturation, it just doesn’t happen. No matter how much you stick Tyler Herro in a microwave, he’s not going to get older faster. He’s just going to have to play through it. And they will. They’ll be okay.”